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(ALONG CAME JESUS)
S C R I P T U R E - St. LUKE 8:35                                        JULY, 1995

THEN THEY WENT OUT TO SEE WHAT WAS DONE, AND THEY CAME TO JESUS, AND FOUND THE MAN, OUT OF WHOM THE DEVILS WERE DEPARTED, SITTING AT THE FEET OF JESUS, CLOTHED, AND IN HIS RIGHT MIND: AND THEY WERE AFRAID

SUBJECT - AND, ALONG CAME JESUS!

In one of the most stirring stories of deliverance, recorded in the Bible, we see the effect and power of the Lord Jesus Christ, on a man, that was as far gone, as you can pos-sibly get, spiritually, mentally and physically. (verses 26 - 40)

In this story, there is a man, whose real name was not given, but who was referred to as 'legion'. As you read the account of this story, it tells about a man, that was sooo... possessed with devils, that he wandered around in the graveyards, picking up stones, and cutting himself (no doubt, trying to kill himself). We don't know when this state of being, came on him, but we do know that he had been this way for a long time. He was well known, among the people in the area. This demonic possession, was so strong, that on several oc-casions, after the people had tried to tie him up, in all manner of things, from ropes to chains (ST. MARK 5:3-4), he broke free. He never seemed to harm anyone, or at least the Bible doesn't say so. He more or less kept to himself, and sought to harm only himself. The future of this man, was hopeless. There was nothing that anyone could do for him, because, the devils inside of him, had total control over him. Can you imagine the type of life this man must have lived??? Total isolation. No friends. No relatives. A fugitive. Suicidal. All that surrounds him, is the dead. People would run from him. There is no telling, what kind of food he ate. It was probably garbage. Everything about him, was repugnant. He was, to say the least, totally without any hope. BUT, ALONG CAME JESUS !!!

Jesus, having come to the area by ship, is walking past the place where this man is living, when the man, sees Him, and runs to Him, and worships Him. Now, this is strange. A man, controlled by demons, enemies of God, running to Him, and worshipping Him. Well, maybe it isn't so strange after all, when you look at it like this. Even in his most depressed, or oppressed state, there was a desire within him to be free. There was a battle raging on the inside, and in this instance, something down deep inside him, saw Jesus, as the answer to that desire. And in a moment of shear will, the man overcame the demonic force, and fought his way to Jesus. But, as soon as he got to Jesus, the demons took over, and cried out, and made it seem as if the man was speaking, and asked the Lord, not to torment him. Jesus, recognizing what was happening, commanded the demon to come out of the man. Jesus then asked the demon, what was his name. The demon said, "Legion, for we are many." After some conversation, Jesus allowed the demons to go into a herd of swine that was nearby, and the herd, ran down to the river, and drowned themselves. This let's you know, what the demons would do to you, if it were not for the fact that you have a mind. And as long as your mind is clear, you will not allow the demons to do to you, what they want to do. And your mind can only be clear, when God, is part of your life, because, without Him, you can do nothing, but be like those swine. Witnesses to this event, ran and told the townspeople what had happened, and they came and saw the man, now clothed and in his right mind. The man was delivered. He could now go on and lead a productive life in society. All of this, because Jesus came along. The man was so grateful, that he wanted to follow Jesus. But, the Lord told him to go to his home, and be a witness to what Jesus was able to do for him. As a result, the next time Jesus came to that town, many people came to see Him.

Throughout His ministry, here on earth, Jesus made a great difference in many peo ple's lives. We are talking about blind men, that had been blind for life, with no hope of ever seeing, but, ALONG CAME JESUS !! Deaf people, with no hope of hearing, but, ALONG CAME JESUS !! There was a man, that was lame, sitting at a pool, called Bethesda, trying to get healed, so he could walk. But, every time the opportunity came, someone else got in the pool before he did (ST. JOHN 5:2-9). It seemed like this man, would have to stay the way he was, but, ALONG CAME JESUS !! (ST. LUKE 7:12-15), tells of a widow, that has lost her only son. Her life, already in a shambles, because of the death of her husband, now, has to deal with the death of her son. She has nothing left, but, ALONG CAME JESUS !! Lazarus was dead, four days. Death is always final isn't it? But, ALONG CAME JESUS !! Time after time, when things seemed hopeless, and there was no way out, ALONG CAME JESUS !!

There are many stories like that in the Bible, but let's look at it from a different source, me. That's right, I was lost in sin. A pimp, hustler, forger, womanizer, gambler and more. Was on my way to hell, having a good time. Serving the devil on every hand. People would say, there is no hope for you. And guess what? I didn't care. I was enjoying myself. Wasn't even thinking about God, or Heaven, but, ALONG CAME JESUS !! And just like that man, legion, I ran to Him, and He changed my life. Now, when I tell people how I used to be, they can't believe it. They think I have been serving God, since I was a child, and that I am ignorant to what goes on, in the night life, and on the street. They try to run game on me, and think I don't know it. Big mistake. All of the old stuff, has passed away. Jesus did it. He changed my life. I couldn't do it on my own.

My point is that, no matter how torn up, twisted, afflicted, oppressed or depressed your life is, there is someone that can straighten it out for you. His name is Jesus Christ. You can't do it on your own. Unconsciously, that is what you want. You want to have peace of mind, joy, and most of all true love. But, you just can't seem to find it. You try drugs, and that doesn't help. You try Alcohol, and that doesn't do it. You try sex, and that can't stop it. Everything you put your hand to, falls apart. Sometimes, you feel like ending it all. You may have even attempted it, and that failed. You are just like 'legion.' You hang with the 'dead people, (a.k.a. the in crowd).' You are slowly trying to kill your-self, with all types of drugs. Just to get a few minutes or hours of peace. You try to sleep, but sleep escapes you. Why? Because, you are serving a taskmaster, whose only reward to his faithful servants, is eternal torment, both on earth, and in the lake of fire, and brimstone. Is that what you want!!!??? Are you satisfied with your life!!!??? If you are, YOU ARE A FOOL !!! Look at the 'big picture.' Eternal life, or eternal torment. Blessing or cursing. Peace of mind, or insanity. Life, or death. The choice is yours. God can't make it for you. I can't make it for you. You, like the man, have to muster up enough strength, to run to Jesus.

If you are tired, of serving the devil, and fighting to stay alive, and in your right mind, then Jesus wants you to know, that He is here, right now, knocking at the door of your heart. He is saying to you, "IF YOU WILL BUT OPEN THE DOOR FOR ME, I WILL COME IN TO YOU, AND SUP WITH YOU, AND YOU WITH ME." He is saying, He will come in, and abide with you, and in you. That means that He is there to stay. And if He is going to do that, He will clean your house (heart) first, by casting out the demons that are there, to influence your life, through your mind. He will renew your mind. All you have to do, is ask Him in. Say, 'JESUS, COME INTO MY HEART, AND BE LORD OF MY LIFE. TAKE CHARGE OF MY LIFE, AND USE ME TO YOUR GLORY. I BELIEVE IN YOUR VIRGIN BIRTH, DEATH ON THE CROSS, AND YOUR RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD.' With that simple prayer, you have begun a new life, in Christ. Even though you may not feel any different, all of the old things have passed away, and behold, all things are new. You are a new creation, in Him. All the old things have passed away, and behold, all things are new. That means that your record, the one that God has on your past life, up to this point, has been totally wiped out. As far as God is concerned, you have just been born. You are starting out brand new, just like a new born baby. That is one of the reasons why we use the term, 'born again.' Many times, the reason you act the way you do, is that deep down inside your being, the devil, is running a guilt trip on you. He is telling you, you're no good. Look at what you have done over your entire life. You are on your way to hell. You will never make it to Heaven. But, the devil is a liar, and the father of lies.

NEXT MONTH'S MESSAGE - RELIGIOUS SAYINGS, VS. BIBLE TRUTHS!!!

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