Emotional Decisions

“And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended” (Mark 4:16,17).

In Christ’s parable of the sower, some of the seed (representing the word of God—Luke 8:11) fell on stony ground with little depth of earth. It sprang up immediately, but then quickly withered away. According to Christ’s interpretation in our text, this represents the common situation in which a person makes an emotional decision to receive Christ without any real understanding of what it means. Such persons “have no root in themselves,” and when they suddenly realize that being a Christian inevitably brings persecution “for the word’s sake,” then they “fall away” (Luke 8:13).

Modern evangelistic techniques too often generate such superficial conversions. Once such ephemeral converts fall away, they may well react so negatively to God’s word as to be beyond reach the next time. “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning” (II Peter 2:20).

It is urgently important, therefore, that both evangelists and personal workers be thorough in their explanation of the gospel to potential converts, so that both mind and heart are willingly submitted to Christ. “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him: Rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:6,7). HMM

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