5/9/12 Raul, about 25
"(Jesus) also said, 'This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground'..." Thus begins the parable that the NIV calls "The Parable of the Growing Seed". But shouldn't the title of this parable be something like "The Parable of the Different Soils"? After all, the same seed is sown throughout this parable, which Jesus explains is "the word", but what changes is the type of soil it is sown in. Gardeners know that seeds can only grow in ideal soil conditions, but an interesting thing about this is, with hard work, almost any type of soil can be prepared for planting! I believe this compares to doing "the work of an evangelist" as it says in 2 Timothy 4:5. The work of an evangelist is to prepare souls (soils) for the planting of the word (seed). The question is... how?
Today I met Raul, who told me in answer to my questions that though he grew up in a Catholic family, he is an atheist. He tries to live a decent life, to keep from judging or hurting people, and to keep to himself and just focus on living one day at a time. I believe his heart has become calloused by years of denying God's existence, much like the rocky soil along the path. Before I just carelessly "scatter the word" in our conversation, how should I prepare the soil? Modern evangelism says to entice people with promises of the benefits of faith, or to spend weeks and months forming a friendship first. But where is this found in the Bible? I believe the biblical tool for preparing the soul is God's law (Gal. 3:24) coupled with God's kindness (Romans 2:4) Only a personal awareness of one's own sin and of God's kindness can prepare the soul for repentance, which is the only way to saving faith in Christ.