The Sower Part 3 – On Rocky Ground | Luke 8:1-18

YouTube video sermon

There is more to the Christian life than just being saved!


Luke 8:6 ESV  And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture.

Luke 8:11 ESV  Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

Luke 8:13 ESV And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away.

Show Title Slide

  • Today we continue or series on the Sower…
    • Now remember, a sower is someone who plants seed.
    • And the seed here is the Word of God…
    • And the soil here is the hearts of men and women everywhere…
    • And I believe that everyone who has ever lived falls into at LEAST one of these soil types… but I think you can have a little of some and a little of others…
    • For example you can have really good soil with some rocks in it…
    • Or you can have rocky soil with some shallow weeds in it…
    • About the only one you can’t mix is the one we talked about last week, the concrete heart… the hard and trodden down path that seed will not grow in no matter what…
    • But this week, we are going to talk in depth about the rocky ground.


Point One – Rocky Soil is Shallow Christianity

Luke 8:13 ESV And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away.

  • We are talking about SHALLOW Christianity now. From this point forward this parable addresses people who at least claim to be Christian.
    • We are done talking about the atheists, that’s those with concrete hearts… nor are we talking about Lukewarm Christians, again, those with Concrete hearts.
    • No, these are Christians with sincere hearts… the Word has taken root! But something has gone wrong with the soil.
  • So again, point one this morning is that the Rocky Soil is a metaphor, a word picture, of Shallow Christianity.
  • You see here is what happens in so many churches… the gospel is preached, praise God, but then nothing else.
    • There is no instruction, no teaching, no righteousness.
    • The things talked about are the good news, and other blessings and feel good messages.
    • Often times there is NOTHING wrong with these messages, and there is certainly nothing wrong with preaching the gospel.
    • The Gospel is the single most important thing that needs to be preached…
    • BUT HEAR ME CHURCH: There is more to the Christian life than being saved.
      • Let me say that again: There is more to the Christian Life than being saved.

Romans 10:17 ESV  So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

  • Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God, the Word of Christ. All of this is God’s word, all of this is Christ’s teachings… Not just the last four chapters of the first four books in the New Testament…
    • Those chapters are CRAZY important… but there is SO MUCH more!
  • The Bible is full of history, prophecy, teaching, theology, laws, rebuke, repentance, grace, justice, love, passion, forgiveness, blessings, (And sometimes curses), warnings, encouragements, and instructions for daily life.
  • But Pastor, is it SO WRONG to just focus on Christ?” absolutely not, but we should focus on all of Him! Look what Jesus Himself says about scripture:

John 5:39 ESV  You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,

  • ALL SCRIPTURE TESTIFIES OF CHRIST! And the New Testament wasn’t even written when Jesus said this… that means He was specifically referring to the old testament. Not that this is not true of the new testament, of course it is, but in Context Jesus was saying that the Old Testament is about Him. It all points to Him.
    • All the laws, all the instructions, all the prophecies, all of it points to Christ.
  • Yet in so many churches… huge successful churches… all that is preached is the blessings of God. Jesus saved you and want’s you to be happy.
    • And yes that is true… but he want’s so much more. He wants you to be obedient, He want’s you to be protected from the enemy, He want’s you to be Holy, He want’s you to be effective in carrying out the great commission… and so much more…
    • But if all you get is messages about blessings, and books about blessings, and seminars about blessings, and Christian music about blessings…
    • It’s Shallow, there is NO depth to it.
    • It looks good for a bit… but eventually when the world turns up the heat it dies out.
    • Because… frankly… stuff happens… life isn’t all roses… it just isn’t.
      • Look, 11 of the 12 disciples died a violent death for their faith.
        • How would a message about blessings help them?
      • What kind of self help book would you suggest to John’s disciples as they saw his decapitated head on a platter?
      • There is currently, right now, a genocide of Christians going on in Nigeria… what televangelist would you suggest those Nigerian Christians turn to?
    • Again, there is nothing wrong with preaching on the blessings of Christ, we talk about them here, there are oh so many wonderful blessings of Christ… and we certainly preach the Gospel here, it is of upmost importance… but preaching solely on the gospel and on blessings do not prepare you for the storm!

Matthew 7:24-27 ESV  “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  (25)  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.  (26)  And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.  (27)  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

  • Y’all a storm is coming… it happens in everyone’s life… and if you are not ready for the storm you may find yourself next to Peter warming your hands by the fire and denying Christ…
  • Let me give you one of my favorite examples to hit this point home… It’s the airplane example, some of you have probably heard this one before…
    • Imagine you are on an airplane, and the Stewardess walks up to you with a Parachute in her hands…
    • She hands it to you and says: Here, try this on! It will make your flight SO MUCH BETTER. Look, it’s got the newest and most comfortable pads on the straps, it is a delightful color, and it is guaranteed to fit you perfectly… really it will be like flying first class if you wear it.
    • So you thank the Stewardess and you put on the parachute.
    • The first thing you notice is that the facts are in fact very comfortable and padded well… and the thing really does fit nicely and comfortably
    • Plus, she was right, this thing looks great on you! You love the color!
      • But then you try to sit back… and you notice that you can’t lean all the way back in your seat… The parachute is a bit bulky after all…
      • Not that it’s uncomfortable… but, let’s be honest, you can’t sit in your seat the way you used too… you can’t lean back like you used too… and that’s frustrating to say the least…
      • But not only that, but now your legs are forced in the aisle because you don’t have enough room in this plan that you used to love so much… all of the sudden the legroom seems woefully inadequate… so your legs are in the aisle… and the stewardess is walking by with hot coffee and trips over them, spilling hot burning coffee on your lap!
        • OUCH! I thought this was supposed to make my flight better! But that hurt like H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks!
      • Finally, as you look around, you notice you are the ONLY one wearing a parachute on the plane… in fact your friends and family on board are mocking you for making the decision to wear a parachute on a perfectly good plan…
      • So you get mad, you take off the parachute and throw it as far from you as possible… you are now angry at parachutes and angry and the stewardess who gave it too you…
        • And it’s around this time you smell smoke…
        • You look back and notice the plane is on fire and missing it’s tail… the thing is going down!
        • Your friends and family were wrong… but you already abandoned your parachute… Because your trust in it was shallow.
      • Now on the other hand… imagine if the stewardess came to you and said “Sir, this plane is going to crash… in fact if you look behind you, you will notice that a fire has already started… but don’t worry, I have your salvation here. A perfectly fine parachute!
        • The stewardess then goes on explaining how it works, how to use it, how to fly with it…
        • You listen intently at all of her instructions…
        • You look back again and the fire is bigger…
        • She says, here, take some spares and give them out to your friends and family.
      • Now the parachute is still comfortable, just as before… but you no longer care about your comfort in the seat, because this flight is only temporary…
      • And coffee being spilled on you is the least of your concerns… you have strict instructions not to take off the parachute, because you may not be able to get it back on in time…
      • And even though your friends and family are mocking you, you understand it is because they don’t know the plan is going down…
        • So instead of listening to them you spend your last few moments in the plan showing them what the stewardess showed you.
        • Some listen and put on their own parachute… others ignore you and continue to mock you refusing to turn around and see the fire.
      • Moments later the plane breaks apart, you are falling, the storm has come… but you remember the depths of all you were taught, you pull the parachute cord… you masterfully pilot the parachute through the storm…
      • And while the rest of the passangers are falling to their terrifying death, you, and everyone else with a parachute… you are soaring! Soaring like an Eagle.
    • How many of y’all know I’m not talking about airplane crashes and parachutes?!
      • This is the difference between shallow Christianity and deep Christianity.
      • When you have that kind of depth you care not what the world throws at you, you are going to cling to your Christ.
    • How many of y’all know the world is going to throw some stuff at you sooner or later?
    • How many of y’all are going to cling to Christ when that storm comes?

Point Two – Water the Ground

  • Point two this morning is to Water the Ground! Water the ground y’all! WATER THE GROUND!

Luke 8:6 ESV  And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture.

  • According to verse 6 here… why did the plant wither away? BECAUSE IT HAD NO MOISTURE!
    • Now if only there was something we could do about that… oh yeah, we could WATER IT!
  • What does watering the ground look like? It looks like discipleship!
  • You see you can’t just water a plant once and expect it to live… you can’t just water it a few times… no, plants need constant watering attention to live… it’s why all the plants I have ever owned have died… ain’t nobody got time for that…
    • Discipleship is the constant care and watering needed for a Christian to grow, for a Christian to get deeper and deeper roots.
    • What is discipleship? It is when a mature believer takes a less mature believer under there wings and teaches them how to become more Christ like.
      • It is personal, it is intimate, it is in-depth.
    • Y’all we all need to be discipled, nothing will smooth out your rough edges faster than someone who cares about you, who is praying daily for you, who is instruction you and leading you.
    • And not only that, but we should all have people we are discipling…
      • “But I am not qualified to be a discipler… what if my disciple doesn’t grow under my care?”
      • You are thinking to high of yourself, weather you disciple succeeds or fails… grows or doesn’t grow, that’s not up to you… your job is to water… God’s job is to bring the growth.

1 Corinthians 3:6-7 ESV  I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.  (7)  So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.

  • Now look, one of the things we stress a lot in this church is the great commission… because, you know, it’s our marching orders from Christ… pretty important stuff… let me read it again, because once again it is ever so relevant to today’s scripture…

Matthew 28:18-20 ESV  And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  (19)  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  (20)  teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

  • Go therefore and make… converts? That’s what it says right?
    • Yet so many churches track the number of conversions they have.
    • Yes, we track the number of conversions we have, because we want to be a church where people get saved… but we ALSO track how many disciples are in our church… how many people are being discipled and how many peopled are discipling others.
    • Because we want to make sure we are obeying Christ.
  • Now there is another part of the soil that needs help… the rocks…
    • The problem with the rocky soil is that the rocks stop the soil from holding the moisture…
    • So we need to take out the rocks… we need to take out the sin.

James 5:16 ESV  Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

  • You know when approaching the problem of how to confess your sins to someone else… the first step that is really helpful is having someone else to confess too.
    • We don’t have confessionals here… and besides, it says to confess to one another, not to confess to your pastor or priest…
    • So you need a friend to confide in… that’s a discipleship relationship…
  • But maybe you are discipling someone who isn’t really keen on the whole “Confessing your sin” business, it happens… dying to yourself is hard… it hurts… that’s why it’s called “Dying” to yourself and not “Partying with yourself”.
    • So then, if you are discipling someone with some rocks… what do you do? Rebuke them! In love and with patience, you rebuke them.

Proverbs 27:5 ESV  Better is open rebuke than hidden love.

Galatians 6:1-2 ESV  Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.  (2)  Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Titus 2:15 ESV  Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.

2 Timothy 3:16 ESV  All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

Ephesians 4:15 ESV  Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,

  • It’s ok to rebuke people in love, especially your disciple… that’s how you help them get deep… that’s how you help them remove the rocks and hold in the water… it allows them to grow in Christ… it is a good and beautiful thing when you rebuke someone in love.
  • Now in the event a person, your disciple, refuses, rejects, or ignores Godly rebuke… the Bible has a prescription… go to them with another brother or sister in Christ and rebuke them once again…
  • Then if they still refuse, bring it before the church (with their permission, if they refuse to give permission skip to the next part, as we don’t want to slander)
  • Finally remove them from your presence… I.E. don’t cast your pearls before swine…


  • Now in conclusion I ask… where is our hope in all of this?
    • Let me tell you, our hope is in this…
    • None of us are perfect, except for the Lord, Amen?
    • That means to some scale we all have the potential to have rocks in our soil… amen?
    • So the hope and the joy today is that there is a prescription to rocky soil! God has our back… we need to be watered, and we need to get the rocks out of our gardens!
  • Invitation to make disciples…
  • Gospel Presentation