Clean but not Washed.

Seven More Evil Spirits Worse Than Him — Luke 11:24-26

Opening Thoughts: Today was a very normal day around our house. My wife was up several times in the night with Kate, who is now 6 weeks old, I slept through most of it. This morning I got up with the two youngsters, Max and Sarah, as I usually do. They seem to have a built in alarm clock for 6:45 am, oh how I wish it was at least 7:45 am, but it’s not. It doesn’t even seem to matter when they go to bed, the moment that clock hits 6:45 am, they start shouting from the bedroom. Back to my story:-) I had breakfast with them as usual, then when Danae and Kate got up I headed off to my office (Starbucks). After a day of work I headed to pick up Danae and the kids for Max’s swimming lessons. After the lessons we drove home for dinner. When I’m able I’ll help Danae get dinner ready to lighten her load a little, I do. Earlier in the day she had prepared a pot of delicious sweet potato soup that was sitting in the fridge ready for me to blend it all smooth, I love blending. I opened the fridge and saw that there was a jug of milk sitting in front of the pot of soup, and in order to get the soup out I had to remove the jug and set it down so that I could reach in with two hands and pull out the soup, sounds easy enough right? Wrong! As I pulled the mostly full jug of milk from the fridge it slipped from my hand and came crashing to the ground. As you can guess the cap flew off and milk exploded all over our house. I think we could have set some milk splashing records. Danae took one look at the mess and said, “I think I’ll get a beach towel for this mess”. We needed it. I proceeded to mop up the mess, but noticed that although I was getting the wet milk off the floor, the floor wasn’t clean. The milk left this residue that will now only come off if we wash the floor. Mopping up the mess and making it look tidy only makes things look clean, but if you get up close you can tell right away that it’s a real mess.

Scripture: Luke 11:24-26 ESV … “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order. Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there. And the last state of that person is worse than the first.

Secondary Scripture Text: Matthew 12:43-45 ESV …. “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation.”

The Unclean Spirit Goes Out: I love the way Jesus puts things, never a dull moment. One thing that I noticed about these Unclean Spirit is that they are already suffering under the tormenting wrath of God. The curse of eternal damnation is already upon them, they are nonredeemable vessels of wrath. They were created spirit only unlike us who are created spirit and flesh, and once our flesh passes away we will be as they are, eternally tormented or eternally in the presence of our Holy King. The reason I say that they are already under the wrath of God is because the way Jesus describes them, “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest“. The demons are weary, miserable and depraved, they seek a home where they can have rest and be miserable. The unregenerate heart is the perfect place for that rest, they are welcome there and they feel right at home.

Matthew 8:29 ESV … And behold, they cried out, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to TORMENT us before the time?”

The demons tremble at the name of Jesus because they are on the other side of death. Matthew 8 shows us that they are dreading the day when their torture and torment will be unceasing and the never again find rest for all of eternity. But for now, as long as there are unregenerate, depraved hearts on the earth, these demons find comfortable homes to rest in.

Empty, Swept and Put in Order: Here’s part of the text again “And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order“. I’d like to refer back to my story of the milk on the floor again, the milk had been cleaned off the floor so that the floor was no longer wet but the residue was still there. The only way we could get that residue off is to physically get the wash bucket out and mop it. Right now if you looked at our floor from a distance you would think it was clean, but the closer you get the more you realize it’s not.

How many people are like this in the church walls today, they have prayed a prayer, seen some change and been instructed how a Christian ought to live. A Christian shouldn’t swear, shouldn’t drink too much, shouldn’t smoke, should go to church, shouldn’t sleep around, shouldn’t watch anything over a certain rating …. So, many people leave meetings feeling bad about their sin, they pray a sinners prayer not even realizing what’s happening except that they should likely change their ways some. Really? Is that Christianity? Reality Check, the church is filled with people that try not to do any of those bad things (at least in the public), but are still all bound up inside with the same residue of sin. Sure on the outside they look clean and orderly, in fact churches will even give some of them great positions, but on close observation they could be lacking the wash. To have your house swept clean, and have it in order means absolutely nothing. People that walk around bragging about how far they’ve come are fooling themselves.

Psalm 127:1 “Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.”

Jesus says that there are many people that think they are saved simply because they do many things in the church walls, they will be shocked when they stand before Him. These are the same people who parade their gifts like a talent show and arrogantly talk as if they deserve salvation. The Bible says “Unless a man is born again” (which is not praying a prayer), “he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Matthew 7:21-23 ESV .. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

The End is Gloomy: Jesus spent a lot of time telling people the horrors of Hell, these for the most part were those who thought they were in! They thought that Jesus was their homeboy. I think that we have washed over Jesus warnings so much in the church in an effort to paint Jesus as a loving man with feathered hair who went around blessing people. That could be no further from the truth, He was painfully truthful. He said stuff like, “Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation.” Jesus doesn’t end this thing on a positive key, he was challenging people to take a long hard look at themselves and see if they find themselves to be clean, unwashed homes.

Compared to What: Have you ever heard someone use the comparison game? It’s a famous tool used by people who do not want to change. It’s effective because all you have to do is find someone much worse than yourself and compare. I love my dad, but he has a super messy home office, in fact it could be a hazard as far as I’m concerned, but after watching some of those clean sweep shows where they show the worst of the worst packrats, my dad’s office suddenly didn’t look that bad, in fact it almost looked clean! This isn’t to pick on my dad because I love him dearly, I simply used it as an visual to see how we can compare ourselves to others so that we don’t look so bad. I remember when I was a false convert I had a bad problem with pornography, but when one of those TV preachers would get exposed for having sex with multiple women, I would look at my situation and say “at least I’m not that bad and they’re pastors”. Seriously, it wasn’t until I realized that Matthew 7:21-23 was actually talking about many of those pastors that I realized I was in huge trouble and headed for hell. Through a series of sermons and events I found myself comparing myself to God’s Holy Law instead of with other people and that’s when I realized how messed up my home really was. I had swept my house as good as I could but in reality it was the perfect dwelling place for the devil. It was a clean (unwashed) orderly home and that’s what the devil loves.

How does your house look: Maybe you prayed a prayer one time in your life and your house got swept up and things were tidied, but you are still a slave to certain sins in your life. The Bible says that when God changes us He places a new Spirit in us and causes us to obey His commands. I challenge you to take a look at your life not against someone else who appears worse than you but to look into the mirror of God’s Law and see what you find. If you find your life is a mess, repent of your sins and cry out to the only One who can save you. Jesus Christ, the Righteous!

Preparing The Way,
Shane Martin