(American Standard Version)
1 And again he began to teach by the sea side. And there is gathered unto him a very great multitude, so that he entered into a boat, and sat in the sea; and all the multitude were by the sea on the land.
2 And he taught them many things in parables, and said unto them in his teaching,
3 Hearken: Behold, the sower went forth to sow:
4 and it came to pass, as he sowed, some seed fell by the way side, and the birds came and devoured it.
5 And other fell on the rocky ground, where it had not much earth; and straightway it sprang up, because it had no deepness of earth:
6 and when the sun was risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
7 And other fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.
8 And others fell into the good ground, and yielded fruit, growing up and increasing; and brought forth, thirtyfold, and sixtyfold, and a hundredfold.
9 And he said, Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
10 And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parables.
11 And he said unto them, Unto you is given the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all things are done in parables:
12 that seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest haply they should turn again, and it should be forgiven them.
13 And he saith unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how shall ye know all the parables?
14 The sower soweth the word.
15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; and when they have heard, straightway cometh Satan, and taketh away the word which hath been sown in them.
16 And these in like manner are they that are sown upon the rocky places, who, when they have heard the word, straightway receive it with joy;
17 and they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, straightway they stumble.
18 And others are they that are sown among the thorns; these are they that have heard the word,
19 and the cares of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
20 And those are they that were sown upon the good ground; such as hear the word, and accept it, and bear fruit, thirtyfold, and sixtyfold, and a hundredfold.
21 And he said unto them, Is the lamp brought to be put under the bushel, or under the bed, and not to be put on the stand?
22 For there is nothing hid, save that it should be manifested; neither was anything made secret, but that it should come to light.
23 If any man hath ears to hear, let him hear.
24 And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete it shall be measured unto you; and more shall be given unto you.
25 For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken away even that which he hath.
26 And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed upon the earth;
27 and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should spring up and grow, he knoweth not how.
28 The earth beareth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
29 But when the fruit is ripe, straightway he putteth forth the sickle, because the harvest is come.
30 And he said, How shall we liken the kingdom of God? or in what parable shall we set it forth?
31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown upon the earth, though it be less than all the seeds that are upon the earth,
32 yet when it is sown, groweth up, and becometh greater than all the herbs, and putteth out great branches; so that the birds of the heaven can lodge under the shadow thereof.
33 And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it;
34 and without a parable spake he not unto them: but privately to his own disciples he expounded all things.
35 And on that day, when even was come, he saith unto them, Let us go over unto the other side.
36 And leaving the multitude, they take him with them, even as he was, in the boat. And other boats were with him.
37 And there ariseth a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the boat, insomuch that the boat was now filling.
38 And he himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion: and they awake him, and say unto him, Teacher, carest thou not that we perish?
39 And he awoke, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
40 And he said unto them, Why are ye fearful? have ye not yet faith?
41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?
God's Plan of Salvation
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel.
(2 Thess. 1:8)
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)