A Scary Story
C.S. Lewis, a Christian philosopher said there are 2 views that you can have about devils. One is to refuse to believe that they exist, the other is to have too much interest in them. The Bible is clear that there are not only demons but a Devil. Satan is described in Scripture as a roaring lion roaming to and fro seeking whom he may devour. But the Bible also says “Greater is HE that is in YOU, than He that is in the world” So we come to the Scripture this morning and discover here a story where good and evil make a classic confrontation, and we see the inevitable result.
1. The Scary thing about Evil is the End Effect
5:1 They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. 2 When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him. 3 This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain. 4 For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.
Misery, anxiety, and destruction are what the Devil brings into a relationship. There is no one who wins in bargains with the Devil, he takes everything. Your plans, your dreams, your hope, your peace. He doesn’t play fair, in fact He doesn’t play. For Satan, it’s not a matter of life and death, it’s a matter of death.
As I read this passage I have to wonder, how did this man end up here?
2. Evil gets Scared when Jesus Shows Up
6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. 7 He shouted at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won't torture me!" 8 For Jesus had said to him, "Come out of this man, you evil spirit!"
9 Then Jesus asked him, "What is your name?"
"My name is Legion," he replied, "for we are many." 10 And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.
11 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. 12 The demons begged Jesus, "Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them." 13 He gave them permission, and the evil spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.
3. The Only Alternative to Believing is Living in Fear
14 Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 15 When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16 Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man-and told about the pigs as well. 17 Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.
Worry does not relieve tomorrow of its stress—it merely empties today of its strength.
The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.
Here is a part of the story that we wish were not there. The people wanted nothing to do with Jesus.
A redeemed life is a miracle! Can God really save that thoroughly?
The activity of God had interrupted their life, it had interrupted their economy. Jesus solve the source of their fear, but they chose to remain in fear.
Threats in this world are real. If you’re not serving God, unfortunately you have to look after #1…Think of the loss…when you follow your own..way…when you partner with the devil’s purposes….
Anxiety, Fear, Depression, Suspicion, Hate, Anger, Self-Interest, No hope, No peace, No assurance of the future, destruction, Temporal pleasure, but ultimate dissatisfaction.
But the alternative is so much better
John tells us “In Him was life, and that life was the light of men”
Later Jesus tells us “I have come that they might have life, and have it more abundantly”
David said of Jesus “You have made known to me the paths of life, and will fill me with joy in Your presence”
4. Jesus can Bring Purpose to a Scary Past
18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19 Jesus did not let him, but said, "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you." 20 So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.
The words of Jesus were true, “to him that is forgiven much, the same loves much”
The Lord said to Jeremiah: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare2 and not for evil, xto give you a future and a hope.
Paul told the Corinthians………..2 Corinthians 1:10
10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us,
I don’t know if you are afraid today, afraid of the future, , but Jesus said FEAR NOT for I am with you.
Leave them there! Leave them there! Take your burden to the Lord and leave them there!
Jesus Christ is here today to welcome you into His family. Jesus said I stand at the door and knock, if anyone will open the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me,
Paul the apostle said if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus Christ, and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you will be saved.
You may say “I’ll wait, there is still time” Scripture encourages us, Now is the accepted time, now is the day of Salvation, we’re not promised tomorrow, but we can have a God that will be with us in all of our tomorrows.
Kenneth W. Osbeck, Amazing Grace : 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions, Includes Indexes. (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Kregel Publications, 1990), 217.
2 Or peace
x ch. 31:17
The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Je 29:11.