The Seed on Stony Ground

These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble.

Mark 4:16-17

The parable of the sower is a fundamental piece for understanding the gospel. Its importance is such that it is presented in the three synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) accompanied by their explanation by the Lord. The seed, that is, the Word of God, fell on four types of land. This time we are going to study that part of the seed that fell on stony ground and of which Mark 4:16-17 says that they are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble.

Let’s first look at what Matthew 13:5-6 says about this part of the parable on the seed that fell among stony places: Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. While Luke 8:6 says the following: Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture.

We see that between the stones there is not much earth, the depth does not exist and the humidity is not present. The little surface soil above the stones causes the seed to sprout rapidly. However, the root does not have where to grow and the lack of moisture will dry the plant once the sun rises. Hence the explanation of which Luke 8:13 says, And the seed on the rock are those who, when they hear, welcome the word with joy. Having no root, these believe for a while and depart in a time of testing.

I dare say that today the ground between rocks is abundant. Many people listening to the Word of God, especially when it is sweetened it more than enough, they receive it with great enthusiasm. If these people only look at promises and blessings for their lives, when things start to come out in another way, that is, when they are tested, they will run away and go back to the world. Some of them will feel so frustrated with Christianity that they would never go back to church.

The seed will fall among the stones when we preach the Word without clearly telling the persons that their urgent need for Jesus Christ is because without Him their destiny is eternal fire. If we tell people that when they receive Jesus Christ they will be immensely happy, they will stop having problems and prosperity will come into their lives, it is almost certain that they will receive that word with great enthusiasm. But a preaching of this kind is biblically false and harmful to that soul.

If people are not alerted to biblical truths, they will come to the feet of Christ with false expectations, which will disappear when the testing is presented. If you came to Christ believing that from now on you would have no problems, I regret to tell you that this is not true. The real thing is that tribulations and persecutions will come because of the Word and the name of Jesus. But I tell you that all these tests are worth more than a life without problems because without Christ, the only thing that awaits us when dying is hell. God bless you.

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Who Rejects the Gospel

And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.  Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Day of Judgment than for that city!

Matthew 10:14-15

The servants of Jesus Christ have been commissioned to preach the gospel to every creature in every nation on earth. Our commission does not involve trying to convince people about Jesus Christ, but just delivering the message. Some will heed the call; but others will reject it. In Matthew 10:14-15, the Lord does not tell us to keep arguing with people who reject the gospel, but to leave that house or city. Already God himself will take care of passing the bill to those who reject it.

I remember a phrase my mother used to say, “These are lentils, or you eat them or leave them.” What she meant by that phrase was that she was not going to force me to take what she offered me, but I would have the option of decide. In the same way, the gospel is presented to the people and they decide to accept or reject it without further argument. Indeed, the offering of the gospel is like a unique opportunity that if we reject it, the Lord might tell us: “You lose it.” And it is that He does not have to beg us to accept grace.

I know that when we have met Jesus and we have realized that there is salvation only in Him, our desire for others to be saved is also great. We long for everyone to whom we preach the gospel to tell us immediately: “Yes, I accept Jesus Christ,” but that will not happen, since many will reject it regardless of how well we show Him the good news of salvation. When we are in the first love with Jesus Christ, we tend to feel much pain when someone to whom we present the gospel rejects it.

And knowing that whoever rejects Jesus Christ has no salvation, we are horrified if it is a loved one who does not accept it. But we must have something very clear, all human beings have offended God by sinning. Romans 3:23 says this very clearly, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. It is we who are at fault with God, not Him with us. By His infinite mercy, God sent His Son to die in our place, and if we repent and accept grace, we will be saved.

If our pride and self-sufficiency do not allow us to see our depraved condition, God is not compelled to beg us to accept His forgiveness. Romans 6:23 gives the two options: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. In presenting the gospel to someone we give the person the option of accepting God’s gift of salvation or, in case of rejection, the person assumes the responsibility of paying the price for his sins.

The blood shed by Jesus on Calvary is too valuable to be trampled on by those who do not want to repent of their sins. So if the message we present to someone is rejected, let’s do as the Lord tells us: when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. If he who rejects the lentils will be hungry, he who rejects the gospel, he is left without salvation: Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Day of Judgment than for that city! God bless you.

Quien Rechaza el Evangelio

Y si alguno no os recibiere, ni oyere vuestras palabras, salid de aquella casa o ciudad, y sacudid el polvo de vuestros pies. De cierto os digo que en el día del juicio, será más tolerable el castigo para la tierra de Sodoma y de Gomorra, que para aquella ciudad.

Mateo 10:14-15

Los siervos de Jesucristo han sido comisionados para predicar el evangelio a toda criatura en cada nación de la tierra. Nuestra comisión no implica tratar de convencer a la gente acerca de Jesucristo, sino solo entregar el mensaje. Unos atenderán al llamado; pero otros lo rechazarán. En Mateo 10:14-15, el Señor no nos dice que permanezcamos argumentando con las personas que rechacen el evangelio, sino que salgamos de aquella casa o ciudad. Ya el propio Dios se encargará de pasarle la factura a quienes lo rechacen.

Recuerdo una frase que solía decir mi madre: “Estas son lentejas, o las comes o las dejas.” Lo que ella quería decir con esa frase es que no iba a obligarme a tomar lo que me ofrecía, sino que yo tendría la opción de decidir. De la misma manera, el evangelio se presenta a las personas y ellas deciden aceptarlo o rechazarlo sin mayor argumento. En verdad, la oferta del evangelio es como una oportunidad única que si la rechazamos, bien nos pudiera decir el Señor: “Tú te la pierdes.” Y es que Él no tiene por qué mendigarnos que aceptemos la gracia.

Sé que cuando hemos conocido a Jesús y nos hemos dado cuenta de que hay salvación solo en Él, nuestro deseo porque los demás también se salven es muy grande. Anhelamos que todo aquel a quien le prediquemos el evangelio nos diga inmediatamente: “Sí, acepto a Jesucristo;” pero eso no va a ocurrir, ya que muchos lo rechazarán independientemente de lo bien que le mostremos las buenas nuevas de salvación. Cuando estamos en el primer amor con Jesucristo, tendemos a sentir mucho dolor cuando alguien a quien le presentamos el evangelio lo rechaza.

Y sabiendo que quien rechace a Jesucristo no tiene salvación, nos sentimos horrorizados si es un ser querido quien no lo acepta. Pero es necesario que tengamos algo muy claro, todos los seres humanos hemos ofendido a Dios pecando. Romanos 3:23 lo dice muy claro: por cuanto todos pecaron, y están destituidos de la gloria de Dios. Somos nosotros quienes estamos en falta con Dios, no Él con nosotros. Por Su infinita misericordia, Dios envió a Su Hijo a morir en nuestro lugar y, si nos arrepentimos y aceptamos la gracia, seremos salvos.

Si nuestro orgullo y autosuficiencia no nos permiten ver nuestra depravada condición, Dios no está obligado a rogarnos que aceptemos Su perdón. Romanos 6:23 da las dos opciones: Porque la paga del pecado es muerte, mas la dádiva de Dios es vida eterna en Cristo Jesús Señor nuestro. Al presentarle el evangelio a alguien le damos la opción a la persona de aceptar el regalo de salvación por parte de Dios o, en caso de rechazarlo, la persona asume la responsabilidad de pagar el precio por sus pecados.

La sangre derramada por Jesús en el Calvario es demasiado valiosa para que sea pisoteada por quien no quiere arrepentirse de sus pecados. Así que si el mensaje que le presentamos a alguien es rechazado, hagamos como nos dice el Señor: salid de aquella casa o ciudad, y sacudid el polvo de vuestros pies. Si quien rechaza las lentejas se quedará con hambre, quien rechaza el evangelio, se queda sin salvación: De cierto os digo que en el día del juicio, será más tolerable el castigo para la tierra de Sodoma y de Gomorra, que para aquella ciudad. Dios te bendiga.

We are Called to Deliver Message

When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; also you will have delivered your soul.

Ezekiel 3:18-21

In the heart of God there is no interest in humans lose their souls. God calls sinners to repentance so they turn to Him and be saved. But also for those who have known God, when they stray from His way, He wants them back to His fold. It is unlikely that a stray sheep wicked or open the Scriptures to serve the call that God gives them. That’s why the method used by the Lord to speak is through His servants.

Four situations are presented in Ezekiel 3:18-21. The first is in Ezekiel 3:18. God sends us to deliver the warning message to an unbeliever and we refuse to do so. In this case, the wicked was not apperceived from his evil way and dying will be condemned. Certainly, that person will receive the just punishment for his sins; but if we do not give him the message God sent to him, the guilt of his condemnation will fall upon us. Therefore, our neglect to avoid preaching the Word of God that person will make us responsible for his undoing.

The second case is in Ezekiel 3:19. We hear the voice of God and deliver the message to the wicked, if the person hears the message and repent, we will have won a soul to Christ; but if by hearing the word he rejects it, his condemnation will not fall on us. Sometimes we fail to deliver the message to unbelievers for fear of being rejected. This is not a valid reason because if they reject the message we carry them, rejection is not for the messenger. Therefore it is not to take it personal.

The third and fourth cases are in Ezekiel 3:20-21 and refer to believers who turn from the way of God. And just as happened with the wicked, we will be responsible for the consequences of failing to deliver the message. On one occasion God led me to give a warning message to a believer. At first I was reluctant to do so because I was sure that she would not believe me; but anyway I obeyed God. Of course she ignored me and then I witnessed how other servants of God gave her the same message and she did not listen to them. Finally, God separated me from the path of that person.

Every day God puts before us people to deliver them His message. No matter whether believer or not, our duty is to hear the voice of God and tell them what the Spirit urges us to convey. It is not our responsibility to convince anyone, only talk to them. If they accept or no will fall within the exercise of individual will of each one; but if we fail to give the message, the Lord require of us the blood of the condemned. God bless you.

Christ Redeemed Us from the Curse of the Law

Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”).

Galatians 3:13

God’s Law, the Ten Commandments, gives us knowledge that we have sinned and are worthy of death. No one can be justified by the works of the law. Instead of reaching salvation through the law, what we get is a curse. Only Jesus redeems us from the curse of the Law. He offered himself as a guarantor of our salvation by becoming a curse according to what is written.

Scripture is quoted in Galatians 3:13 is Deuteronomy 21:22-23, which says: If a man has committed a sin deserving of death, and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, his body shall not remain overnight on the tree, but you shall surely bury him that day, so that you do not defile the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance; for he who is hanged is accursed of God. We’ve all committed crimes deserving death of being hanged and made curse; but Jesus took our place and made himself a curse for us.

Contrary to what some may say, the law was to be fulfilled not to be to rape it. Jesus fulfilled the law completely. Galatians 4:4-5 says: But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. When we are under the law, any violation, however small it may seem condemns us. Jesus Christ came to take the place of every human being for the weight of the law fall on Him and giving us the opportunity to be exonerated of our guilt.

Paul reaffirms that concept in Romans 8:3-4 when he says:  For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. The law makes it impossible for us to save ourselves because of our carnal weakness. The righteousness of the Law can only be fulfilled in us through the totally righteous Son of God.

When we meditate deeply what the Bible says, we can realize that there is not a single human being able to say that gathers sufficient merit that guarantee a place in the Kingdom of God. The truth is that sin excludes us from the presence of a holy God and everyone, without exception, has sinned. God, in His perfect justice will not leave any sin without due punishment and the wages of sin is death as it is written. So who wants to be saved by his or her own righteousness is practically assured their exclusion from the presence of God.

The real redemption comes from God himself, who sent a perfect being, His Son Jesus Christ, to pay for the sins of all mankind. In 2 Corinthians 5:21 we read: For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Salvation is not about what we can do but what Jesus Christ already did for us on the cross of Calvary. Our part is to repent of our sins and give a 180 degree turning us to Him. Salvation is a gift, let stretch out your hand and reaches this wonderful gift that will give eternal life. God bless you.

Condemnation

And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.

John 3:19-20

Condemnation is not the product only of having sinned. If so, we would all be condemned because all sinned. In fact, because of sin, all come short of the glory of God. The only way to escape condemnation is supplied by the same God who sent His Son Jesus, the light, to get us out of the power of darkness. If we accept Jesus we will escape the punishment appropriate because of our sins. But when we reject Jesus, we are rejecting forgiveness and accepting condemnation.

The apostle Paul gives a detailed explanation of condemnation and justification in Romans 5:16-19: And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)  Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

The first sin brought condemnation as an automatic consequence of the human race. But this condemnation not only meant our separation from God, but it took us to the slavery of sin. Thus, all men and women have committed multiple transgressions against God. For that reason, no one can be justified on his or her own merits, but that justification is a gift of God obtained only by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

Our Lord Jesus Christ shows us the only escape from condemnation in John 5:24: Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. When Jesus speaks of passing from death to life, what it means is that the natural condition of man is death, not life. As the wages of sin is death and our nature is sinful, we not live, but are dead, unless our escape condemnation.

We must be mindful of our true condition. Salvation is not part of our nature nor is it something we can win on our own. Sin is part of the heritage that conveys our humanity. Therefore, all we have guaranteed from birth is condemnation. The only way to obtain salvation is accepting Jesus Christ who took our guilt on his shoulders to give us the opportunity to be saved.

When we reject Jesus Christ we are reaffirming our status as convicted. It is as if we denied clemency that gives us a judge to have committed an offense. If you do not accept the saving grace and we strive to continue to do things our way, we are preferring to continue in darkness. Let’s change that now! God bless you.

Seeking God with all your Heart

Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:12-13

When we approach God with the right intention, always our prayer will be answered favorably. The very word of God in Jeremiah 29:12-13 confirms this, God hears us when we seek Him with all our heart. It is the guarantee to find God when we call upon Him and pray with all sincerity and without a hidden agenda. You cannot fool an omniscient God. Before opening our lips to ask, God already has read our heart discovering our deepest intentions.

James 4:2-3 explains why prayers are unanswered: You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. That’s the key, when we approach God with a selfish heart, asking only to satisfy our flesh or our vanity; obviously He’s not going to grant such a request type.

The vast majority of people seek God only to solve their problems. These problems are not always urgent needs of people, but sometimes are mere whim or selfish obsessions. In such cases, the search for God is not sincere and unless aim is to give honor and honor the Creator. It is a search for God firefighter, nurse God, the God banker, job seeker God or the God who brings you the ideal partner.

Seek God with all your heart involves going after Him for who He is not what He can give us. The nature, character and attributes of God must be the main cause to seek Him with all our heart. God is a spiritual being that exists by Him from everlasting to everlasting. Infinitely perfect, creator of heaven and earth, and sovereign Lord of all things. One of the most important revelations we can receive from the Bible is God’s character. The Bible tells us about God attributes, His ways of relating with humanity and His heart.

God is Father, says Matthew 6:9: In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. A true father is a protector, healer and provider not only the necessities of life but also identity for his children. God provides a place of safety for His family. God is all these things to those who receive His Son Jesus as Lord and Savior. John 1:12 says: But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.

We can be sure that God has many thoughts of love for us. We seek God with all our heart in the same way that the child seeks his parents. He, like our good Father, is it best to give us when our heart is clean and not contaminated by greed or selfishness. Matthew 7:11 says: If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! God bless you.