Gospel of Mark #3: Seed of the Word sown Among Thorns.

2    “Cares of This World, Deceitfulness of Riches, and Other Things”

These few words from Jesus, “cares of this world, deceitfulness of riches, and other things”, where do you think they come from. Yes, they come from the parable of the seed and the sower that Jesus explained later to His disciples to illustrate how many church members and others miss out on a real conversion. The people of Jesus’ day were very religious, like most people in the United States, they have heard the seed of the Word of Christ.

While we real southern Baptists would like to blame the current Falling Away condition of the churches on the fundamentalists for their superficial and shallow practices on the new birth, human nature has dictated the four distinct responses to the Word of the Gospel. {Like most of their other Bible it is based on a hunt and peck method of understanding, but they are not alone on instant new birth.} We must admit from the parable of the seed and the sower that from the very beginning of the Gospel of the kingdom with Christ, 25% of the people who hear the Word of the Gospel have it immediately SNATCHED away by Satan. Since their will on the matter and their human spirit is comparable to wayside soil, have the seed of faith instantly SNATCHED away by Satan. How does Satan do that? Well, unfortunately he has direct access to the human spirit if not countered by the work of the Holy Spirit here on earth. Although it is hard to say in this day of the type and measure of “tolerance” we have in this country from the American Democratic Faith, {like the religious leaders to whom Jesus spoke saying “you are of your Father the devil”}, you can easily make a case from the Bible that all of those who have not been given the love of God in their life, are controlled by Satan. And while they may think their influence toward the wayside soil is in the interest of God, just like the religious leaders of Jesus’ day thought they were doing the work of God {remember how Paul thought before conversion that he was doing the work of God as he hauled Christians off to prison}, those religious leaders who sowed that seed, especially if they are liberals, can assist Satan in the immediate SNATCHING away of the seed sown by the wayside. You see, really, such liberals and fundamentalists, are the wayside, anyway.

You know if you were looking about you today for the most influential men in the world who lead {the man of sin of II Thessalonians} in the Falling Away, it would be a toss-up between a Muslim leader like Bin Laden and a fundamentalists leader like Bush, Falwell, Stanley, and LeHaye. While Bin Laden based on the Muslim classic teaching of destroy the infidels like the potential for a world-wide rebellion that can easily led to the final great battle of Armageddon in the middle east, it is the fundamentalists leaders like Falwell and Stanley, as they took over control of the Southern Baptist Convention 20 years ago—by the way, the largest Protestant denomination in the world with influences all over the world—with their fighting spirit that have caused all the wars, contentions, and divisions among Southern Baptist in Texas, and no doubt in the whole world. This bad spirit of such fundamentalists was expressed by W.A. Criswell approximately 20 years ago as he told Bill Moyer in a TV interview that “We will keep on fighting until one side or the other wins.” Well, that is exactly what happened: the fundamentalists kept fighting with the moderates, electing such fundamentalists pastors as President like Adrian Rogers and Charles Stanley with the rejection of Texas’ Baptists number one conservation-on-the-Bible and on evangelism candidate, Winfred Moore of the First Baptist Church Amarillo, until they established control over the convention, destroyed the reputations of other conservatives with the label of moderates which in their mind and their listeners’ minds meant liberals, caused the SBC to split into three conventions, drove other conservatives out of Southwestern Seminary, caused warfare between Baylor Theological Seminary, Texas Baptists, and SBC leadership; and the worst thing of all caused a bad spirit of contention to fall over the whole Southern Baptist Convention.          {I must add now that the only hope for the SBC is if the real Southern Baptist rise up to re-take control of the SBC. The real Southern Baptist are those who were southern Baptist during all the time the fundamentalists with their Bible Baptist churches and little seminaries withdrew in approximately 1920 for the Convention, then when approximately 20 years ago decided to come back in force, taking control. Of course, some of the real Southern Baptists are also those influenced more by Texas Baptists and other conservatives who did not fall prey to the bad fighting spirit of the fundamentalists.

It is unpopular to say now; even dangerous, but when I was a youngster growing up in Southern Baptist work in Texas, we called such men “fuedamentalists”; because they liked to fight, and you knew what they were against more than what they were far. However I must add that the extent to which the world is into the Falling Away now, even in the United States where leadership has been for generations of the “Fulness of the Gentiles” and of the spreading of the Gospel, is going to work against the real Southern Baptists taking control, and it will work in favor of the contentious attitude of the fundamentalists. (It is like J. Vernon McGee {by the way who started out as one of them with his training at Criswell’s Dallas Baptist Theological Seminary} says, “I wish the fundamentalists could learn to contend for the faith without being contentious.”  It is that contentious spirit which dominates their evangelism to the detriment of any real contending for the faith that they do, even as the attitude is more important than the deed to Jesus.

We must interrupt these tirades in order to look briefly at something really fundamental. That is the Scripture that is the most important for the gist of this whole book, SNATCHING, STUMBLING, AND THE FALLING AWAY. We must have a basis for this gist in the Word of God, and it must be exegesis—reading out the meaning from the Bible, rather than the isogesis practiced by fundamentalists, the hunt and peck method of reading meaning into the Bible. Well, here it is from Jesus Himself. It is the explanation of the parable of the seed and the sower that Jesus gave specially to His own disciples after He had given the parable itself to the multitude. (It is part of what I like to call the API for the “Authorized Public Interpretation” of the Bible. It is the authorized interpretation that comes from Jesus and the Apostles, by way of God and the Spirit.}

Mark 4:13-20

“And He said to them,    ’Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? (We will discuss it later, but it is the unique privilege of the real disciples of Jesus to understand the spiritual matters given in parables.}

“The sower sows the word.           {I think you understand word as word of God, or the word of the Gospel, or the word of faith.} And these are the ones by the way side where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately (immediately,         see     how   quick Satan is         he       is            quicker        than   thefundamentalists}. .and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts. (You see how Satan SNATCHES the see right out of their hearts, and this is the prime way He goes about seeking whom he may destroy.}

“These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness.” {bid you get the full impact of these words, “they immediately receive it with gladness”? And there is hardly a church in the land or an evangelist, fundamentalist or otherwise, who would not conclude this is instantaneous salvation, that a soul has been born again. You have to admit that when someone immediately receives the word with gladness, they will show the symptoms of joy and salvation; but we are told the rest of the story, how they only endure for a while and how they stumble. Of course, they are still on the church roll; and you while the pastors are counting their ten thousand, you do not hear the rest of this story.} “…and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arise for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble.”

Just two short statements here that may interrupt the flow on the explanation of Jesus to continue with the last, two remaining kinds of human-response-soil: (1) “endure for a short time”, perhaps for the approximately 40 years typical of the first Falling Away by the children of Israel in the wilderness; and (2) “Immediately they stumble” from persecution and lack of root; but even here you see some amount of time as the church member goes about their life, because it does take some amount of time for persecutions, tribulations, and a lack of growth for roots.

“Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.”

{I must add the comment here that it is the wrong done today by the heaped up Bible teachers with itching ears who parade the Gospel of Prosperity, formerly called the “Gospel of Wealth and the corollary of success” in the history of American Thought, thus right there in the church worship creating the very thorns of cares of this world, deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things that choke out the very word of Jesus and the Gospel. And if you don’t get it in the worship service, you can get it from their best-selling books or on television. Oh yes, these are dangerous times: it is called the time of the Falling Away as sin abounds and the love of many waxes cold; and the greatest danger of all is the silence of the pulpits on the Falling Away, the same silence that proves this is a time of intolerance toward sound doctrine.}

Gospel“But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.” {I like the pattern here: hear the word and “accept it”. This is what makes citizens of the kingdom of God and Christ; this is what causes men and women and young people to become members of the body of Christ, the church written in heaven called the Church of the Firstborn; this is when a person passes from tares to wheat and from an alien to a child of God; and this is the point at which the hearer and acceptor can claim the words of Paul for themselves, “Nevertheless the foundation of Cod stands firm, having this seal: the Lord knows his own, and let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from inequity.” If they are so busy brining forth the 30 times fruit, the 60 times, or the 100 times fruit they will not have time for the iniquity, nor the inclination of the Falling Away.}

You will want to free download this Bible teaching, Gospel of Mark #3, from SunGrist at http://sungrist.org/GospelMark3.pdf

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