As we think about the above parable of the sower and the seed, it forces us to ask an uncomfortable question about our lives. That question is, "Are we fruit bearers?" This question forces us to take a hard look at our attitudes and actions. This is something we would probably rather not do.
Our churches usually let us get away with avoiding this question.
In the modern American church, it is quite possible, maybe even probable, to be in "good standing" in the church while at the same time bearing absolutely no fruit. Nowhere in scripture, for example, can I find anyone being commended for solid church attendance.
The reason so many churched people can get away with bearing little fruit is that most churches are devoid of real community. We do not get involved in people's lives and they don't get involved in ours. We have little fellowship, except for eating. We have no accountability. We live extremely individualized lives.
When a church functions as it should, with its body living together, caring for each other, building one another up, and holding each other accountable, then the people are forced to ask themselves whether or not they are fruit bearers.
This is not a small issue. Rather, it is of primary importance. We are discussing salvation. In the parable of the sower, the first three soils bear no fruit. They represent three kinds of unfruitful people; none are saved. Only the good soil bears fruit, and only it represents those who are in Christ.
A non-fruit bearing Christian is an oxymoron. Simply put, all followers of Christ bear fruit.
The church has the duty and joy of making sure that its people all ask whether or not they are bearing fruit.