And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection (Luke 8:14).
In Christs familiar parable of the sower, one of the four types of ground on which the seed was sown was ground choked with thorns. The interpretation, as given in our text, is that the ground represents those professing Christians who become so involved with the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things (Mark 4:19), or (as our text puts it) the pleasures of this life, that they never bring any spiritual fruit to full growth.
Whether such nominal believers are actually born again may be uncertain, but there are many sober warnings in Scripture about such dominating concerns in a Christian life. Paul warns against those who are lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God despite having a form of godliness (II Timothy 3:4,5). Similarly, he says that those who suppose that gain is godliness are men of corrupt minds, destitute of the truth (I Timothy 6:5).
The cares of this world may include a wide variety of personal concerns and ambitions; interests that so occupy their time and attention that such Christians are never able to produce real spiritual fruit. There do seem to be many such professing Christians today in affluent, pleasure-loving America. Our concern, however, must be with our own fruitfulness, not theirs. For if these things [i.e., virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, kindness, and love] be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (II Peter 1:8). Jesus said: Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples (John 15:8). HMM