Summary: One thing is certain! Unless Jesus comes back before our time arrives we are all going to one day end up in a graveyard. But there is no sense in moving into the graveyard before our time.
“Moving out of the graveyard”
Intro: *** Ernie in the Parramatta Church has a very unusual job. I mean there aren’t too many people that can claim to have done for a job what Ernie does. And to add to this he loves his job even though it brings home the reality every day of the life, death & eternity & the God that he has committed his life to. What does Ernie do for a job?
Ernie is a grave digger! Seriously! He digs people’s graves for them – the last thing they’ll ever need in this world Ernie prepares for them.
But in reality – people dig their own graves long b/4 Ernie starts shovelling dirt to create a hole in the ground!
At least that’s what the Bible teaches us …… but more specifically it gives us the idea that we can shift into the cemetery long b/4 we stop breathing.
It gives us the idea that by our choices we end up in the graveyard long b/4 we actually stop breathing.
Here’s the really sad thing – some of God’s people, people He never intended to live life amongst the tombs find th/s there when God has provided mansions of grace & blessing for them.
If you wake up one day & find yourself in a graveyard …… but you’re not dead – u/s that this is not God’s will for your life.
T/m we are going to read about a man who was able to move out of the cemetery & get a new life.
I want to preach t/m about “Moving out of the graveyard”.
Text: Mark 5:1 – 8 & 15 – 20 (NKJV) 1Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gadarenes. 2And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, 3who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him, not even with chains, 4because he had often been bound with shackles and chains. And the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him. 5And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones. 6When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him. 7And he cried out with a loud voice and said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me.” 8For He said to him, “Come out of the man, unclean spirit!”
15Then they came to Jesus, and saw the one who had been demon-possessed and had the legion, sitting and clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. 16And those who saw it told them how it happened to him who had been demon-possessed, and about the swine. 17Then they began to plead with Him to depart from their region. 18And when He got into the boat, he who had been demon-possessed begged Him that he might be with Him. 19However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.” 20And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him; and all marveled.
# 1. Living in a graveyard.
A. Life is full of graveyards!
a. If you open your eyes you’ll see them everywhere you look.
i. Unfortunately they are a necessary part of the curse of sin – sin causes things to die & dead things have to be buried.
ii. Things that have to be buried are usually buried in one place – graveyards.
iii. And b/c death is so prominent in this world we see graveyards everywhere.
iv. Practically every small town in this nation has a graveyard.
*** Years ago we went to Kanowna while we were living in Kalgoorlie. It was once a thriving gold mining town. In 1905 there were 12 000 people living in this town 18 km north east of Kalgoorlie-Boulder. There were 16 hotels, two breweries and an hourly train service to Kalgoorlie. But when we visited it many years ago the only thing that remained were a few tourist street signs, the abandoned roads of the town & a graveyard!
Think about that! The only thing that really survived in tact was the graveyard w/ a few remains of it’s rusty fence & entrance. All the grave sites themselves were still there. Long abandoned, long neglected & ignored but still there in their entirety!
b. You can’t really get rid of cemetery & I guess that’s b/c death is so much a part of life & it’s permanent.