In Mark 4 Jesus tells the parable of the sower.
The sower is the messenger spreading the gospel.
The first kind of soil is hard soil. The message goes in one ear and out the other. The hearer has no interest in it...he could care less about Jesus! The devil steals the seed away as fast as the message arrives.
The second kind of soil is shallow. The message is received with joy. But as soon as persecution arises he wilts and falls away. Possibly this person walked down an isle and shed many tears.
The third kind of soil is infested with thorns/weeds. The hearer receives the message. But the cares of the world (raising kids...spouse... paying mortgage.... having a time share....paying bills) makes it ineffective. "Someday when I have more time I'll think about Jesus." This person "chokes" and isn't seen again. (It strikes me that this third kind of hearer is the main problem in America.)
The fourth kind of soil receives, responds, and produces. Some 30-60- 100 fold. This person is genuinely saved.
PROBLEM.....I'd like to have a bigger distinction between the 2nd and third kind of hearer/soil. To me, these could be grouped together as one kind of soil.
I'd say that the first 3 kind of hearers are not saved. Only #4 is truly saved.
Chrys _________________ Teach me thy way, O Lord; I will walk in thy truth.