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Lesson 38: Hearing the Word, Part II- The Tragedy of Temporary Faith (Luke 8:1-21)

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(Part II) We continue to be challenged through the exposition of this text to ask ourselves the important question of how we respond to God’s Word. Honing in on the seed that fell on the rocky soil, Pastor Daniel drives the main point home that “a failure to endure during times of testing reveals that you have not responded to the Gospel of Jesus Christ with saving faith.” For the testing of our own hearts then, we are encouraged to ask ourselves if we exhibit the following characteristics of a “rocky” heart: 1) This heart initially receives God’s Word with joy. 2) This heart never grows stronger. 3) This heart withers when tested. The big question then becomes for everyone reading this text, “How real is my belief?” Is it a kind of temporary “faith without works” that James describes or is it the kind that endures and bears fruit over time? If the former is the case, there is great reason for alarm that we would do well not to ignore. True, living faith will not be based upon a season or circumstance but will grow and develop in beautiful ways over time.

Summary by Seth Kempf, Bethany Community Church Staff

Related Topics: Assurance, Faith, Soteriology (Salvation), Suffering, Trials, Persecution

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