But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles (Matthew 13:20–21).
Jesus spoke of people who hear the Word of God but it never quite takes root: “But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles” (Matthew 13:20–21).
These people appear to be converted. They are motivated. They may even try to bring others to Christ. They are living on an emotional high. Yet they are a picture of soil embedded with rocks. The seed of God’s Word breaks ground and shoots up, but no fruit ever appears. No real change ever results. Theirs was not a true encounter with God.
Why did they fall away? It’s possible they built their faith on the wrong foundation. Maybe they responded to the gospel because a friend of theirs did. But conversion is not a group effort; you have to make your own commitment to Jesus. Another possibility may be that unbelief set in, causing them to begin doubting God at their first emotional low. Or, they gave up at the first sign of persecution for the gospel’s sake.
If you are a true follower of Jesus, there will be hardships. There will be times of trial. There will be times when you don’t feel God is near you. And there will be times when people give you a hard time for no other reason other than the fact that you say you are a Christian. So don’t build your life on a friend. Don’t build it on a church. Build it on Christ.
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