Even though Jesus gives an explanation of this parable it is still widely misunderstood. Many teachers will encourage you to "check your soil" to see if you are truly saved or not. The gift of eternal life is not something to be questioned or determined based on a person's actions.
The rocky soil, the thorny soil, and the good soil are all referring to people who have believed in Jesus for eternal life. We know this because the illustration teaches that each of these has life. Each of these three believers displays a different level of obedience after they have believed. This parable shows us that believers will have different levels of faithfulness as demonstrated by the illustration of the fruit.
This parable is a good reminder to check your soil. Has temptation weakened your roots? Are worries, riches, or pleasures of this life choking your growth? Any gardener will tell you good soil requires maintenance. When plants stop thriving many times the culprit can be found upon closer inspection of the soil. I pray that we can all check our soil today to see if there are any rocks or thorns that need removing so that we can take hold of His Word and "bear fruit with perseverance."
Please feel free to download a free copy of this infographic to keep as a tool for yourself or to pass on to others.
Update: This is an important parable and deserves a more in-depth look. Join us for an upcoming Digging Deeper - Soils Series and discussion as we take a closer look at each of the four soils.