Matt 13 – parable of sower
America – largest number of churches and resources BY FAR compared w/ world.
How would you gauge :
1) yourself ( beam maintenance )
2) your neighbor / people around you
Do you feel like we are making progress? “Winning”? , spreading the Good News?
PARABLE OF SOWER – beware of areas where seed won’t grow!
13 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”….
16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.
- One Canadian study – 68 % of 18yr olds leave church never to return.
- 2015 – America’s research group –
20% churched as teen, spiritually active at age 29
61% churched as teen, disengaged during twenties
ANXIETY & DEPRESSION
Breaking down the statistics, the scientists found that lifetime estimates for GAD were as follows:
- low-income countries: 1.6 percent
- middle-income countries: 2.8 percent
- high-income countries: 5.0 percent
When they compare the levels of depression, no single area has significantly higher rates. When it comes to anxiety disorders, however, it’s a different story; the Americas are head and shoulders above all other regions, including Africa and Europe…..
The American Psychiatric Association ran a poll on 1,000 U.S. residents in 2017, and they found that nearly two thirds were “extremely or somewhat anxious about health and safety for themselves and their families and more than a third are more anxious overall than last year.”…..
Anxiety in the U.S. may be impacting millennials most.
They also noted that millennials were the most anxious generation…..
That’s the evidence of the problem….
Growth isn’t happening …. so we start with the soil.
We have a SOIL PROBLEM
2 types of soil / 2 world views
Man Vs. God
Soil = Human Thoughts and Desires God’s Word
Fall – “did God really say”
OT “king like everyone else”. Vs. Father God
Suffering / despair
Sex based religion. Deut 6 – teach your children
NT Jesus pays the price for our sin
Matt 13 : grow for harvest!
ANXIETY & DEPRESSION ( cont’d )
A studylooking at changes in freshman attitudes over a 40-year period found that the number of students who place importance on financial gains has almost doubled since the 1960s, whereas “developing a meaningful philosophy for life” has dropped in importance dramatically.
A meta-analysisthat investigated increased psychopathology in U.S. youths over time concluded that “[t]he results best fit a model citing cultural shifts toward extrinsic goals, such as materialism and status and away from intrinsic goals, such as community, meaning in life, and affiliation.”
Motivations are drifting away from the community and onto the individual.
ENLIGHTENMENT / Rationalism
Rationalism is the idea that humans are capable of using their faculty of reason to gain knowledge. This was a sharp turn away from the prevailing idea that people needed to rely on scripture or church authorities for knowledge.
1830’s Charles Lyell wrote in private correspondence his goal to “free the science from Moses” in geology.
Darwin latched on to millions of year as way to explain his proposed gradual changes w/ Luella’s book on his 5-year voyage.
from that ….GROWING in full bloom today……
Hedonism- Hedonismis a school of thought that argues that the pursuit of pleasure and intrinsic goods are the primary or most important goals of human life. (Wikipedia)
Humanism-an outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters. Humanist beliefs stress the potential value and goodness of human beings, emphasize common human needs, and seek solely rational ways of solving human problems.
Relativismis the belief that there’s no absolute truth, only the truths that a particular individual or culture happen to believe.
It all starts at the SOIL
18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means:
SNATCHED UP ON PATH / (lack understanding)
19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path.
ROCKY GROUND / (no root)
20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.
CHOKING THORNS / (by anxiety & wealth)
22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.
GOOD SOIL / ( up to 100x)
23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
Richard Dawkins – famous atheist and self-professed expert in evolution
Christians can see the incompatibility between evolution and Bible …
ILLUSTRATION -yard…. & weeds