“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” (1 Thessalonians 2:13)
The best seed can only grow in earth that receives it. According to Jesus, seed sown by the way side is devoured by the birds. (Luke 8:5) The god of this world blinds the minds of those who don’t believe (2 Cor. 4:4).
A child’s presentation of the gospel would meet with success if they were speaking to a receptive person. Who is a receptive person? One who is convicted of their sin and wanting out of it. A hard heart stubbornly clings to evil, in some way justifying it as good. Talk to such a one for hours, lay out every biblical or rational reason why their sin is evil and you will still get nowhere.
For God’s word to “effectually work” in us we must first believe that it IS the truth, not the mere opinion of man. Men dismiss what they don’t want to believe. They take what you say as your opinion. They discount it as mere information which they are free to accept or reject. So it is that the Word of God, which could save them, has no effect on their life.
People believe many things. They readily believe lies. Until they are ready for their lives to be turned right-side up, the truth that could set them free will be little more than a fairytale to them – unworthy of belief. The problem is the ground, not the seed.