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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...

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Date Written: August 19, 2009

Date Preached: August 23, 2009

Where Preached: OPBC (AM)

Sermon Details:

Sermon Series: Murder and Robbery in the Fellowship!

Sermon Title: The “That’s Not My Gift” Believer!

Sermon Text: Mark 5:1-20 [NASB]

Introduction:

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.


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