Some people may debate whether a person’s “soil” can change (hard, shallow, or weedy soil become good) but I believe in it wholeheartedly. We know that God can and will harden some people’s hearts. The same God can soften the hearts of people in response to prayer and our efforts for the kingdom of God. There are things we can do that will effect any group – such as prayer or showing love – but there are also things that will specifically help one group more than another.
Unfortunately, not all soil can be changed. If this were possible, we’d have built cities in the Sahara Desert. But on the positive side, Los Angeles is a case of soil being changed. It is one of the largest cities in the world and is in an area that receives less than 10” of rain a year, making it a desert.
Hard soil – People who are hard soil are the ones we least want to share the gospel with often. They can be openly antagonistic and scornful. Whatever the case, just like actual hard soil, there is a barrier that prevents the seed from taking root. In this case, there is likely an emotional or intellectual barrier.
It isn’t that these people don’t want to go to heaven, they just don’t believe in it. It is either because they don’t have proof that God and/or heaven exist, or they don’t believe in the “narrow road” that Christians consider the way. We must overcome this barrier by first discovering what it is and then addressing the issue. If it is because of scientific evidence contrary to Christianity, we need to show scientific evidence of our own. If it is because all the Christians they know aren’t any better than the rest of the world, we need to show them that we are different from the rest of the world.
Whatever the barrier or question, we should do our best to address it. If we need help, we should consult a more knowledgeable Christian or the pastor.
Rocky soil – Shallow soil wouldn’t be a problem if bad things didn’t happen. But accidents happen, people get sick, and others may lose their jobs. It is in these cases that we realize a person’s faith has no depth. Shallow soil will appear to be spiritual. They might say they go to church – at Christmas and Easter. They may even regularly attend church and be fully convinced that they are a Christian.
Rock soil has no place for roots. They don’t waste their time praying or studying God’s word. They probably won’t be interested in doing anything to help with the church either. They don’t want to be considered “ultra-conservative” or a “Bible nut.” This makes our job difficult but there are some things we can do.
Rocky soil will often place some relevance in God’s word even if they don’t study it on their own. You can use passages such as 2 Tim 2:15 “Study to show yourself approved unto God.” Or 2 Pet 3:18 “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” And sharing God’s plan of salvation isn’t out of order. They will likely profess to be a Christian but it is obvious there is no life change.
Finally, when the storms of life occur – as they undoubtedly will – you can be there to help and share words of encouragement.