Summary: An evangelistic message for lost people.
WHEN LIFE IS EMPTY
INTRO: A little boy, asked to define a vacuum, answered, “A balloon with the skin off.” He was wrong. A balloon with it’s skin off is still air. In fact, in spite of our best efforts to pump all the air out of a steel cylinder, it will still have millions of molecules of air left. One cubic foot, with the air expelled, would have a pressure of six ½ tons on it.
So it is with our lives. We cannot expel the bad without bringing in the good. READ TEXT! “Thou Shalt Not” religion will not do. Yet we try to live by that standard.
I. LIFE WITHOUT CHRIST IS EMPTY (v. 43).
The evil spirit voluntarily went out of the man. He was not driven out. He walks through the barren dry places, and finds no place to rest. The man now has a vacuum in his life in the place where the evil spirit once resided.
ILLUS: I once picked up a can of vegetables in the grocery store that was empty. It looked the same as the other cans. It had a label on it just like the other cans. But there was nothing inside the can.
Life without Christ often has the deceptive appearance of fullness. Our lives are full of activities and other things trying to fill the void that is there without Christ in our lives.
Yet for all of the activities that we are involved in, we are still like that empty can of vegetables. We may appear that we are doing fine on the outside. We may look the same on the outside. But on the inside there is an emptiness and a longing of our soul for something more.
II. EVIL SPIRITS FILL AN EMPTY LIFE (vv. 44-45).
The evil spirit returns to find the house swept clean. He then goes and finds seven of his friends more wicked than himself to dwell there with him.
ILLUS: Another time while grocery shopping, I bought a can of one of my favorite vegetables. Later, craving that vegetable, and anticipating enjoying it, I opened the can. I was disappointed when I discovered that the contents of the can was not what the label called for. Somehow, in the canning process, the can had been mislabeled.
Mankind sometimes tries to clean up his own life. He tries to sweep clean his life to remove the old ways, and makes an attempt to live a better life. But like the owner of the house in our Scripture, he fails to fill the emptiness in his life with Jesus.
Someone has tried to identify the seven evil spirits that returned to this house in our Scripture. Here is the list.
III. CHRIST WANTS TO FILL EMPTY LIVES (v. 45).
The last state of the man will be worse that the first state. The man was better off before the spirit left him.
ILLUS: Several years ago, the coffee companies launched a major ad campaign trying to convince customers that even though the amount of coffee in a one pound can had dropped to 13 oz., they were getting just as much coffee as before.
We try to convince ourselves that no matter what we do, we are right with God, and He will overlook our lack of repentance and allow us to go to heaven without accepting Jesus as our Savior.
When we try to clean up our own lives, we usually wind up making a mess of our lives. Only Jesus can succeed in changing us.
The only lasting cure for an empty life is Jesus Christ.
CONC: We need to stop trying to fill the emptiness in our lives and let Jesus take complete control.