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Description: Gaining a solid perspective on the irregularities of church growth around the world by analyzing the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13:18-23 and suggesting positive steps to move forward.
When we look at the world in which the Lord is growing His church, we can easily be puzzled.
Why is the church growing so much in some areas but dying in others?
How is it that the church in the West is limping about while the church in the East and South is growing so amazingly quick?
Is it not the West who has sent out tens of thousands of missionaries? What has happened?
Can we change things?
Click below to watch the video. (Bilingual: English-Chinese)
We will first look at
(1) Biblical Explanation for this and then
(2) Global Interpretation.
We will first allow those biblical truths to correct our vision and then gleefully observe the world through God’s glasses.
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18 Hear then the parable of the sower. 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road.
20 And the one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word, and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away” (Matthew 13:18-21).
22 “And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 23 And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit, and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty” (Matthew 13:22-23).
• Road: Exposed: Evil one snatches what has been sown in heart.
• Rocky: Vulnerable: Hears the word, receive with joy, no root, falls away in affliction.
• Thorns: Starved: Hears the word but worry and riches choke the word.
• Good soil: Responsive: Hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit.
We will now turn and apply this parable to the world’s situation.
“For thus says the LORD to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem, “Break up your fallow ground, And do not sow among thorns.” Jeremiah 4:3, NASB.
Scriptures typically quoted from the New American Standard Bible unless noted:
(C) Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1988