Who You Worship Matters

Mark 5:6 But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshiped him.

One of my favorite things is an ice cream Sundae. Do you know that this desert came about because of Christian influence? In Evanston, Illinois the city fathers passed an ordinance that forbade the mixing of ice cream sodas (which was ice cream, syrup, and soda water) on Sunday, the Lord’s Day. Yet people still wanted their ice cream after Church. So the Soda Fountain decided to sell ice cream and syrup without the soda water as a “Sunday Soda”. This became pretty popular, and eventually people would ask for “Sunday Sodas” during the week. Town Officials objected to naming the dish after the Lord’s Sabbath, so the spelling was modified – the “y” became an “e”. It has been that way ever since.

There was a time when Christians in America affected America, bringing change by the lives they lived. Yet the trend has reversed in past years. Now it seems that the darkness is influencing the light. I was reading Webb Garrison’s book called What’s In A Word, where he studies the etymology or origins of words. Do you know that the word “AWFUL” was originally developed to describe how awe inspiring God is. Garrison stated:

“In order to express the fact that God fills people with reverent awe, {Bible} translators who worked in the 11th century used such phrases as “God … mighty and aweful!” (Deuteronomy 10:17). Pushed into English through the impact of Scripture the vivid term slowly degenerated …. The once powerful term for reverence {of God} is now used in such phrases as “an awful mistake” and “awful case of flu”.

The darkness took hold of and twisted the Light.

There was a time – according to Garrison – that people upon leaving a home said “May God be with you”. By Shakespeare’s day the phrase was shortened to “God buy you”. As secularization took over eventually even that phrase was compacted to what we say today – “good-bye” – taking God out of the phrase entirely. People say “what’s wrong with that”? What’s wrong with it is that the farther we get away from God and His Christ, the coarser and more confused as a society we become.

Without Christ we turn to drugs and alcohol for comfort and peace.
Without Christ we turn to the arms of a stranger to feel loved, then feel compelled to abort the child of that union.
Without Christ we do not feel beautiful, so instead we move toward lewd dress and strange behavior in order to get attention.
Without Christ we do not feel of value, so we behave in strange ways and do wrong things to get attention and the value we think we deserve.

Who or what you worship matters. We need the Lord!

Consider First Of All The Poor Demon Possessed Man

When Jesus told His disciples “get in the ship – we must go to the other side” they probably thought He was going to preach in an other city. I’m sure they didn’t expect to see a madman – THE madman – of Gadarenes. The Bible tells us:

Mark 5:2 And when {Jesus} was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,

This Man Now Understands That “The Wages Of Sin Is Death”, For He Is Living Among The Tombs.

Death is his companion, and corpses his best friends. He whispers to the caskets, and gains advise from the dead. The Bible does not tell us his name, but tells us that he is “a man with an unclean spirit”. He rejected God’s Holy Spirit, and turned away from the preaching of His Word. He had no time for God, and ran away from what God wanted him to be.

You see, Genesis 1:26-27 reveals,

“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness’ … So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

God made us in His image. The best way to explain this is to use a mirror. When you look in a mirror you don’t see you, but you see your image. God made us with the capability of reflecting His Godness. We were made to reflect His love. We were made to reflect His creativity. As we gaze upon Him He shines through us. We become more and more like God and His beauty as we draw near to worship Him. God made us to reflect Him, because He is the best that there is. We were not made to reflect ourselves. When we reflect ourselves it is like two mirrors facing each other, showing an endless corridor into nothingness. We were not made to reflect things, or to even reflect family. We were made to reflect God.

Anything else brings us to the tombs, and to self destructive behavior.

How did this poor man get to the state he is in? No one wakes up one day and says:

I think I’ll kill my child by abortion
I think I’ll sell my body for money
I think I’ll rob people to feed my drug habit
I think I’ll drink and drive and kill another person

This poor man got where he is – in the tombs – because he did like many people do. He drifted away from God. He made small, godless choices that led him to where he is now. Jesus is afar off because he chose this life – and now he is trapped in it.

“I do not need God nor His guidance. I do not need Jesus. It’s my life, my body, and I can do what I want. Christianity cramps my style, and robs me of fun. The Bible was written by men, not God. I am free to do what I want.”

The man did what he wanted. He rejected God. He turned away from the Church that Christ died for, and rejected the Old Rugged Cross. The man is in the tombs. Just what God said would be true. He told us:

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The wages of sin is always DEATH. This man is in the Tombs. He resides in death.

The World Cannot Fix What It Has Done To This Man. This man is dwelling among the tombs. What is the world’s solution?

Mark 5:3-4 (KJV) Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: [4] Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.

Have you ever noticed that the know it all world, the godless world, can make pronouncements but cannot fix anything? It really can’t.

The preachers of evolution say that we evolved from monkeys, that we were not created in the image of God. If that is the case, if survival of the fittest is the truth, then why do we imprison murderers and rapists? Is not the murder doing what the lion does in the jungle when it kills the lesser lion? Is not the rapist doing what the bobcat does when it takes it’s mate? Nobody in their right mind would believe this, but the Darwinist pronouncement – carried to its logical conclusion – would destroy civilization.

The preachers of humanism cannot fix this man. The humanist says “all people are basically good”. This man is running around in the tombs. He is not good. He is anarchy, a terror, a Dr Hyde exposed. No man could tame him. No medicine can cure him.

This Man Cannot Fix What He Has Done To Himself. His rejection of God and His Word has not brought him happiness. We are told:

Mark 5:5 And ALWAYS, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.

The man is miserable! The Bible says that ALWAYS NIGHT AND DAY he was in the mountains and in the tombs. The man went to the mountains and went to the tombs. The “High Places” was where the ancients often went to seek out God. He went to the mountains seeking God.

Do you know that in America today a large number of Americans identify themselves as “spiritual but not religious.” This man was “spiritual but not religious”. He went to the mountains to worship whatever, but at the end of the day he was still down in the tombs crying.

The man was CUTTING himself with stones. This is a common practice in America today, the cutting of the flesh with something sharp. Those who study the mind say that cutting an evidence of depression and perhaps a precursor to suicide. It is not normal behavior. It is the action of a life surrendered to the flesh, surrendered to sin.

The Beginning Of Life Is To Come To The Author Of Life, Jesus Christ. 

Mark 5:6 But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,

This man got into a terrible state by running from God. But now, seeing Jesus afar off, he ran TO Jesus. Getting to Jesus he worshiped the Lord. Christ can change any life brought to Him, but the life that comes to Him must be surrendered.

There can be no TRUCE between God and man. You do not go to the doctor, hear his diagnosis, then begin to debate with him. The doctor knows what is best. If you want to be healed, you must heed what he and he alone says, sign the papers, and put yourself in his hands. Even so, the same is true of the Lord.

Jesus Does Not Bid You Clean Yourself Up THEN Come To Him.

Jesus did not tell this man “Go home, get cleaned up, THEN come back to Me.” No! He says “Come Unto Me, All Ye That Are Heavy Laden, And I Will Give You Rest”. If we could have fixed ourselves then Jesus would never have come. We are broken. We are sinners. The Bible says:

Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

We are broken. Our good works apart from Christ are filthy.

Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Isaiah 45:21-23 …. there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. [22] Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. [23] I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

This man could not even speak coherently, but he saw Jesus afar off, ran to Him, and WORSHIPED Him. He bowed the knee to Jesus, the Great Physician. When you bow the knee to Jesus He can work. Jesus said:

Matthew 9:12-13 (KJV) … They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Our Lord Jesus came to call SINNERS to repentance. He came to save the lost. He came for those who make bad decisions, and because of these bad decisions are now in miserable, tomblike lives. He came for this man, and for every person who realizes their bad decisions have gotten them into terrible places. He worshiped Jesus with his body, though his tongue was bound by Legion.

When We Repent, Jesus The Great Physician
Can Do His Miraculous Work

Even as this man worships the Lord I want you to notice the struggle. That evil force which was within the man …

Mark 5:7 …. cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.

The devil dreads the contact of Christ. “What have I to do with You, Jesus, You Son of the Most High God?”. Why? Because Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil:

1 John 3:8 … He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

Christ loves light, Satan loves darkness.
Christ works life, Satan works death.
Christ is Love, Satan is hate.
Christ is Goodness, Satan is evil.
Christ is Truth, Satan is falsehood.
Christ is God and Satan pretends to be god

God lifted up dust in the Garden of Eden and gave made this dust into His image, giving man rule over all of the earth. Man lifted up himself and found him and his wife expelled from Eden, subject to the sin they said “yes” to.

Jesus Christ came to destroy the works of the devil, the crushed and enslaved souls of his victims. Shame on the Christian who compromises with evil. Shame on you! Jesus does not compromise with Satan. Legion who conquered this man by his appetites now cowers like a dog before Jesus. And Jesus tells him:

Mark 5:8 ….. Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.

There is no compromise between the Great Physician and the cancer of sin. He does not misdiagnose evil, but puts the scalpel of Grace on it. “Come out of that man”!

Sexual sinner – cease!
Degenerate with alcohol – come out!
Abuser of others – cut it out!
Hater and racist – into the garbage!

The unclean spirit must meet the knife of God’s Holy Spirit, the Sword of the Lord. Watch as Jesus operates!

No Sinner Is Too Lost For Jesus.

Mark 5:9 {Jesus} asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for WE ARE MANY.

This man was bound by LEGION. A Roman LEGION consisted of 3000-6000 armed men. There were literally THOUSANDS of spirits possessing this man, yet they all worked together in one accord. “My NAME is Legion”. There is a unity among evil – Legion though many moved as one.

Evil is undivided, and so Christ’s Church must be too. We hear of Christians quarreling and Church fights, but demons never fight among themselves. They know their purpose is to follow Satan and to secure the damnation of souls.

“Legion” speaks of united purpose. They were not playing, but dressed for battle and taking the field. The devil watches, waits, and is prepared to attack at a moment’s notice. Legion’s army marches with banners – EDEN, BABEL, EGYPT and perhaps soon AMERICA. Where God’s people are not united and listening to their Commander Jesus Christ defeat is sure. Legion follows Lucifer, we MUST follow Christ. Legion asked Jesus …

Mark 5:10 {Legion} besought {Jesus} much that he would not send them away out of the country.

Evil loves to hang around. Legion didn’t want to be sent out of the country, so instead sought others that were compromising with wickedness. God told the Israelites not to eat pork products. Though God lifted this restriction after the resurrection of Christ (See Acts 10:11-15) at this time in human history eating pork was still a no no. Why? Because God said so.

If God says so, we are to be so.
If God says no, we are to not do it.

Yet there were a bunch of liberals raising pig meat. There was a herd of pigs raised by a herd of compromisers. Legion said:

Mark 5:12-13 And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. [13] And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.

Notice the unity of evil and it’s destructive power. ALL the devils besought Jesus – send us into the swine. ALL the herd – once possessed – ran to the sea and drowned. This is where evil and compromise with evil lies. Evil destroys. It takes away life. It robs of profit. We are never to compromise with evil, but to turn it over to Jesus so He can get it out of us.

Blessed be His Name!

Those Saved By Jesus Are Marked By
A Love For Jesus And A Changed Life.

Having cast out the evil from this man thye Bible tells us that:

Mark 5:18 {When Jesus} was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him.

The Great C.H. Spurgeon wrote:

“Jesus said “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit.” And now look at him! He has been washed, he has put on some garments, though he has not worn any for years, and he sits down at the feet of Jesus, calmly, collectedly. And when he gets up, he falls on his knees to pray! And what is his petition? “Lord, let me be with You. Do not send me away from You. You have done so much for me, let me always abide with You. Let me loose the laces of Your shoes. Let me wash Your feet. Let me be the servant of the servants of my Lord. Let me do what You will, only let me stay with You.” Is not that a wonderful change? It is just the same with us who have come to Christ! Once we wanted to get away from Him, but now that we know Him, we cannot get near enough to Him!”

I understand this man’s heart, as does every Christian saved by His grace. I can hardly wait to be with Jesus, to see Him face to face. Like the Apostle Paul I say:

2 Corinthians 5:8-9 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. [9] Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.

I know Jesus is with me now. Has He not promised “I will never leave you nor forsake you”? (Hebrews 13:5). There is nothing in this life I love more than my Jesus, and I long to be with Him. It’s like that old song:

Beulah Land, I’m longing for you
And some day on thee I’ll stand
And there my home shall be eternal
Beulah Land, sweet Beulah Land

I long for that land because my Lord is there. This man said “Lord, I want to be with you”. But the Lord told him:

Mark 5:19-20 Howbeit Jesus {said no}, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. [20] And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.

Jesus said tell others what I have done for you. Tell somebody. Tell your friends, and those you meet. And this man – once a wild man – went to Decapolis – the Ten Cities – and PUBLISHED how great things Jesus did for him.

If you are born again, you were left on this earth to tell others of Jesus. Of His grace. Of His mercy. To tell others that

Romans 5:6-9 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

Will you come?

A teen was at the beach with his friends. He was in trouble in the water but didn’t call out for help. A lifeguard noticed his struggle and rescued him. He asked, “You were drowning. Why didn’t you cry out?” He replied “What would my friends have thought?” If you need Jesus and refuse to come I don’t know what your friends will think – but I know the devil will rejoice.