Dr. Couch, is Luke 8:9-13 about loss of salvation?
ANSWER; It is about salvation but specifically, about the Jews believing in regard to the coming of the Kingdom of God. This is not the church. That is the millennial Kingdom where the Messiah will reign and rule. There is a "belief" that is not a saving belief. It is a form of acquiescence where one agrees but that belief is not from the heart. It may be an intellectual belief that does not go all the way to personal acceptance of Christ for salvation.
When Christ speaks about the "mystery of the kingdom," He's referring to that which is about the Kingdom not before revealed in the OT. It is a quality belief, a deeper belief than the Jews had ever exercised. Notice how easy it is for the devil to remove the word from their heart (v. 12), "so that they may not believe and be saved." These Jews were not justified. They agreed to a certain extent but then backed off from their belief. It seems to have been so easy for them to do! The truth did not take root. It was a surface hearing that did not catch hold.
Their hearts were like rocky soil, they believed for a while (though only in a certain way) but then when temptation came, "they fell away" (v. 13). I think the most important issue is that they were not justified. Nor did they really see, hear, and then truly understand (v. 10). People can agree to something but never apply it directly for themselves. This then is not a loss of salvation. They never truly embraced salvation. They only went so far and then backed off from actually accepting the offer of salvation.
When I was twelve I made a certain kind of confession but it was not real. It was only when I was sixteen that I actually believed in Christ in a very personal sense. And that was genuine!
I hope this helps. Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch (6-10)