Understanding Luke 11:24-26

Q. I’m a bit confused about Luke 11: 24-26. Here Jesus speaks about an impure spirit that is driven out of a person and it goes away and wanders, and then comes back with 7 other impure spirits and worsen the condition of the person. What is Jesus teaching here? My other question is can a Born Again believer be possessed by demons?

A. Luke 11:24-26 is a complex passage so a little background is in order. From numerous references we can conclude that evil spirits crave embodiment. For example, when Jesus drove the spirits out of the man in the Gadarenes (Mark 5:1-17) they begged to be allowed to inhabit a herd of pigs rather than be sent back to the abyss. So if an evil spirit is driven out of a person it will immediately look for another person to inhabit.

In Luke 11:24-26 Jesus said when an evil spirit comes out of a person, it searches for another place of rest (another person to inhabit). Not finding one it goes back to the person it came out of and finds it ready and waiting. The spirit re-inhabits the person and brings seven of its friends making the state of that person worse than before.

The point was that driving out an evil spirit is only half the job. We can’t just leave ourselves empty. A stronger spirit must be invited in to prevent the evil spirit from coming back and bringing his friends.

Earlier, in Luke 11:21-22, He said even a strong man cannot protect his house if someone stronger comes along. Demons are stronger than men, so men cannot protect themselves from demons, but God is stronger than the demons. John wrote, “The one who is in us is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Therefore inviting the Lord to dwell within us is the only sure way to remain free from demon possession. This leads to the conclusion that born again believers cannot be demon possessed.

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