Read: Deuteronomy 9:1-10:22, Luke 8:4-21, Psalm 69:19-36, Proverbs 12:2-3
“This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is God’s word.
The seeds that fell on the footpath represent those who hear the message,
only to have the devil come and take it away from their hearts and prevent them from believing and being saved.
The seeds on the rocky soil represent those who hear the message and receive it with joy.
But since they don’t have deep roots, they believe for a while, then they fall away when they face temptation.
The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message,
but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life.
And so they never grow into maturity.
And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest,
good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.
Relate: I am currently reading through the Quran for one of my classes. This isn’t the first time I have done so, and one of the themes that keep popping out at me each and every time is how arbitrary the god of the Quran is. The thing I recently was reading about was when Allah kicked Iblis (Satan) out of Paradise. Earlier, Allah told all of creation to worship and bow down to no one or nothing except him. Then Allah creates Adam and commands all the angels (Jinn) to bow down to Adam. Because Iblis/Satan obeyed his first command and not this latter, he is kicked out and becomes the devil.
More frequently, actually, nearly every Surah (chapter) we read something along the lines of Allah loving those who obey but hating those who disobey. And yet, the Islamic view of the sovereignty of God means that he literally makes everything happen. There is no cause and effect. Allah is the cause of everything. Humans have no free will or agency. Everything they do, or even think, is by Allah’s decree. So Allah makes some people good and others bad. He makes some do right and others do evil. And then he loves the ones he made do right and he hates the ones he made do evil. I hate to admit it, but the god of the Quran, at least in this point, sounds an awful lot like the God of extreme Calvinists. Nobody can do anything to be saved outside of God’s help (Total Depravity) nobody He chooses to help can do anything but accept (Irresistible Grace) and the atoning work of the cross is not for everybody but only for those he chooses to help (Limited Atonement).
React: Unlike the god of the Quran, according to the God of the Bible, the gospel is for everybody. The message can, will, and should be distributed to all. Some who hear it will resist and refuse. Some will accept it at first, but then die out because the gospel did not get deep. Some will accept the message, but their love for other things will eventually choke out the Word and kill it off. I guess you could say these saints did not persevere. Finally, some will hear it, accept it, and bear fruit (reproduce it). God’s atonement, the work of the cross, is for everybody. God is not willing that any should perish but that everyone should come to repentance. In Luke, Jesus follows this with a quick parable that a light should not be hidden but placed on a stand for all to see. Again, the same point is driven home. The light, the seed, the gospel… it is for everyone. Then he follows up… “So pay attention to how you hear.” We have agency. We have choice. How will we respond to the gospel? Will we resist the message? Will we accept it, but only at a surface level? Will we allow the other cares of this life to divert our focus until the gospel dies out? Or will we pay attention?
Let my heart be fertile soil. Give me a receptive spirit to Your Word. Let Your truth go deep into the very fiber of my being. Do not let the things of this world crowd it out. And let me also be a lamp placed on a stand. Let me not be selective in whom I witness to just as You are not selective in whom You desire to save. It is not my responsibility to force people to hear or to listen well. It is my responsibility to speak… to everybody. You loved the whole world. You died for all. And everybody has the basic human right to hear a clear presentation of the gospel. So help me to speak out with clarity and frequency wherever I might go.
3 thoughts on “It Is For Everyone”
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Thanks, my friend, for clarifying more about the Islamic faith.T he picture of who they worship is sad and frightening all at once. It gives me more to pray specifically about, especially at this season of Ramadan. Thanks.