I have received many questions regarding the parable of the Sower and how that relates to the view of Free Grace theology, and, happily enough, it is very simple to explain, so allow me the time to break this amazing parable down for you. Considering there are a couple variations of this parable, I will be using the one found in Luke 8:1-15, considering this is the one I have received the most mail on.
We see in Luke 8:11 where Jesus explains, "Now the parable means this: the seed is the word of God," Therefore this explains that the word of God is much like that of a seed, giving the germ of eternal life to every who believes. This truth is by means of which they were given eternal life, as was everyone who received that word in faith.
In Luke 8:10 we see stated, "to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God." This is alluding to the Kingdom following the church age in which we now live. The Church age was a "mystery," or as describe, something unknown, but now made known. You see, Christ came to earth to establish his Kingdom on earth at that moment, but then after being rejected by the Jews, Christ put his kingdom here on earth on hold. With that being done, it opened a dispensation known as the Church age in which each one of us are now living until we come to the age of the rapture, followed by the tribulation. This is a whole other topic for a whole other time. If we take this "Kingdom" as a literal kingdom established here on earth for 1000 years after the tribulation, this is where we will be rewarded for our works as described in Matthew 13:23. (Matthew 13 also alludes to this wonderful millennium kingdom in Matthew 13:19)
Why is the kingdom mentioned after the main parable is given to the multitudes? This is because he is talking to believers, or his Disciples. In Matthew, Christ states "Seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand." But, He knew that the disciples would understand because they believe that he was speaking of the Millennial kingdom that Christ would bring down to this earth for 1000 years, others being new in their faith may not understand this truth, where his disciples would.
And those beside the path are the ones who have heard. Then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they may not believe and be saved."
This should be evidently clear that God's word makes the devil himself head out for the attack due to its immense power.
As surely as an effort was made to gain a home for that vital seed, by faith in some human heart, so surely would Satan seek to prevent it. Above all, he could not allow God's word to lodge in that heart. He must somehow devour it and thus remove it before faith occurred. For if faith occurred, so would salvation. It was a matter of urgency for him, lest they should believe and be saved." -Zane Hodges
The roadway was a perfect example for all of this, the seed would be trampled on and passed by of people who were too busy with their lives and their own worldly concerns to even pay attention to the word of God. Some would even step on and crush the opportunity for others to hear that truth, or for that seed to take place, leaving the seed exposed for the birds to hastily come and snatch it away. It is evident due to the lack of the seed taking hold that eternal salvation did not occur. Due to the haste of the birds and the violent conditions of the path it, this was to explicitly conclude that Salvation would not occur here. This is important because it should be noted with much importance that when it came to the Stony and Thorny ground that this vital seed was NEVER removed. Though it may not have produced any fruit the seed was never so much as touched. No matter the conditions of the soil, new life had sprung into their hearts, Life was given.
The Stony Ground
But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away" Luke 8:13
Faith had occurred, and not just any faith, we read that the word was received with joy. How can you say that one would be insincere in their faith when so much joy is expounded upon the receiving of the word? Are you meaning to tell me that this joy in receiving the word of Christ is insincere? Though they believed for a time, when the going got tough they turned away. Let's dig into this a little more. If the word would have been "insincerely received" wouldn't God have written "when they hear, they act as if they receive, but fail to do so"?
It is apparent that faith of that individual had not endured but God's gift had. For, "whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life" John 4:13. The living seed remained in the heart, the faith that received it did not. This joy found within gave "sprouts" in its excitement, but over time it became hard to reach or even see when life around it got hard and threw up obstacles. Without the depths of the soil the seed could produce no crop, but the seed itself was still implanted into the solid, untouched. Much like that of a person who is joyful to receive Christ as his savior and receive eternal security. That person, after months or obstacles, loses his fervor and quits producing good works. His faith has been lost but the gift of eternal security has yet to be ripped from his heart, just as the seed was never taken from the soil.
For once the little sprigs upon the rocks had died, who could guess that hidden within its cracks was a life-giving seed? Who would suppose that a man who turned away from his faith had ever had life at all? But if it had been there once, it remained there still. And that was one of the mysteries of the kingdom of God. -Zane Hodges.
To think that the eternal gift of salvation was taken away or the seed was ripped from the soil is nothing but speculation of the reader and has no biblical foundation.
Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. Luke 8:14.
Remember, the seed on the roadside was taken completely away from the roadside and never displaying any signs of life. Unlike the one on stony ground that showed signs of life and grew small growths before being choked out, there's evidence that new life had occurred, though the growth withered away the seed remained implanted within the soil. Here we see small improvement in the soil or personality type. We see that life itself sprung forth from the seed once again! Though the plant was stunted, and the "fruit" never became fully ripe, this was a step in a better direction. The growth was soon choked out, due to the circumstances that were surrounding the plant itself. Much like the circumstances in everyone's life can make it hard for that person to fully produce the works that they are capable of. Much like the person discussed in Luke 9:59-62 (Again alluding to this Kingdom). This soil though was not a question of someone losing one's faith, as we saw in the rocky soil, it was a question of finding room in your life for the truth of God to flourish. The seed remains much like that of the gift of Salvation, but the works lead to loss of gifts and status in the future Kingdom of our Lord.
The Good Soil
But the ones that fell on the good ground, are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience. Luke 8:15.
These people upon the receiving of God's word became instruments for God himself. They gave up their worldly lives of self-aggrandizing pleasure and gave it to Christ to use as He wills. They prevailed through the tough moments and through the times when persecution arose, and they grew in their faith with Jesus as their savior so that they may produce that wonderful fruit that we should all strive to work toward. Of course, this person is saved, I don't think i need to point that out, but with the life springing from the seed we know that it is eternally secure, the rest of the fruits are for your rewards in the eternal kingdom and growing that relationship with God.
There was not a trace in them of that hardness and shallowness of heart which, like stony ground, allowed God's truth to dwell only on the surface. Already the roots of the new life they had received had penetrated their souls most deeply drawing up the moisture of devotedness and love to God." -Zane Hodges
We can also attest to these people not being bothered by the thorns, they could go about daily life not expounding on the great joy this free grace of God is. They devoted themselves to Christ so that they may partake in the rewards to come.
Free Grace as described in this parable is such a beautiful testimony to the wonderful gift given to us by God. I hear the phrase "Fruits are evidence of our eternal salvation" and that's right, they sure can be, but the absence of those fruits is not necessarily evidence of eternal damnation. Think of it this way, if a person is born but has never been registered with the government or through any medical facility, then there is no evidence of that person being alive, yet we see that the person is indeed alive. Though there may be no evidence of his existence you cannot deny that he himself does exist.
We as humans can only see as much about a person's life as we can physically see, we can't see the entire lifespan of a human being. We are also fallible making us very poor judges. Therefore, the judgement for a human's soul on an eternal destination, being that of heaven or hell, rests in the hands of God. We are not to judge one another, but rather examine ourselves before God, because I am me, and i know me, I know what I do, and I accept responsibility for what I do. But we can't pass that on to another person, and to think we can is a lot of dumb.... a lot.
Another thing to consider is that people do good things all the time, both Christians and non-Christians, but it is that seed that is planted within you that turns these good works into fruit. You must accept Christ as your savior, the only savior, before these good works can ever take the form as "fruit" in your life. Good works without the grace of God are meaningless and lack a foundation, as well as a destination.
The truth can be a hard pill to swallow.
I appreciate all the feedback I’ve been getting on this topic, it has been an incredible adventure getting to know each and every one of you through the discussion of God’s Word. As for those of you damning me to Hell for my apparent heretical teachings, I can’t wait to see your face when I walk through those gates. I hope to address any questions further. Feel free to message me @str8whiteshoe on Twitter.