Divine Sovereignty and human responsibility is one of those issues that the church sometimes shies away from. Unfortunately the church would sometimes rather just avoid the issue altogether, which reminds me of my favorite comic strip…
Thankfully Jesus “went deep” in his teaching, deep enough to help us answer this question in more detail than Foxtrot. One of the places that Jesus “went deep” was in his parable found in Mark 4:26-29:
“And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”” (Mark 4:26–29, ESV)
This parable contains 2 truths that help us understand how God’s sovereignty and our evangelism work together to grow the kingdom:
- God Sovereignly Grows His Kingdom (vv. 26-28)
- God Sovereignly Uses our Evangelism as a Means to Grow His Kingdom (v. 29)
The whole point of this parable is that God grows & we sow. The farmer sowed, but the life was found in the seed. We evangelize but the power is found in the power of God. He is sovereign & we are responsible because He has sovereignly chosen to use our evangelism. When we understand how sovereignty & evangelism work together we can joyfully & confidently do the work of an evangelist because we know that God is sovereignly working behind the scenes to make our work effective.
I preached this passage in much more detail last Sunday at GCC Wilmington & you can listen to the sermon HERE