“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.”
There is a tendency to take these verses literal and try to explain the interactions of demons with human beings - I once approached them that way. When we focus on that aspect we really miss the greater message of it. We miss that Jesus is speaking of a generation of unbelieving people.. an evil generation, if you will, that embraces some sort of faith for a season and then falls away. It reminds me of these chilling verses in Hebrews:
For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?I am really not a fire and brimstone kind of guy. In my life I have found that love, and not fear, brings me closer to God. Yet these verses and others like them must be included in a complete theology. They speak to me of temporal and eternal consequences. When a person continually rejects the Holy Spirit they harden their heart towards Him.. and these continual actions cause the last spiritual state of that person to be worse than the first.
Lord, I lift to you those with hard hearts. Help them to simply say yes to you.