“…Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it” (Mark 4:3-4 ESV).
“…there are some hearers of the Gospel…who hear sermons, but pay no attention to them….they are taken up with thinking of other things….It produces no more effect on them than water on a stone. And at the end they go away, knowing no more than when they came in. There are myriads of professing Christians in this state of soul…in this state they…are lost for ever in hell” J.C. Ryle (ref#13, Vol. 1, Mark, p63-64).
“Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil” (Mark 4:5 ESV).
“These are they on whom preaching produces temporary impressions, but no deep, lasting, and abiding effect….They are not careless and inattentive hearers… therefore tempted to think well of their own condition. They…therefore flatter themselves they must have grace in their hearts….And yet they are thoroughly deceived.…There is no real work of conversion in their inward man….they are actually on the high road to destruction” J.C. Ryle (ref#13, Vol. 1, Mark, p64-65).
“Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain” (Mark 4:7 ESV).
“These are they who attend to the preaching of Christ’s truth, and to a certain extent obey it. Their understanding assents to it. Their judgment approves of it. Their conscience is affected by it. Their affections are in favor of it….But…they stop short….They never come up to the full standard of New Testament Christianity….Without a decided change they will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Christ will have all our hearts” J.C. Ryle (ref#13, Vol. 1, Mark, p64-65).
“And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up…and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold” (Mark 4:8 ESV).
“These…really receive Christ’s truth into…their hearts, believe it implicitly, and obey it thoroughly. In these the fruits of that truth will be seen…Sin will be truly hated, mourned over, resisted, and renounced. Christ will be truly loved, trusted in, followed…and obeyed….There will always be visible repentance, visible faith in Christ, and visible holiness of life” J.C. Ryle (ref#13, Vol. 1, Mark, p66-67).