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Mark 4:16

ESV And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy.
NIV Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy.
NASB And in a similar way these are the ones sown with seed on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy;
CSB And others are like seed sown on rocky ground. When they hear the word, immediately they receive it with joy.
NLT The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy.
KJV And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;

What does Mark 4:16 mean?

In the parable of the sower (Mark 4:1–9), some of the seed lands on rocky ground with very shallow soil. The seed sprouts quickly, but doesn't last long when the hot sun shines down. Similarly, those with shallow faith will not last long when faced with hardships and persecution.

This is a genuine danger for attenders of "seeker-sensitive" churches. Overtly seeker-sensitive services run the risk of highlighting God's love, acceptance, and forgiveness without teaching about His holiness and the obedience He expects of us. The point of a church service is devotion to "teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers" (Acts 2:42). Even if a church has an extensive discipleship program, too many seekers and young Christians will not attend past the main service. If the sermon is merely a marketing presentation for Christianity, shallow listeners will not seek out deeper truths.

Mark 4:5 says that the seeds sprout immediately because the soil is so shallow. Similarly, shallow people enthusiastically accept quick-fixes. While they should be carefully testing the leaders' teachings (1 Thessalonians 5:21), they'd rather take the lazy way and accept whatever sounds good or affirms their beliefs (2 Timothy 4:3).

Despite whatever spiritual gains they seem to make, shallow minds and hearts cannot be nourished on lies once they are exposed to the hardships and persecution. The Word of God is true, but it has to be sustained truthfully in the life of a believer in order to grow. Just as the sun scorches the seedling with no root (Mark 4:6), hardships will derail the faith of those who believe the Christian walk should be easy.
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