Matthew 12:43-45 -- 43: When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. 44: Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. 45: Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.
There are many types of houses. We have The old home place, the dream house, a summer house, beach house, rent house, boarding house, half way house, glass house, light house and we could go on and on.
Jessica and I took a short trip after I preached revival in McCroy Arkansas last July. We found ourselves in Heber Springs.
While on our trip, we enjoyed seeing many old home places in the hills and on the way home. Some were beautiful and well kept. Others were run down and abandoned. You could tell at one time they stood out in the community and very beautiful. As we talked about those old houses, the first thing out of our mouths was, “ that was a beautiful house back in its day.”
We wondered about the lives that used to live there, how the children grew up and what they did while experiencing their childhood there.
We thought, why is it empty and abandoned? Why hasn't someone in the family continued to care for the old home place? Where are the lives that once abode there and how have they changed?
There are so many things to think about and wonder about when you see a house in that shape.
I wonder about the work, sweat, time and tears that went in building that house. How that house at one time was a refuge, a comfort from the weather and from disappointments. When troubled times comes into a life, the best place to take yourself and your family is home, to that refuge where you know you are safe.
There are other houses that we can talk about. The rental house is one. The landlord sometimes can have good renters and sometimes they can have bad renters and have to be moved out. A landlord can go through much trouble if he has someone move in that does not take care of the house they are renting.
A landlord will spend much time and money getting a house fixed back up to that a new tenant can move in.
Funny thing about a house is, you can fix it up and if it sets empty for any amount of time it will start to deteriorate and wear down, even though time and effort has been invested in it, a house not lived in will run down more than a house that is lived in.
Let's look at our Christian house! Are we fixed up, are we run down or are we abandoned and boarded up?
When Jesus was talking in Matthew 12:43-45 about the unclean spirit that left, he was talking about the wicked generation of Israel as a whole. Who like a man of whom an evil spirit had been cast out, without goodness taking its place, would fall back into a deeper wickedness.
Have we left our house swept, and garnished from the out side but empty on the inside.
There are those who have made a profession of faith but have not allowed the Holy spirit to live in that house and take control. They know about Jesus but do not have a relation with him, they have not let him take possession of their house.
They walk through dry places and find no rest. They never attend church regularly. They wind up backsliden in worse shape. Just as the prodigal son.
In our Scripture one evil master has be dispossessed but because the house still lacked a new possessor, the empty house was the opportunity for the re-entry of the evil spirit and seven more like him. Making the last condition of the house worse than the first.
This world is in bad shape, but we can not expect it to be cleaned up with just the crime ending. The moral of the culture changing. None of this will last or do any good unless Christ resides there. We need to let Christ take possession of our house. We need to fill it with Christ.