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Sermon:
MAKING A RADICAL CHANGE
By:
Bro. Dale Leacock
Date:
November 5, 2000

TEXT: Luke 8:26-39. -26- They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. -27- When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. -28- When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don't torture me!" -29- For Jesus had commanded the evil spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.

-30- Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" "Legion," he replied, because many demons had gone into him. -31- And they begged him repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss. -32- A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into them, and he gave them permission. -33- When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned. -34- When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside,

-35- and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus' feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. -36- Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured. -37- Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left. -38- The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39"Return home and tell how much God has done for you." So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.

INTRODUCTION:

Much as mentally troubled people live under bridges today, this disturbed man had fled society to live in the tombs. Cemeteries in the ancient world were located far from town, because people feared the spirits of the dead. The man was violent and uncontrollable, and he greeted Jesus with bizarre behavior. Jesus, rather than avoiding him, went straight to the heart of his problem

CENTRAL THESIS:

As this man sought to make a radical change we to can do the same by following the principles that he exhibited.

I.   RECOGNIZE TRUTH

  1. Here was a man who was in a possessed state
  2. Here was a man who even in that state recognized who Jesus was
  3. Acts 16:16 Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. -17- This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved."
  4. Even the Devils believe and tremble.
  5. Do you believe in God and the truth of His Word?

II.   RECOGNIZE THAT JESUS HAS THE POWER TO HELP

  1. He recognized that Jesus could do something about His condition
    • His condition was severe that he could not be restrained even with chains
    • His condition was so severe that he was forced to live in a solitary place
  2. Legion - His problem was great
  3. Even the Demons are powerless - Haitian - we do not fear Voodoo because Christ is greater than any power of the Devil.
  4. What is your condition?
  5. Jesus can help you if you reach out to Him.

III.   RECOGNIZE A NEW PATH

  • People were curious - faith healers tend to attract many out of curiosity
  • People were amazed at what a change came over the man
  • Christ still has the power to transform lives
  • You have to want to take a new path
  • Fear often makes people run away from the best things - "begged Jesus to leave."

IV.   RECOGNIZE OUR NEED TO SHARE

  • The truly converted wants to avail himself/herself of every opportunity to grow - He wanted to go with Jesus.
  • The truly converted want to share their faith with others
  • The best place is to share with those who we know and know us - Jesus sent him back home.
  • The best testimony is a transformed life.

CONCLUSION:

  • What is your condition today?
  • The saddest situation is the person who is unwilling to acknowledge their need for help
  • The best person is the one who recognizes their need, Christ's ability to meet that need, the new life that He can give and is willing to share it with others.
  • Christ wants to change you today.

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