Print Sermon

These sermon manuscripts and videos now go out to about 1,500,000 computers in over 215 countries every year at www.sermonsfortheworld.com. Hundreds of others watch the videos on YouTube, but they soon leave YouTube and come to our website. YouTube feeds people to our website. The sermon manuscripts are given in 35 languages to about 120,000 computers each month. The sermon manuscripts are not copyrighted, so preachers can use them without our permission. Please click here to learn how you can make a monthly donation to help us in this great work of spreading the Gospel to the whole world, including the Muslim and Hindu nations.

Whenever you write to Dr. Hymers always tell him what country you live in, or he cannot answer you. Dr. Hymers’ e-mail is rlhymersjr@sbcglobal.net.




THESE HAVE NO ROOT!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached on Saturday Evening, July 2, 2005
at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles

"They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away" (Luke 8:13).


A few words from Thomas Hooker caught my attention regarding the phrase in our text, "when they hear, receive the word with joy." Hooker said that if you have never felt that you are lost, you will try to get to Heaven a new way, receiving "the word with joy," rather than first coming under conviction of sin. He said, "First see your sins, and then you shall receive mercy and pardon for them" (Thomas Hooker, The Soul's Preparation for Christ, International Outreach, 1994 reprint of the 1640 edition, p. 46).

Thomas Hooker was a good old Puritan.  He had a lot to say, and you can only take a little of it at a time.  But his comments on Luke 8:13 struck me.  Those who eventually fall away are people who “receive the word with joy.” 

Here is the idea: I preach the gospel.  You hear it and it sounds good.  You then make some sort of decision.  But, since you have no root in Christ, in the time of testing you will fall away.  If you receive the word of the gospel with superficial joy you will fall away in “time of temptation” (Luke 8:13). 

Dr. Gill said that the time of temptation refers to “a time of affliction and persecution, as appears from the other evangelists, which is a trying time to professors of religion, when those who have not the root of the matter in them, fall away” (John Gill, D.D., An Exposition of the New Testament, The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1989 reprint, volume I, p. 578). 

Hooker and Gill concluded that receiving the word “with joy” is shallow and superficial, and will not save you.  “What!” a modern evangelical may say, “you mean to tell me that I am not supposed to hear the gospel with joy?”  Well, that is what our text says, isn’t it? 

“They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away” (Luke 8:13).

“Well then,” he may say, “how am I supposed to receive the word?” Not with joy, but with conviction and sorrow for sin! Any other receiving of the word is superficial and shallow, and will not convert you.  It will not break up the hardened rock of your heart.  It will not allow you to be rooted in Christ!  And it will not save you!  You must not receive the gospel with superficial joy, but with conviction and sorrow for your sin! 

“They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away” (Luke 8:13).

There are many who seem to be Christians who were never converted at all.  There was no depth to their so-called conversion.  As a general rule, those who say they are converted without any inward struggle are the very people who turn out to have had a false conversion.  As an old saying puts it, “Easy come, easy go.”  If you want to avoid a false conversion like that, then think carefully about our text, because that is exactly what Christ was talking about. 

I.  First, what the rock represents.

“They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root…” (Luke 8:13).

“The seed is the word of God” (Luke 8:11). The rock represents your heart. If the seed of the word is scattered on a rock and rain falls on it, it will sprout. But it will soon wither away.

“And when the sun was up, they were scorched”
     
(Matthew 13:6).

Your heart must be broken up or the word you hear preached will not take deep root in Christ.  The rock of your heart must be broken up or the gospel cannot take deep root in you.  The prophet Hosea said,

“Break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord”
     
(Hosea 10:12).

Jeremiah said the same thing,

“Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns” 
      
(Jeremiah 4:3).

Your heart must be ploughed, and the rocks must be broken, or you will receive the gospel with a stony heart, “and in time of temptation fall away.”  But how can your stony heart be ploughed and broken up?  This happens when you think about breaking God’s law.  “For by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:20). 

When you think of your sins, without excusing yourself, this tends to break up the hardness of your heart. 

David said,

“My sin is ever before me” (Psalm 51:3).

The hardness of his stone-like heart was broken up when he realized that he had broken God’s law, “For by the law is the knowledge of sin.”  The Psalmist said,

“Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins [inwardly pricked].  So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee” (Psalm 73:21-22).

This is the way the Spirit of God breaks up and ploughs a stony heart.  He will bring you to such a place of conviction that your sin will ever be before you.  Your sin will burden you and break your stone-like heart.  You will feel foolish and ignorant and base.  You will say, “I [am] like a beast before” God.  This is the work of the law on your heart, done by the Spirit of God – turning you away from excuses, and making you see that you are a miserable sinner.  Then you will say,

“O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24).

Before God uses the law to break up the rock of your heart, you “knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” in the sight of God (Revelation 3:17).  But when the Spirit of God begins to break up your stony heart, you begin to feel that you are a very wretched person, “as a beast” before God – a wretched, sinful beast!  That is the condition you must be brought to, by God’s grace, or the seed of the gospel will not be able to put roots deep down in your heart and root you in Christ Jesus.

II.  Second, why the seed on the rock withers away. 

“They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root…” (Luke 8:13).

You may say, “I never had such an experience.  My heart was never troubled by my sins.  There was never any mental conflict.  I never felt miserable for sin, or like ‘a beast’ before God.  I just heard the gospel and accepted it.”  If that is so, then I am very sure that you have not been converted.  You received the word with joy, but you had no root.  You heard that Jesus saves people and you asked Him to save you.  This gave you hope and joy.  But it was a false hope.  It wasn’t a true conversion at all.  No one is saved by mouthing the words of a prayer. 

At the Billy Graham crusade in Pasadena last November, my wife, one of my sons and I saw hundreds of people streaming down the aisles around us.  They all had expressions of joy and happiness on their faces.  I knew that nearly all these people were receiving “the word with joy,” just like Jesus said in our text.  And I knew it would do them no good whatever.  As Dr. Gill said,

He is the one that…gives an assent to [the gospel] makes a profession of his faith in it, and holds it for a while…and delivers some outward expressions of pleasure and delight in it…but has no heart-work, and so is like to the rock in stony ground; the natural hardness of his heart continues, it remains unbroken by the word, without any true sense of sin…and destitute of spiritual life…hence…it does not last long (ibid., pages 146-147). 

“These have no root.”  They are not “rooted and built up in him” (Colossians 2:7).   Their faith is not rooted in Christ Jesus.  Since they have no root in Christ, they will “in time of temptation fall away” (Luke 8:13).  When the test of tribulation, persecution or affliction comes, they fall away into apostasy (cf. Matthew 13:21; Mark 4:17).  As Mark puts it,

“When the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away” (Mark 4:6). 

If you are not rooted and grounded in Christ, you will wither and, sooner or later, fall away.  As Dr. Gill said, “he…drops his religion, and the profession of it; apostatises, falls away, and comes to nothing” (ibid.).  Please stand and read the text aloud again. 

“They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away” (Luke 8:13).

You may be seated. 

III.  Third, how this can be avoided. 

Superficiality and insincerity must be avoided.  Do not be content with a shallow faith.  Sincerely seek to know Christ, the only one who can save you from the guilt of sin. 

“Christ died for our sins” (I Corinthians 15:3). 

That is the first point of the gospel.  Be sure that you know you are sinful in the sight of God.  You will never be rooted in Christ until you know inwardly that you are a sinful person and that no one but Christ can save you from the guilt of your sin.  Spurgeon said,

I suggest to you this prayer, “Lord, show me the worst of my case.  Put me in the place where I ought to be.  Make me to feel and know what I really am; and then, my Lord, break my heart if it never was broken, and heal it if it is broken.  Empty me of myself, and bring me to thyself.  Turn me upside down, till the last drop of my self-sufficiency runs out even to the dregs, and then pour in the fulness of thy grace in Christ Jesus” (C. H. Spurgeon, “The Seed Upon a Rock,” The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Pilgrim Publications, 1977 reprint, volume XLIX, p. 394). 

(END OF SERMON)
You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.rlhymersjr.com. Click on "Sermon Manuscripts."

THE OUTLINE OF

THESE HAVE NO ROOT!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.


"They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away" (Luke 8:13).

I.   What the rock represents, Luke 8:13a, 11; Matthew 13:6; Hosea 10:12; 
Jeremiah 4:3; Romans 3:20; Psalm 51:3; 73:21-22; Romans 7:24; 
Revelation 3:17.

II.  Why the seed on the rock withers away, Luke 8:13b; Colossians 2:7; 
cf. Matthew 13:21; cf. Mark 4:17; Mark 4:6.

III. How this can be avoided, I Corinthians 15:3