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The Empty “Home” (Heart)
TITLE: The Empty “Home” (Heart)
TEXT: Matthew 12:43-45
A.) 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 — 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.
B.) Matthew 12:43-45
I. THE DANGER OF AN EMPTY HOME (HEART)
A.) Our heart is like a home:
1. In it can reside things that produce much harm - Matthew 15:19
2. But it can also be the source for much good - Matthew 12:35a
B.) Our house can be cleansed:
1. For our heart is cleansed- Hebrews 10:22, let us draw near with a true heart in fulness of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience: and having our body washed with pure water,
2. Our conscience is purged from dead works to serve God - Hebrews 9:14
C.) We are expected to “fill” our home:
1. Through faith Christ Himself is to dwell in our hearts - Ephesians 3:17
2. God’s peace and grace are to fill our hearts - Colossians 3:15-16
3. Even God’s law is to be written in our hearts - Hebrews 8:10
D.) What happens when we do not fill our heart?
1. Idiom: “Nature abhors a vacuum” … To express the idea that empty or unfilled spaces are unnatural as they go against the laws of nature and physics.
2. If we do not fill our home with good, evil things are likely to return.
3. Consider the example of the Corinthians:
a.) 1 Corinthians 6:11 … They had been washed, sanctified, and justified
b.) Yet later they were engaged in sinful conduct once again - 2 Corinthians 12:20-21
4. Consider the example of the false teachers mentioned by Peter:
a.) 2 Peter 2:1… They had been bought by the Lord, and escaped the pollution of the world through Jesus Christ
b.) 2 Peter 2:20… But they had become entangled again
c.) 2 Peter 2:21-22… For them, “the latter end is worse for them than the beginning”
E.) How do things become worse than before?
1. In the case of the false teachers, they had…
a.) Forsaken the right way - 2 Peter 2:15
b.) Eyes full of adultery, hearts trained in covetousness - 2 Peter 2:14
c.) Even denied the Lord who bought them - 2 Peter 2:1
2. In our case…
a.) Our hearts can become “hardened” - Hebrews 3:12-13
b.) Hebrews 10:26-29… We can become so hardened that we insult God.
c.) Hebrews 6:4-6… We can reach the point where it becomes impossible to be renewed. d.) In such a case, how true the statement: “The last state of that man is worse than the first!”
Transition - To avoid this, here are some…
II. THE DIRECTIONS TO FILLING THE HOME (HEART)
A.) Filling it in Principle:
1. Sanctify the Lord God in your heart: 1 Peter 3:15
a.) The word “sanctify” means to “set apart”
b.) Set a special place in your heart for God as the Ruler of your life
c.) We must regard Christ as holy in our hearts
2. Be selective as to what goes into your mind:
a.) Set your mind on things above - Colossians 3:1-2
b.) Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly - Colossians 3:16
c.) Follow the example of David - Psalm 101:3-4
d.) Think upon things that are good and wholesome - Philippians 4:8
3. Remember, transformation of character begins with renewing the mind - Romans 12:1-2
B.) Filling it in Practice:
1. Utilize every opportunity to study God’s word - 1 Peter 2:1-2
2. Fill your heart with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.
a.) For this is how you:
i.) Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly - Colossians 3:16
ii.) Allow yourself to be filled with the Spirit - Ephesians 5:18-19
b.) Sing at church, at home, in the car; sing alone and with others
3. Let your mind dwell on things that are worthy of praise and virtue - Philippians 4:8
4. Choose your friends carefully - 1 Corinthians 15:33; Proverbs 13:20
A.) What is the condition of your “home” (heart)?
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!