And he said, “Whoever has ears to hear had better listen!”……. but worldly cares, the seductiveness of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it produces nothing. But these are the ones sown on good soil: They hear the word and receive it and bear fruit, one thirty times as much, one sixty, and one a hundred.”” Mark 4:9, 19-20 NET https://bible.com/bible/107/mrk.4.9-20.NET
What does God mean when He tells us we must listen to His warning? Those who listen to Him and obey Him bear fruit. Those who hear Him but do not bear fruit are fruitless because their time and treasure are consumed by personal matters and the desire for success and its trappings. The lack of Christian influence in America results from the lack of Christian effort in America. Too much of the church has overindulged in addressing their personal issues or pursuing wealth and its trappings. The work of converting people to Jesus and teaching everyone to obey God has suffered. Unless fruitfulness means something other than people born again and people producing the fruit of repentance which is obedience to God? Some think the good fruit is the fruit of the Spirit, increasing His influence and manifestation through our lives. The Spirit does indeed increase in presence, but only as His work is being accomplished in obedience to His word, for He takes from Jesus and makes it known to us. Jesus’ work is His command to make disciples by going to people with the gospel and teaching them to obey His commands. What will it look like for those without people converted or discipled to offer the Lord Jesus on that day He measures their fruitfulness? Everyone who is genuinely in Him bears much fruit. Our world needs the church to return to the plow and not look back.