Seed on Rocky Ground

parable sower 4

Q. In the Parable of the Sower, did the seeds falling on rocky ground lose their salvation?

A. The answer hinges on whether those seeds have genuine salvation. Some believe they do, because:

v 5 It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.
• v 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy.

Their deduction is since the plant sprang up, there is life. There is life because the rocky ground receives the word with joy. Therefore, according to them, only the “path” is not saved. The “rocky ground”, the “thorny ground”, and the “good soil” are all saved. Then how do you account for the plants on rocky ground withering, and those on thorny ground choking? Their reason is “because they are carnal Christians (1 Co 3), and therefore unfruitful”. Those who don’t subscribe to “once saved always saved” believe they lost their salvation; those who do believe they lost only their reward, as God can’t trust them anymore and has to end their earthly, not eternal, life.

I disagree with this interpretation. I believe only the good soil is saved, the other three are lost. According to the Lord, the real test of whether a person is saved is fruitfulness:

Mt 7:16-20 You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits. The context is on entering the kingdom of heaven, not just gaining or losing rewards. Also Lk 6:43-44.
• Mt 12:33 Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit.

Only the good soil bears fruit, and brings forth some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. It entered through the narrow gate and is saved. The others tried to enter by the wide gate and are lost. The rocky ground did not lose its salvation. It never had salvation to begin with. The joy was only a shallow, emotional response, not deep repentance. Examine your life to be sure you are truly saved – not by your works, but by your faith which expresses itself in grateful obedience and is fruitful.

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