Summary: There are professing believers that steal the joy and klll the fellowship of a congregation by being so unwilling to do anything b/c they disagree with what or how things are being done...
Date Written: August 19, 2009
Date Preached: August 23, 2009
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Sermon Series: Murder and Robbery in the Fellowship!
Sermon Title: The “That’s Not My Gift” Believer!
Sermon Text: Mark 5:1-20 [NASB]
So far over the past 3 weeks we have seen how legalism, apathy and a negative attitude and approach to ministry can be greatly destructive within the body of Christ.
When believers do or say things that tear at the fabric of the fellowship, we hurt our witness to the world around us. As I said last week, our approach to ministry must be above reproach, as James said, PURE and GENUINE…
Today I want to address another believer who has the tendency to kill the fellowship and steal the joy of a church and that is the “that’s not my gift” OR the “I can’t do that…” believer.
This type of believer does not sound too dangerous, but WOW! - it can really hinder God at work in the life of the church – and this morning I want us to take a look at story in the Gospel of Mark and we are going to focus in on a person in that story... the Garaseian Demoniac.
We all like stories right? Well, this is a great story - lets look at Mark 5:1-20
1 Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the region of the Gerasenes. 2 As soon as He got out of the boat, a man with an unclean spirit came out of the tombs and met Him. 3 He lived in the tombs. No one was able to restrain him any more—even with chains — 4 because he often had been bound with shackles and chains, but had snapped off the chains and smashed the shackles. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 And always, night and day, he was crying out among the tombs and in the mountains and cutting himself with stones. 6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and knelt down before Him. 7 And he cried out with a loud voice, "What do You have to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You before God, don’t torment me!" 8 For He had told him, "Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!" 9 "What is your name?" He asked him. "My name is Legion," he answered Him, "because we are many." ...pause after verse 9 and explain the story
This passage has all elements of a great story… it has drama, intrigue, mystery, danger, confrontation, a classic struggle between good and evil and finally a happy ending.
We find this man who is tormented by demons… cutting himself, living in a cemetery, and strong enough to scare everyone else away! Now today if we were to see such a man, we may say that he was tormented by mental illness…or some sort of chemical imbalance in his brain that caused him to act like he did…
I believe fully in the idea of demon possession because Satan is a strong enemy and he has many minions that he uses to attack us. But I also know that mental illness has long been associated with the possession on demons.
And quite frankly it makes NO difference if it was actual demon possession OR mental illness… JESUS healed this man and brought him back to his right mind! Jesus delivered him from his malady and restored peace to his heart and soul.
Another aspect to this part of the story is found in v.2 when it tells us that Jesus got out of the boat. It mentions no one else getting out of the boat, only Jesus. Now this tells us that Jesus initiated the contact…that Jesus went TO this man! He may have been raving about on the shoreline BUT Jesus got out of the boat and went to him!
This reveals something wonderful about our Savior… He comes after us… He is proactive in his seeking… Likewise he got out of the boat and went TO this man with the evil spirit.
No matter how far gone we may believe someone has ventured… they are NEVER too far from the reach of our Savior. He is ready and willing to step out of the boat and into saving those in need!
10 And he kept begging Him not to send them out of the region. 11 Now a large herd of pigs was there, feeding on the hillside. 12 The demons begged Him, "Send us to the pigs, so we may enter them." 13 And He gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs, and the herd of about 2,000 rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned there. 14 The men who tended them ran off and reported it in the town and the countryside, and people went to see what had happened. 15 They came to Jesus and saw the man who had been demon-possessed by the legion, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16 The eyewitnesses described to them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and [told] about the pigs. 17 Then they began to beg Him to leave their region. 18 As He was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed kept begging Him to be with Him. 19 But He would not let him; instead, He told him, "Go back home to your own people, and report to them how much the Lord has done for you and how He has had mercy on you." 20 So he went out and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and they were all amazed.