What Kind of Soil Are We?

July 10, 2013

Matthew 13:3-9; 18-23

What kind of soil are we?


Alton Sterling

Philander Castile

Michael Smith

Lorne Ahrens

Michael Krol

Patrick Zamrripa

Brent Thompson

These names are evidence that there remains a social divide in our nation stemming from hundreds of years of oppression due to sin and disobedience to God’s word.

Though none of us committed such acts, we reap the awful fruit of it in long memories and ingrained sin still at work.

For the community of the kingdom, the church, we live as citizens of a different kingdom / nation with a different set of laws (truths of God’s word) stemming from an inerrant constitution (bible) that preaches a radical and supernatural and transforming good news (gospel of the kingdom) that is powerful to save anyone who will repent and believe.

It is incumbent on us to know our times.

It’s not appropriate that I could know how to construct a dominant fantasy football team and yet not know how to recognize a season and opportunity for the gospel and a prophetic opportunity to speak to our time.

That time is now. This could be our finest hour, church. But it won’t be because some pastors did something. It will be because the entire church obeys the gospel.

See, “gospel” has become a marketing tool to sell books and a code word for those who we would work with as opposed to others who don’t know how to use the word correctly.

Gospel is not a marketing tool and its not a code word. The gospel is the power of God for salvation. It is a spoken and clear message that will either transfer one from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of Jesus or it will repel one to continue in the curse.

The gospel of the kingdom either lands in good soil and produces fruit or it does not.

The key is the soil.

What kind of soil is the American church? What kind of soil is the church in the south?

TRC, we are good soil. We are producing kingdom fruit, but we could be easily beset with the curse of bad soil. 

The aim today is to exhort you to lean further into Jesus and to be aware of the air we are fighting against.

Matthew 13:3-9; 18-23

1. The “word of the kingdom” = the gospel of the kingdom

2. The evil one steals away the gospel when it is not understood

3. Lack of personal depth leads one to abandon the gospel of the kingdom upon the arrival of difficulty, so there is no root that can sink in because there is no depth to the person. Everything is surface and nothing is evaluated patiently for it’s merits or lack thereof. So, when hard things happen Jesus is jettisoned because, well, he didn’t work for them. 

4. Non-Kingdom / world system values crowd out the word because the gospel of the kingdom demands / makes a value shift. There is a real conflict of values. 


World = 1 John 2:15-17 = desires of the flesh / desires of the eyes / pride of life (possessions)

Deceitfulness of riches = James 5:1-6

Beware of a desire to gain riches, even if the desire is noble on the front end.

1 Timothy 6:9-10

“But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.”

5. Good soil, elect soil, regenerate soil receives the gospel of the kingdom and produces multiplying fruit.

A values shift takes place when the gospel of the kingdom transforms.

We value transformation – 2 Corinthians 3:12-18

We value our new identity – Galatians 3:23-29

We value our real citizenship – Philippians 3:17-20

We value unity in the body even above common orthodoxy.

We value covenant community.

We value the kingdom of God.

We value love. We refuse to hate. Rather we love our enemies.

We value the neighbor Luke 10:25-37

We value righteousness.

We value poverty of spirit. Humility.

We value meekness. Strength under control.

We value mourning over our sin so that we repent.

We value mercy.

We value purity.

We value peacemaking.

We value the opportunity persecution brings.

What to do this week?

1. Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.

Lean hard into Jesus, his instruction and radical obedience to him.

RL – UP / IN / OUT

2. Read these:


Anything written by Thabiti Anyabwile


Read the article posted here


3. Grow your pro-life to include everyone.

4. Reach out to anyone who is black and ask their opinion and listen, don’t seek to correct, grow your understanding. Just listen.

5. Make peace don’t peace keep.

Peace makers bring parties separated together. Peace keepers keep separated parties apart.

6. Refuse to hate.

7. Don’t let anger be vented. Live in the fruit of the Spirit called “self-control”.

Proverbs 29:11

“A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.”

8. Repent of anything that keeps you from the values of the kingdom.

9. Worship Jesus.


  1. Ron Burns chose the name for himself, Thabiti Anyabwile, because of his black nationalist identity. Today, he still goes by that name, and is a contributor to evangelical organizations like 9 Marks, Desiring God, and the Gospel Coalition. Anyabwile has risen eyebrows for some time, repeatedly choosing to presume the police guilty in cases like those in Ferguson and Baltimore and showing one-sided support to the anti-police and criminal contingent in this national debate.

    Anyabwile has tweeted that he “stands with” and “supports” the organization that is considered by many to be Marxist, racist, anti-cop and pro-LGBTQ, Black Lives Matter. Thabiti first seemed to have endorsed Bernie Sanders on the grounds he was the best candidate for blacks, and when questioned about Sanders’ support of abortion, he suggested that the unborn aren’t “living”. Thabiti, who denied that he endorsed Sanders because he would never endorse a candidate then went on to officially endorse Hillary Clinton on the same grounds that he favored Sanders. Anyabwile has repeatedly agitated for Black Lives Matter, retweeting inflammatory and presumptive assertions with a definitive anti-cop vibe. He has repeatedly attacked law enforcement, judges and grand juries for their fact-based findings in relation to Ferguson and other due-process matters. Anyabwile went so far as to defend the Black Panthers in social media in light of the Dallas police massacre.

    Exercise some discernment, Pastor Jolly.


    1. I have waited a long time to approve and reply. I am aware. I also am aware of greater information than a website article you happened to read. Therefore, I will comment no further than to say that until you have skin in the game and know more on a personal level, your seeming “discernment” is distanced and lacking knowledge. Thanks for posting.


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