Moral Evil

Scripture: Luke 11:24-28, Matthew 12:

“When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, searching for rest. But when it finds none, it says, ‘I will return to the person I came from.’ So it returns and finds its former home is all swept and in order. Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there and that person is worse off than before.”

As he was speaking, a woman in the crowd called out, “God bless your mother—the womb from which you came, and the breasts that nursed you!”

Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.”

Matthew 12:44-45

Then it says, ‘I will return to the person I came from.’ So it returns and finds its former home empty, swept, and in order.

Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before. That will be the experience of this evil generation.”

INTRODUCTION

John MacArthur says, “It is better to be immoral than to be moral without Christ. Morality and religion are soul numbing deceptions.” Personally, I agree! Morality can hinder a person from seeing their need for Christ. This is why drunks, prostitutes and tax collectors responded to Jesus when the Pharisees did not.

Repentance [sweeping the life of all uncleanness] is dangerous without faith in Jesus. It is not enough for a man to reform. Reformation without transformation leads to pride and bigotry. Actually, it creates a void which Satan will take advantage of. Jesus comes in by request because this is the way He wants it: Satan will come in without a request. You invite Jesus into your life but you don’t have to invite Satan. A good moral life is an invitation to the devil.

I. MORALITY BLINDS PEOPLE TO THEIR NEED FOR JESUS

  • The Pharisees are a classic example: they were the most moral people of the day. Yet they saw absolutely no need for faith in Jesus. In their strict morality, they rejected One who was truly moral and the only One who could save them from their sins.
  • Growing up I had a friend who was very moral. I never, in all of my life, remember hearing him say one word of profanity. He never cursed, never used God’s name in vain, never talked about people, never lost his temper. I often wondered if he was even tempted to sin. He became independently wealthy, eventually divorced his wife and seldom if ever attends worship.
  • My track coach in college was one of the best men I’ve ever known. Again, I never heard him swear, curse, used God’s name in vain. I only saw him lose his temper once. I assumed he was a Christian because of his character. We were driving home from a track meet and it was getting close to midnight on Saturday night. Every one in our vehicle was asleep except the coach and myself. I said, “Coach, it is going to be tough getting up in the morning for Sunday School.” He said, “Not for me, I don’t go to Sunday School.” I said, “Its going to be tough to get their for worship,” [11:00 a.m. in those days] and he said, “I don’t attend worship either.” In shock and disbelief, I said, “Coach, you never go to church? and He said, “Never.” I said, “Coach, have you not been saved?” He responded immediately, “No, not really. I went to church as a child and I know what you are talking about but no, I have never been saved. I think about it and I plan to do it someday but not today or tomorrow.” I talked to him more but to no avail, in less than ten years he would die while having an hearth cath at what is known as Trinity Hospital in Birmingham.
  • The hardest people in the world to reach are good moral people and the woods are full of them.

II. MORALITY WITHOUT CHRIST BREEDS CONTEMPT AND PRIDE

  • There are good moral people who never darken the door of a church. They do not see the need. They measure their lives by ours and they feel satisfied that they are better than we are and they may be right. What they don’t understand is–“They are not good enough.”
  • Good moral people become proud of their morality and goodness just like the rich young ruler. With this pride comes self-righteous and the results is a moral tyrant. These people infiltrate our churches and drive pastors insane. They are arrogant and impossible to lead. You think about it: how many churches today are facing problems due to immoral people? The bootleggers and drunks are not the problem. The problem is good moral people who have never repented. They have joined our churches on the bases of their morality and we accept them because their behavior is better than ours.
  • When we get proud, Jesus rips us out of the frame. We get a trip to the woodshed but they get no such rebuke because they do not belong to Christ. Their pride goes unchecked. They are arrogant and conceded and everyone knows it except them. They are blinded by their own pride. They strain gnats and swallow camels. They worry about about by-laws than lost souls. They are more concerned about control issues than ministry and compassion. 
  • Something truly amazing is happening today: the REFORM movement which feeds on moral superiority has one telling characteristic: it breeds pride and contempt. If you think that God loves you more than others: that makes you special and certainly more important. I can spot one of these dudes from a mile away. They love to preach David’s imprecatory Psalms where David curses his enemies and wishes them doom. One of those is Psalm 5 where David says that God’s hates evil doers. There is one tiny problem, David did evil himself and long after he wrote this Psalm. Jesus says in Luke 11:13 [speaking to His disciples}, “If you then being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask.” So even Jesus refers to us as evil. BUT proud, arrogant preachers do not see pride as evil and yet nothing is more evil than pride. Right in the middle of pride is the I [ego] seek glory for itself.
  • These arrogant preachers call for others to repent but they never repent.

III. MORALITY WITHOUT CHRIST LEADS TO EMPTINESS

  • When I finally surrendered at age 19, one of my concerns was my life style. How could I give up all the things I loved and remain happy? The devil had been feeding me propaganda daily…Jack if you follow Jesus, your life will be boring, dull, and empty. The devil is a liar. My worries never materialized.
  • REPENTANCE is not enough, nor reformation: we need faith in Christ and transformation. It is not enough for us to STOP doing bad things, we must be come obedient to Christ and do GOOD things. {Barclay} To have a pretty garden, fill it with flowers. Don’t leave space for weeds. The devil does not abhor a vacuum, he loves them and will take immediate advantage.
  • When I surrendered at age 19, my life became filled with ministry activities. I preached or sang at the nursing home at 9:00, then headed west to a little church I served while in college. Sunday School at 10, worship at 11 then dinner with one of the members. Play a little touch football with the young folks, go visiting, preach again at 7:00 and then the 20 mile drive home. I’ve leave on Sunday mornings at 8:00 and get home around 9:00 or 10:00. I had no time or space for evil.
  • If you were to take Jesus out of my life: I would be just another Pharisee. Jesus is the difference maker. You may be moral. You may be good but if you don’t have Jesus, you will be left empty until the devil fills your life with worldly things. These worldly things will not satisfy.

CONCLUSION

As he was speaking, a woman in the crowd called out, “God bless your mother—the womb from which you came, and the breasts that nursed you!”

Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.”

This sounds like high praise but Jesus didn’t take it that way. The woman was simply admiring Jesus. She was giving Him lip service and that is not what He wants. You can admire Jesus without surrendering your life to Him. HE DOES NOT WANT TO BE ADMIRED: HE WANTS TO BE OBEYED.

When was the last time you obeyed Jesus?

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