Luke 8:13. “13 Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.”
It is imperative for us to note this is from the parable of the sower.
The words in contention here is this “they believe for a while”. As such the argument goes these are believers and they had given up their believe and “fall away”. Hence they lost their salvation.
It is thus imperative for us to find out what “fall away” means.
Now look at the context of Luke 8. What is the point of the parable? What was Jesus looking for in the parable.
Let’s look against at the emphasis of what the Lord was making.
First Luke 8
Darby Translation (DARBY)
8 And it came to pass afterwards that *he* went through [the country] city by city, and village by village, preaching and announcing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God; and the twelve [were] with him,
2 and certain women who had been healed of wicked spirits and infirmities, Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out,
3 and Joanna, wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, who ministered to him of their substance.
4 And a great crowd coming together, and those who were coming to him out of each city, he spoke by parable:
5 The sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell along the way, and it was trodden under foot, and the birds of the heaven devoured it up;
6 and other fell upon the rock, and having sprung up, it was dried up because it had not moisture;
7 and other fell in the midst of the thorns, and the thorns having sprung up with [it] choked it;
8 and other fell into the good ground, and having sprung up bore fruit a hundredfold. As he said these things he cried, He that has ears to hear, let him hear.
9 And his disciples asked him [saying], What may this parable be?
10 And he said, To you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest in parables, in order that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.
11 But the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
12 But those by the wayside are those who hear; then comes the devil and takes away the word from their heart that they may not believe and be saved.
13 But those upon the rock, those who when they hear receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a time, and in time of trial fall away.
14 But that that fell where the thorns were, these are they who having heard go away and are choked under cares and riches and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
15 But that in the good ground, these are they who in an honest and good heart, having heard the word keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.”
Here is some interesting facts. There are 4 types of ground. The first is not saved because Satan took the word away. The 2nd believe and then fell away. The 3rd got choked. The 4th bore fruit.
Note very carefully read it again. Look at verse 12 “But those by the wayside are those who hear; then comes the devil and takes away the word from their heart that they may not believe and be saved” Having read this statement, how many of this 4 grounds are not saved? How many is not saved?
Look carefully at what Jesus said. Only those is verse 12. Only 1 because they did not believe.
The emphasis on the other grounds is whether the word bears fruit in them. It does not say they are not saved.
The word” falling away” here is not even apostasy. It is a totally different word used in Hebrews 6 which is
But in Luke it is the word
Which simply means to withdraw oneself.
This is important, this means this believer withdraws himself, he forgets what has happened to him. He becomes ashamed of himself. Now you may not agree with me. But what did Jesus say right after this parable?
Look at v 16: 16 And no one having lighted a lamp covers it with a vessel or puts it under a couch, but sets it on a lamp-stand, that they who enter in may see the light.
Jesus is saying this person is a like a lamp that covers himself with a vessel. BUT he is still a light! This points to believers who have a shallow understanding of the word and because of a shallow understanding he forgets who he really is and as such is ashamed and WITHDRAWS HIMSELF from the flock. The meaning of falling away means he removes himself from the flock. It does not mean he is not saved! Only the person is verse 12 is not saved.
Let’s now look at the person in verse 14. The emphasis here is “their fruit does not ripen (come to maturity and perfection).” The word here is
It simply means “pregnant” or “ to be a bearer to completion (maturity), that is, to ripen fruit (figuratively)”.
Jesus is saying this kind of believer has fruits (notice that) but his fruit is not mature. This speaks about the Christians who are immature. That does not mean he is not saved.
We of course have no trouble with the last one. BUT again look at the emphasis of the parable. Fruits, fruits and fruits…. The emphasis here is fruits. NOT SALVATION!
To support what I am saying, let’s look at the Amplified Bible’s version.
“13 And those upon the rock [are the people] who, when they hear [the Word], receive and welcome it with joy; but these have no root. They believe for a while, and in time of trial and temptation fall away (withdraw and stand aloof).
14 And as for what fell among the thorns, these are [the people] who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked and suffocated with the anxieties and cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not ripen (come to maturity and perfection).”
ONLY in v 12 these persons are not saved. The text is produced in KJV “12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.” You are saved by believing!
Dear friends, all we need to do is read carefully, there are Christians who are ashamed and withdraws themselves. They are believers which are not mature. They are believers which are mature and fruitful. BUT look at the parable, only ONE category of people are NOT saved! Those who do not believe it or in Matthew those who do not “understand it” . The parable actually confirms while (at this time Jews) that the shameful and the worried are still SAVED!
Of course when it came to the Gentiles, Paul introduced the Gospel of Grace the mystery of the ages in Ephesians 2 and Galatians 1. But that is for another day.
But for now. Look at the parable itself, while you may fall away or be choked, you are still SAVED. May that give you encouragement to go to your Saviour who never left you. Praise Jesus.