THERE IS MORE SAID IN THE PODCAST AUDIO THAN IN THE NOTES BELOW
TEXT: Matthew 12:38-45:
38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.
39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.
42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
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.
R.C. Sproul said, “He who tries to remain on the fence about his allegiance to Jesus once he has seen the might of the Savior is going to be worse off than he was before meeting the Lord. If the place the Devil formerly occupied is not filled with love for the Redeemer, the one who tastes the goodness of Jesus and then does not respond in faith will end up enslaved to Satan with stronger chains.”
In our last two messages we first looked at how no sign will be given to an unbelieving generation except for the resurrection of Jesus. Secondly, we saw how we must listen to Jesus and repent. The rejection of the greater light of Jesus is indefensible.
Third, we must respond to the Gospel. Jesus once again uses a powerful illustration to drive home His point. Matthew 12:43-45 says, “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. 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. 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.” Jesus uses the example of someone who has just had an unclean spirit or demon cast out of him. Considering Jesus had just cast a demon out of man, the illustration of the evil spirit had a very present impact on the surrounding audience. This evil spirit wanders around, finding no rest, so it returns to the man he had first possessed. When it finds the ‘house’, or soul, of the man cleaned and garnished, he gathers seven other demons and possesses the man again, putting him in an even worse state. It is not enough to be a vessel that is empty, you need to be filled with Christ. Being empty simply opens you up to more evil. You have to be filled with the Spirit, like the Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 5:18. And the only way you can be filled with the Spirit is by accepting Christ as Saviour so that the Holy Spirit will dwell in you. Warren Wiersbe said, “Satan’s “house” is the body of the person who is possessed by the demon. It appears that the demons are restless and seek bodies in which to reside. When the demon left, this man’s life was changed for the better; but his life was still empty. When the demon returned, he brought others with him; and the man’s life ended in tragedy. The primary application is to the nation of Israel, especially that generation present when Jesus ministered on earth. The nation had been purged of the demon of idolatry which had plagued them in the Old Testament. But reformation was not enough. Reformation could cleanse, but it could not fill. The nation should have received the Saviour and been filled with spiritual life. Instead, the people rejected Him and the end was destruction. There is a personal application. It is not enough to clean house; we must also invite in the right tenant. The Pharisees were proud of their “clean houses,” but their hearts were empty! Mere religion, or reformation, will not save. There must be regeneration, the receiving of Christ into the heart. We cannot be neutral about Jesus Christ.” After you hear the Gospel and the other teachings of Jesus, or see the blessings of following Jesus in the lives of others, it is not enough to enact external changes. You cannot save yourself by getting your life together, attempting to stop sinning, and doing good works. You must be born again to enter the kingdom of God. The one who hears the Gospel and then rejects it will end up seven times worse off than if he had never heard the Gospel. Jesus Christ is emphasizing the necessity of committing to Him after hearing His words. It is not enough to hear the call of Jesus and then attempt to live righteously by your own power. Salvation, repentance, and obedience must follow the call. The Holy Spirit and the righteousness of Christ must fill the emptiness that has been left behind by sin. It is time for you to respond to the Gospel.
Mary Jane Deck Walker wrote:
Jesus, I will trust Thee,
Trust Thee with my soul,
Guilty, lost and helpless,
Thou canst make me whole:
There is none in heaven
Or on earth like Thee:
Thou hast died for sinners,
Therefore, Lord, for me.
Jesus, I will trust Thee,
Trust Thee with my soul,
Guilty, lost and helpless,
Thou canst make me whole.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 18:8: “Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.