Q. You’ve said you believe in the parable of the Sower that the seed on the ground and the seed in the rocky places are those who did not get saved, but that the seed that fell among the thorns are those who did get saved. There are other teachers with this interpretation, of course. But I have also heard it said that the seed that fell among the thorns are not saved because according to Luke 8:14 it brought no fruit “to maturity”, or as the KJV puts it – “to perfection.” They would say fruit that does not come to perfection or maturity isn’t even “good” fruit, but would be considered bad fruit by definition. What is your take on that point?
A. Those who hold the view that the seed among the thorns (Matt. 13:22) represents unsaved people fail to distinguish between being saved and bearing fruit. Salvation is not a fruit bearing event because it involves only ourselves. It’s what we do after we’re saved that determines whether or not we bear any fruit, because bearing fruit is the result of the influence we have on others.
When people see changes in us and decide they want the same things to happen in their life, a seed has been planted. When they ask us what has caused us to change and listen as we explain the Lord’s work in our life, the seed has sprouted and a plant has begun to grow. Then, when they give their heart to the Lord too, the seed that was planted by our example has born fruit.
Recent polls show that a great majority of those who describe themselves as born again Christians are living lives that cannot be distinguished from their unbelieving counterparts. They bear little or no fruit for the Kingdom because they are preoccupied by the things of this world. They’re the ones represented by the seed that fell among thorns, choked by life’s worries, riches, and pleasures (Luke 8:14). This parable shows it’s possible to be saved without bearing fruit, but it’s not possible to bear fruit without being saved.