Summary: There is no such thing as the perfect church member. A sermon with three monologues: The Insane Demoniac, the Adulterous Woman, the Former Heavy Weight Champion Persecutor of the Church.
Welcome Our Newest Members: “The Insane Demoniac, The Adulterous Woman, and The Former Heavy Weight Champion Persecutor of the Church.”
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. (Hebrews 12:1 NLT)
Intro: Today we are thankful to welcome three new members into our church. It is exciting to be part of a growing church.
Each new member will bring new gifts into our common fellowship and church community.
As new members…, they enter into a covenant to use their talents and gifts to strengthen the ministries of this church and to grow the Kingdom of God.
Also, as members of the household of faith…, we represent a huge crowd of people whose faithfulness…, is a constant encouragement to us. We do not struggle alone…, but we are surrounded by a crowd of witnesses to the life of faith. We are not the first to face temptations,
we are not the first to have problems…, We are not the first to struggle with sin, and so that understanding helps us to strip away the old trials and temptations and the weight of sin.
And helps us to see that as believers we are a lot more alike than different…
This congregation vows to love and care for these newest members. To do all we can in our power to increase their faith, and confirm their hope, and perfect them in love.
So let me introduce to you and welcome our first newest member. He comes to us as a resident of Gadara, one of the cities of Decapolis. He has lived most of his recent life, out near the lake, not far from the old Gerasenes Cemetery.
I invite him to step forward and share his testimony at this time.
I. The Insane Demoniac
So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns of that region and began to tell everyone about the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them. (Mark 5:20 NLT)
Let us put our hands together and make welcome The Insane Demoniac:
“I want to thank Jesus for saving me. It is true that I was once possessed with over a thousand demons. I really don’t know how my life got into such a mess. But sin can be powerful and destructive. I guess it started out with curiosity. I just wanted to see what it would be like. Then it was not just one foul habit that I had.., but I found myself addicted to more and more and sinful things. The worst part of it was that even when I realized what I was doing was wrong, and I wanted to change…, I didn’t know how to change and I couldn’t do it by myself.
Some of my family and friends wanted to help…, but they just thought I didn’t want to help myself. Some thought I was crazy…, that I was insane. Some thought I was just making excuses and that if I really wanted to change that I could. But as much as I wanted to change at times, I couldn’t do it alone. Some people tried to help me but even their help was no match for the habits…, the addictions and chains that held me. I could go for days…, sometimes even weeks or month at a time, but then I would relapse. I would go on another binge. It seemed like every time things would just get worse and worse in my life.
Finally it felt like my family and friends had given up on me. My family stopped coming by to check on me and my friends stopped returning my phone calls. That is when things went from bad to really worse. I didn’t think it could get any worse but it did. That’s when I started living among the dead.
My friends couldn’t help me anymore. My life was completely out of control. My life became so bad and self destructive that I would walk about the graves and tombs… I would walk along the hillsides screaming, hitting myself with rocks and stones… I wanted to die.
But then one day a man by the name of Jesus came along.
I immediately knew who he was.
To be honest I didn’t want him to be anywhere near me.
When he came by I ran out and started screaming.
I was yelling for him to leave me alone
To stop bothering me.
I begged him to give up on me…
But Jesus did not give up on me.
In fact Jesus helped get rid of all the demons out of my life.