Most churches today teach that Christ came to save the world from its sins. This is why a number of churches today have major campaigns to “save souls” or to “turn hearts to Jesus.” It is also claimed by these same groups that Jesus spoke in parables in order for the majority of people to better understand what He was saying.
But Jesus’ own words refute this claim: “And when He was alone, they that were about Him with the twelve asked of Him the parable” (vs. 10). Christ was talking to His disciples and a few others around Him. The multitudes mentioned in verse 1 were already away from Jesus. Then He said, “Unto you [His disciples] it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without [those unconverted, those He was not calling to understand], all these things are done in parables” (vs. 11).
Jesus used parables to conceal, to hide the true meaning so those He was not working with would not understand. Continue in verse 12, “That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.” He used parables to make it more difficult to understand—not easier!
Christ preached the gospel to the masses as a witness (Matt. 24:14), not to convert them. It is this same commission that the Church has today: “Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy [Spirit]: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (28:19-20).
God does the calling: “No man can come to Me [Christ], except the Father which has sent Me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day…And He [Christ] said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto Me, except it were given unto him of My Father” (John 6:44, 65). It is obvious today that the majority of humanity is not being called. Even among professing Christians, very few walk as Christ walked.
God is calling few in this age. But before His plan is finished, all will be given the opportunity for salvation. You may wish to read our booklet Does the Bible Teach Predestination?