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God’s Word for You

Luke 11:24-26 seven other spirits even more evil

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Tuesday, July 17, 2018

24 When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places, seeking rest but finding none. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house, the one I left.’ 25 When it returns, it finds the house swept and put in order. 26 Then it goes and brings seven other spirits even more evil than itself, and they go in and dwell there. Then the last condition of that man becomes worse than the first.”

The fifth response Jesus gives to the accusation that he was driving out demons with the help of the devil is this stunning insight into the ways of the unseen world. Once a demon is driven out, it wanders through places which from a human perspective are completely hostile to life, without water, without blessings of any kind. Is this one picture of hell? If so, we may draw certain conclusions to terrify the complacent soul: Hell has no water, no relief, no companionship, no shade, nor even a single bench on which to rest. All of this agrees with what Jesus will say in Luke 16:23-24. The demon (this is no parable, but a statement of the true ways of the devil’s hoards) is not yet confined to his punishment, so it decides to go back to the person it had possessed.

Here the Lord draws a conclusion: If he had driven out the demon, then the poor man would have embraced his Savior, listened to the gospel, and his heart would have been filled with Christ. His body would have become the temple of the Holy Spirit. He would be the child of the Father. No demon would return to such a place. That would be agony, bringing true terror to the demon.

But if Satan had been the one who sent the demon away, would Satan have filled the man’s heart with Jesus? By no means! He would have filled him up with reasonable, orderly idols that would have swept away anything coming close to faith in Christ. The man might be filled up with Allah or Mohammed, or Joseph Smith, or Confucius, or Buddha, or Dame Reason, but he would still be empty inside. There would be plenty of room for the first demon to return and room enough for it to bring along seven more, each one more evil than itself.

Peter said about people who lose their faith in Christ: “They promise… freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning” (2 Peter 2:19-20). This is a sincere warning. Embrace your Savior. Pray every day. Go forcefully to worship him regularly like Rebekah going to inquire about the jostling babies in her womb (Genesis 25:22). Listen to Jesus, yearn to sit at his feet, and live by his words.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim SmithAbout Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. His wife, Kathryn, attended the Chapel from 1987-1990 while studying Secondary Education (Theater and Math) at UW-Madison. Kathryn’s father, John Meyer, was also the first man to serve as a Vicar at Chapel.

To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.



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