Luke 11:24-28: A Call for True Conversion
In 2021 there are about 2.5 Billion Christians in name in the world today. But how many of these Christians in name are Christians in truth? What is the difference between a Christian in name and a Christian in reality? There are all sorts of people who are associated with Christ but who are not believers. There are many who fill out in their funeral forms, or any forms that ask for religious affiliation, that they are Christian. There are those born in a so called Christian country and who have been baptised into a national church but are not believers. There are those who have been brought up in a Christian home, gone to Sunday School, perhaps even a Christian school but who are not truly converted. There are thousands of people who walked an aisle at a youth event, got baptised at a Christian camp, or prayed a sinner’s prayer in a counselling room who now have no resemblance to biblical Christianity. Evangelicalism in the last two centuries has seen a development in evangelism where a push for decisions has led to many false confessions of faith. Charles Finney, the father of the altar call had a ministry in the New York area that became known as the burned over district, it was an area that was saturated in a particular style of evangelism that manipulated many who were not truly converted by the power of the Holy Spirit to come forward. Thousands responded, but because they responded due to the emotionalism of the spectacle produced and the charisma of the speaker, many made responses in the flesh and were not truly converted. Decades after these tours of Finney the area became a seed bed for all sorts of wacky cults and ideas. People became ‘religious’ but because it was not a true conversion to Christ it resulted in all sorts of damage.
It is to this problem of false conversions that we turn as we continue with Luke 11:24-28, ‘When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ 25 And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order. 26 Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there. And the last state of that person is worse than the first. As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!” 28 But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” Jesus is presently dealing with the number of bad responses to His preaching and ministry. He has dealt with those who have wrongly accused him of doing His works by the power of satan in v14-23. In our portion He is going to be dealing with two deficient types of responses to Him, these will be our two points for this message. In 24-26 we see through the picture of a house swept clean that reformation without conversion to Christ is deficient; that outer change without inner change is to remain in bondage. Secondly, in v27-28 Jesus responds to a woman’s statement of faith by pressing the necessity of a faith that works, of hearing and doing. There are those who engage in moral reform but who do not convert to Christ, and there are those who associate with Jesus teachings but who are not born again and so those teachings do not result in a holy life.