In the parable of the Sower and the seeds found in Mark 4:1-20 there are four results of those seeds, two sound as if they are done so by our own free will, and the other two, not so much.
The one who finds no water, the one in the rocks, seems to be the one who is not searching further for the Lord, for the truths that He offers. The third example, the one who allows the cares, desires and deceits of this world to choke out the words, the one in the weeds, can mean no other then the person who has chosen to leave the truth. Not that he attained to salvation, but that person, as the one in the rocks, has made a decision to not continue in the search for the face of God.
The last example our Lord gave us is only possible by the will and grace of God, “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.” (1 Cor. 3:6) We can and should reach out to people, we offer the truths that He has shown us about Himself to them, we pray for them, we search diligently, and even water at times, but we cannot save anyone, the 30. 60, and 100 are of the Lord.
Our free will is in effect in all three of these scenarios, but it is the first seed I contemplate today. “And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.” (Mark 4:15) There does not seem to be much free will in that verse, it seems as if the father of lies has complete and total control over the situation in this statement.
“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;” (Heb. 2:14)
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)
The best my mind can contemplate at this time in regard to that first seed is found in Mark 14:21, “The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born.” Did Judas have a choice as to the path that was set before him? Did those people whom the Lord was speaking about in that first instance of the parable we are contemplating about here have a choice in the matter.
Satan came and took away.
If you are not saved, and Satan decides to do something to you, it will be done, the Scriptures are clear on this matter, he is the god of this world at the present time, if he wants to take that initial seed away, then that is what he will do. There seems to be little or even no free will available to that man. We can liken, or apply if you prefer here, Matthew 22:14 to this short, poorly written letter, “For many are called, but few are chosen.” Only the one who is mentioned last, the one who produces by the will of God 30, 60, or 100 are the chosen, the second and third ones, the rocks and weeds, are indeed called, but reject of their own free will that calling.
The first account though does not sound as if the call was ever given to, for before what we shall call the intended recipient of the seed has an opportunity to respond, the adversary snatches away the Word, that seed. That one was not even called.
These are issues that perhaps mankind is not meant to delve into, for the verse says many are called, not all. Some my friends, unless my current interpretation of the Word of God is completely skewed in this area, are never called.
I offer no answers here, but I believe that we are to seek the face of God continuously, we are to search further each day, to know Him more each day, and to accept the fact that some things are not now, nor may ever be revealed to us. Did Judas Iscariot have a choice? Did Lucifer have a choice?
“Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?” (Romans 9:21)