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).
Great is the number of those who, under the influence of a dynamic preacher or persuasive “soul-winner,” have responded to an appeal to “receive Christ,” perhaps repeating a prayer and signing a decision card, but with no real comprehension of the gospel, and therefore without genuine repentance and faith through Christ. They may have felt a surge of “gladness” at the promise of forgiveness and salvation and thus gave mental assent “immediately” to the invitation, but they had “no root.”
Such “converts” are those called “stony ground” by Christ in His famous parable of the sower. In the congenial atmosphere of the Christian gathering, all may seem well, but in the harsh outside world of skepticism and ridicule, the word which they have eagerly accepted soon becomes offensive to them. Such shallow converts may “fall away” (Luke 8:13) as quickly as they had seemed to believe.
The Lord Jesus chose His disciples with the intent that “ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain” (John 15:16), not fruit that would wither away because of shallow roots in unreceptive soil. The ground must first be prepared before the seed is sown or the roots can never sustain the plant and its fruit.
The apostle Paul wrote in this same vein: “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