“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.” [Matthew 12:46-50 ESV]
There is a tendency by some to read these verses literally.
Some use these to 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.
A generation 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.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.
These continual actions cause the last 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.
... this devotion is part of the Red Letters series. Click here to read more.