Jesus said there are "4 kinds of people," that is, there are 4 kinds of hearts. The "heart" is the most central part of man. It includes the mind, will, emotions, affections, etc. It makes up the character and determines what one really is.
In describing the "4 kinds of people" the teaching of Jesus is this:
(1) The 1st kind of person is the person who doesn't really believe the claims of Jesus Christ. He is following his own philosophies. He may be an agnostic or atheistic, a believer in Eastern philosophies, or gurus. His philosophy of God may be a god of his own making.
This person may believe that Jesus was a good man or teacher just like other prophets - Mohammed, Buddha, Confucius, etc. - But they have never come to realize that Jesus was what He claimed to be, "the Only way to God the Father" (Jn. 14:6), or else He was the greatest deceiver the world has ever known. If He wasn't what He claimed to be, then to follow Him would be to follow a liar.
This 1st kind of person, Jesus says, never comes to believe His claims (Lk. 8:12).
(2) The 2nd kind of person described by Jesus Christ is a person who hears about the good news of Christ salvation and responds with some kind of belief. They may have responded at a church camp, walked the aisle of a church, said a little prayer, etc. Jesus said they "believe for a while" (Lk. 8:13), but then when times get rough (peer pressure from their friends, family, etc.), they fall away. In other words, their belief lacked one major ingredient, COMMITMENT. A committed faith is that which perseveres, will never give up, and will follow Christ no matter the cost. This "faith" can be described as "faithfulness." The apostle Paul described a faith that does not continue to follow Christ as a faith that is "vain" (See 1Cor. 15:2). "Vain" means "not yielding the desired outcome; unsuccessful."
(3) The 3rd type of person that Jesus describes is a person who has investigated the claims of Jesus Christ, but other things seem to take priority. Cares of this life (such as boyfriends, girlfriends, family, getting ahead, etc.) are the real priorities of their lives. Riches, money, having fun, pleasures of life are the focal point of this person's heart (See for yourself: Read Mark 4:19 & Luke 8:14). According to Jesus this person's priorities have kept them from becoming a real disciple of Jesus (Luke 14:26).
(4) The 4th type of person that Jesus describes is a person with an honest and good heart, that is, a heart that has been softened by repentance, a heart that has a right attitude toward God. This person will not swerve from their purpose (Luke 8:15). They have received the forgiveness of their sins through the blood of Jesus Christ and have turned from the kingdom of darkness unto the kingdom of God's dear Son (Col. 1:13-14). They follow Jesus Christ and will continue to do so. Do they make mistakes? Yes. Are they perfect? No. But they have had a CHANGE OF DIRECTION, A CHANGE OF HEART, that led to a COMMITMENT to the one who loves them and died to take away their sins.
Can you see that 3 out of the 4 kinds of people that Jesus described, failed to keep God's Word as their first priority? God's Word could do the same in your life as it did for the 4th kind of person.
Where are you in all of this? Why don't you consider making Psalms 51:9-10 your prayer? "Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me."
Can't you see that calling upon Jesus must proceed from your heart? THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU IS WAITING TO HEAR FROM YOU. "For whoever calls on the Name of the Lord shall be Saved" (Rom. 10:13).
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Tract No. 12 by Don Krow