THERE IS NO ‘SEED SOWN’ IN PEOPLE’S HEARTS WHEN THEY REJECT THE GOSPEL!
YES, we ought to preach the Gospel to every creature! But when people hear the gospel and reject it, is there a “seed planted” which might bear fruit at a later date? For a while as a young Christian THAT is what I myself believed. But God was faithful to teach me the truth on this. Consider the following –
It is a known fact that many who hear the gospel walk away ‘unsaved’ without any desire for the life promised therein or fear of the judgment warned to those who reject it! (2thes 1:8) What is the response to this rejection by the average preacher or evangelist? Their response usually is – “The seed has been sown in the hearts of those who heard the gospel! If not today someday soon it will bear fruit and save them. For has not God promised – that “My Word shall not return unto Me void, but shall accomplish that which I please, and shall prosper in the thing wherein I sent it?” [Isa 55:11]
I remember many years ago when I was visiting an old friend of mine, I was introduced to his brother who had recently married a Hindu lady. And in the course of our conversation during dinner, I steered the topic to Christ and salvation in Him and finally confronted this Hindu woman with the gospel. Unlike many Indians who are generally polite and usually say, “I’ll think about it”, this woman bluntly said, “Sorry, not interested!”
After dinner, my Christian friend came up to me and comforted me saying, “Don’t worry brother. You have done YOUR part, and though my Sister-in-law has rejected the gospel . . . at least the ‘seed is sown’!
According to my Christian friend, the Gospel comes to ALL with a sincere desire from God to save them ALL, and since God has promised that His Word shall not return back to Him void, therefore sooner or later the ‘seed sown’ in the hearts of these who rejected His Word will bear fruit and save them.
Is this true?! Is there a ‘seed sown’ in the hearts of those who reject the gospel, only to bear fruit at a later time? What saith the Scripture?
“Now the parable (of the Sower) is this: The seed is the Word of God.
Those by the way side are they that hear; THEN COMETH THE DEVIL, AND TAKETH AWAY THE WORD OUT OF THEIR HEARTS, lest they should believe and be saved..” [Luke 8:12]
Or has Matthew puts it – “When any one heareth the Word of the kingdom, and UNDERSTANDETH IT NOT, then cometh the WICKED ONE, AND CATCHETH AWAY THAT WHICH WAS SOWN IN HIS HEART. This is he which received seed by the way side.” [Matt 13:19]
So you see, beloved, contrary to popular opinion, there is no ‘seed sown’ in the hearts of those who hear the gospel without understanding it or those who hear and reject it!
If this be so, then WHAT does God mean when He says that His Word will not return unto Him void, but will accomplish that which He pleases, and prosper in the thing whereunto He sent it?!
In order to understand this, we must accept the fact that the Gospel does not come to all with an intention to save! This is an ‘hard saying’ and many will not receive it, but it is the truth nevertheless!
“The Apsotle said, “But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a STUMBLINGBLOCK, and unto the Greeks FOOLISHNESS; But unto them WHICH ARE CALLED, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God!” [1Cor 1:23]
The ‘Gospel’ makes sense and means something ONLY to those ‘who are called’! To the rest it is either a stumbling block or plain foolishness!
This is the Word going out in WORD ONLY without the power, the effectual working of the Spirit or much assurance! The Apostle reminded the Thessalonians that he knew that were the elect (or the Called) of God because – “Knowing, brethren beloved, your ELECTION of God. Because our gospel came not unto you in WORD ONLY, but also IN POWER, and in the Holy Ghost, and in MUCH ASSURANCE “! [1Thes 1:4,5]
When the apostle said, “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase!” [1Cor 3:6] he is not talking about preaching the Gospel to the lost, but to those who were already saved – i.e. the Corinthian Church!
Now we are not to conclude that the person who rejected the Gospel may not at a later time be saved; for there ARE some who do not believe the first time they hear the Gospel. But IF and when they do believe at a future time it will not be as a result of the ‘seed’ WE have planted! But by the Sovereign grace of God alone!