THE EMPTY HOUSE
A. In Matthew 12:43-45 we will find Jesus describing the spiritual condition of the generation of His day
1. He had just described them as “evil and adulterous” (Mt 12:38-39)
2. He also described how they would be condemned by the Ninevites and the Queen of Sheba in the Day of Judgment (Mt 12:41-42)
3. In our present text of study, they are described as “this evil generation” (Mt 12:45)
B. Using the example of demon possession, Jesus warned it is not enough just to go through the process of having one’s sins forgiven
1. Unless reformation continues and something positive is put in its place – the end might prove worse than the beginning
2. Such had been the case with the Jews of Jesus’ day
3. There is an important lesson to be gleaned that applies to us today as well:
a. It is a lesson on the evils of “neutrality” or disinterest
b. We must replace evil with good
C. Matthew 12:43-45
A. THE DANGER OF AN EMPTY HOME
1. Our heart is like a home
a. In it can reside things that produce much harm… Matthew 15:19
b. But it can also be the source for much good… Matthew 12:35a
2. Our house can be cleansed
a. For our heart is cleansed
1) Hebrews 10:22
2) Acts 15:8-9
b. Our conscience is purged from dead works to serve God ? … Hebrews 9:14
3. We are expected to “fill” our home
a. Through faith Christ Himself is to dwell in our hearts… Ephesians 3:17
b. God’s peace and grace are to fill our hearts… Colossians 3:15-16
d. Even God’s law is to be written in our hearts… Hebrews 8:10
4. What happens when we do not fill our home?
a. Remember the maxim: “Nature abhors a vacuum” … This idiom is used to express the
idea that empty or unfilled spaces are unnatural as they go against the laws of nature and physics
b. If we do not make the effort to fill our home with good things, then evil things are likely to return, and with a vengeance!
c. Consider the example of the Corinthians:
1) 1 Corinthians 6:11 … They had been washed, sanctified, and justified
2) Yet later they were engaged in sinful conduct once again… 2 Corinthians 12:20-21
d. Consider the example of the false teachers mentioned by Peter:
1) 2 Peter 2:1… (“the Lord that bought them”). They had been bought by the Lord, and escaped the pollution of the world through Jesus Christ
2) 2 Peter 2:20… But they had become entangled again
3) 2 Peter 2:21-22… For them, “the latter end is worse for them than the beginning”
5. How do things become worse than at the first?
a. In the case of the false teachers, they had…
1) Forsaken the right way (2 Pt. 2:15)
2) Eyes full of adultery, hearts trained in covetousness (2 Pt. 2:14)
3) Even denied the Lord who bought them (2 Pt. 2:1)
b. In our case…
1) Our hearts can become “hardened” … Hebrews 3:12-13
2) Hebrews 10:26-29… We can become so hardened through willful sin that we trample the Son of God underfoot and count the blood of the covenant a common thing and insult the Spirit of grace
3) Hebrews 6:4-6… We can reach the point where it become impossible to be renewed again to repentance and where we are crucifying again the Son of God and putting Him to open shame.
4) In such a case, how true the statement: “The last state of that man is worse than the first!”
5) How important it is, then, that we do not let the home of our heart remain empty and thus invite worldly things to take up residence.
6. To avoid this, here are some thoughts on…
B. FILLING THE HOME OF YOUR HEART
1. Filling it in principle…
a. Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts… 1 Peter 3:15
1) The word “sanctify” means to “set apart”
2) Set a special place in your heart for God as the Ruler of your life
3) We must regard Christ as holy in our hearts
b. Be selective as to what goes into your mind a.
1) Set your mind on things above… Colossians 3:1-2
2) Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly… Colossians 3:16
3) Follow the example of David… Psalm 101:3-4
4) Think upon things that are good and wholesome… Philippians 4:8
c. Remember, transformation of character begins with renewing the mind… Romans 12:1-2
2. Filling it in practice…
a. Utilize every opportunity to study God’s word… 1 Peter 2:1-2
1) Attend all services of the church
2) Participate in the Bible study programs that are offered
3) Read your Bible daily… Psalm 1:1-6
b. Fill your heart with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.
1) For this is how you:
a) Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly… Colossians 3:16
b) Allow yourself to be filled with the Spirit… Ephesians 5:18-19
2) Sing at church, at home, in the car; sing alone and with others
c. Let your mind dwell on things that are worthy of praise and virtue… Philippians 4:8
1) Be selective about what you watch on television and in the movies
2) Choose your books, periodicals, magazines, etc., carefully
d. Choose your friends carefully… 1 Corinthians 15:33
1) They will either help you to be strong or hinder your efforts… Proverbs 13:20
2) We cannot have communion with darkness and expect the light of God to dwell in us!… 2 Corinthians 6:14
A. What is the condition of your “home” (heart)?
1. Are you are filling your “home” things that are good?
2. If not, then your heart becomes an abode for every evil thing, and the condition of your heart may
become seven times worse than before!
B. Have you experienced the initial cleansing of your “home” (heart)?
1. Have you been cleansed by the blood of Jesus in baptism?
2. If so, wonderful; but don’t be deceived into thinking that you do not need to be concerned about filling that dwelling with the presence of God and all that is good!
C. “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16)
P. O. Box 107
Hamilton, Texas 76531