Q. How do you interpret the parable of the sower in view of your stance on OSAS. Would you suggest that the seed that fell on rocky ground equates to those who do not receive the word and therefore are not saved? But what then of those who fall away in the heat of testing, and the ones whose growth is choked by the cares and worries of this life? Are they “Saved” in the first place? Or would you say that they never really received the word in the first place?
A. Here’s an excerpt from my study on the Kingdom Parables of Matt. 13:
A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering his seed some fell along the path and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly because the soil was shallow but when the sun came up the plants were scorched and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still others fell on good soil where it produced a crop a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown. He who has ears let him hear. (Matt 13:3-9)
In this first parable the farmer’s field symbolizes the world, and the seed is His Word sown through out the Age of Man. The four kinds of soil describe mankind’s various responses to His Word and the birds represent Satan. We know this because the Lord Himself interpreted this parable for us in Matt. 13:18-23.
“Listen to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart.” This tells us some people who hear the word do not become believers .
“The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root it lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.” Some people hold the word in their mind but never allow it into their heart. The fact that they fall away proves it was only an intellectual understanding, not an emotional commitment.
“The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it making it unfruitful.” Since salvation is not a fruit bearing event, the Lord was speaking here of the vast majority of Christians. They believe the gospel and are saved, but their lives cannot be distinguished from those of the non believers around them. They’re totally immersed in the things of the world and bear no fruit for the kingdom.
“But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop yielding a hundred or sixty or thirty times what was sown.” This is the believer who exemplifies Romans 12:1-2 and no longer conforms to the pattern of this world, but is transformed by the renewing of his or her mind and bears much fruit.