Continuing our little study of the Parable of the Sower {see part 1 on our website Calvarybcpalestine.com} let me turn your attention from the poor “Devoured Seed” to the disappointment of the “WITHERED seed”. Luke 8:6 “And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture”. These sad people are a great disappointment to their pastor, to their loved ones, to their friends! These are the ‘stony ground hearers’ of the gospel. It excites them at first! “Why, here is the hope I’ve been waiting for! Here is the way out of my calamities! Here is my opportunity to turn over a new leaf”! These excite and thrill the young pastor who thinks them real and miraculous conversions but what a discouragement he will have when he sees that ‘stony ground’ hearers are like dry leaves and twigs laid at the edge of a fire. The light and heat of the gospel will flame them up brightly but then in a moment it’s over and they’re burned out and gone like a whisper of smoke. We see them often, don’t we? They’re moved by the preaching. They’re stirred by the singing. They want to get in and see their life improve at long last. Oh, how they enjoyed the preaching and the singing. But often is the case that this will be the last time they come. Perhaps they may even make it for a few weeks or months and perhaps there will be outward changes – but mark it down: the stony ground hearer has only turned over yet another ‘new leaf’ on the same old tree. There has been no conversion. Like Herod of old under the ministry of John “the Baptist”. Herod respected John and knew John was a ‘man of God’. He got excited listening to John preach the Kingdom of God. He was stirred in his heart and even made some outward changes in his life [Mark 6:20].  But Herod’s ‘head knowledge’ is nothing new. Many acknowledge the Bible to be the word of God. {Which is akin to admitting that the sun is in the sky}. Many will concede that the church is God’s house and its message is God’s own. But acknowledging the truth of God’s word is like acknowledging that a parking lot has cars in it. It doesn’t make the cars belong to us. The ‘stony ground’ hearer is drawn to the truth of it and attracted by the fellowship and peaceableness of it but nothing more. Like a bird drawn to a feeder…or a man drawn to a well. Once the bird has had his fill he’ll be off again. Once the man has satisfied his thirst, he’ll quickly turn his back to the well. It was pleasant to him for a short while. Herod beheaded John. The stony ground hearer will wither away sooner or later. You see excitement without faith is soon exhausted. These, Jesus said, receive the word with joy and for a little while they believe it and are excited by it, but without root (ground in which faith may grow) they’ll spring up, flame up bright and burn out quick. The stony ground hearer wants to turn over a new leaf on an old tree. But the gospel is a conversion of the whole tree into something completely different. Visit us on the web at Calvarybcpalestine.com or find us on Facebook @ Calvary Baptist Church of Palestine, Texas. Call us directly at 903-729-5924. Don’t fear a virus – fear God.