As I was reading the Gospel of Matthew this morning, I noticed that Jesus was describing those who hear or receive the Word and fall away. In the parable of the sower Jesus gives us a glimpse of what happens when the gospel is communicated.
The enemy of our souls does not want the gospel preached and will certainly try to hinder its taking root in the lives of people. Jesus shares four types of people who hear the Gospel and then describes three that fall away.
1. There is the one who hears but does not understand.
2. There is the one who hears and receives but trials come and he has no root.
3. There is the one who hears and receives but the pleasures of this life consume him and he bears no fruit.
4. There is the one who hears and receives. He has understanding then goes on to bear much fruit.
As a pastor, and ultimately as a church, I/We must make sure that those who come through our doors and those who hear the Gospel, receive the Word and follow through like number four.
We must communicate in such a way that people understand. Our messages must be communicated in such a way that believers and non-believers alike should be able to understand and receive the Gospel.
We must ensure that those who receive the gospel are rooted in the Word and growing in their relationship with Christ. Somehow, we must find a way to see people move from the Sunday morning service to a life of being rooted in Christ and His Word. When the trials come, those who have no root will not be able to stand. It is our duty to help people become rooted that they can stand against life’s storms.
As a church, we must work on helping others become fruitful. It begins with us being fruitful. This man in the parable received the Word but was so wrapped up in this life that he would bear no fruit for another life. How often are we so consumed with the things of this world that we have little time to bear fruit for eternity? We must find a way to move people into a Kingdom mind-set, balancing this life and working for the next one.
These are thoughts that God is stirring in my heart. As a pastor, I am responsible for how we disciple others. I am praying that God will give us a plan to make sure that people understand, take root and bear fruit.