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by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.


A sermon preached at the Fundamentalist Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Morning, January 21, 2001


"Return to thine own house, and shew how great things
God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and 
published throughout the whole city how great things
Jesus had done unto him" (Luke 8:39).                    

My family and I heard twelve sermons in ten days. I preached four of those sermons on two Sundays, and Rev. John S. Waldrip preached eight of them, in a series of evangelistic meetings at our church. Then we took last Wednesday night off. We went out to eat and then came home to watch television - for the first time in nearly two weeks. I brought out a video my friend Ed Gallick made for me, and we watched it. It was a recording of two Billy Graham crusade meetings, which were aired on TV in Los Angeles on December 8 and 9, 2000. Afterwards, I said, "Isn't that like a preacher? You hear twelve sermons in ten days, and when you finally take a night off, you hear two more sermons!" My boys laughed, but they enjoyed it as much as I did.
Billy Graham is a great preacher. It is tragic that he got fouled up back in the late 1950's when he came into fellowship with liberals. It is also a great shame that he confuses the gospel and makes salvation so unclear in recent years. A long-time friend of mine, Bill Sutton, has been a Billy Graham fan for many years. He heard Graham on Larry King a few months ago, and he said to me, "I was shocked. He had a great opportunity to give the gospel on prime-time secular TV, but instead he said that if people were good enough, they could get to Heaven without believing the gospel. What a shame." I agree with Bill Sutton. Billy Graham preaches a confusing gospel today. I heard him give the sermon I am going to preach this morning without clearly stating the gospel even one time. My boy Wesley noticed this, and so did I. But the outline was interesting, so I want to give it to you this morning. I am only using Billy Graham’s outline, but I am giving my own exposition of the points. I will do my best to make sure the actual gospel is made clear in my version of this message.
Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee to the country of the Gadarenes. My wife and I have been there. It was a small town. The modern city of Khersa is now located there. Evangelical commentator John MacArthur says, "Some ancient tombs are there, and the shoreline descends steeply into the water, exactly matching the description of the terrain in this account" (MacArthur Study Bible, note on Matthew 8:28). You can see the tombs on the side of the hill. You can see the slope of the hill, where the pigs ran down into the sea. It's all there, even today.
Now, when Jesus arrived at this city, a wild man ran out toward him. He lived in the tombs. He was demon possessed. He was called "Legion." A Roman legion consisted of six thousand soldiers. This man could have had six thousand demons living in him. He was certainly controlled by a large number of demons.
Yes, I believe in demons - and in the Devil. The Bible teaches that they are real. This man was tormented by demons. Many young people today are also tormented by Satanic forces. They may not even know that it's demons that are telling them to commit sin, and miss church. But these evil spirits are at work today. The demons want to destroy you - like they were destroying this man. He was alone in the tombs. That's where the Devil wants you. He promises you everything, but in the end you will be alone among the dead - in Hell.
Now this passage in Luke, chapter eight, has three prayers in it. They are very interesting prayers.


I. Notice the first prayer, the prayer of the demons.

Turn to Luke 8:31,
"And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep" (Luke 8:31).

That was a strange prayer. Those hundreds of demons spoke out of the man's mouth and prayed for Jesus not to send them "out into the deep," into the bottomless pit, spoken of in Revelation 20:3. They said, "If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine" (Matthew 8:31).

Those demons knew how horrible it is in Hell. They wanted to be cast into hogs, and live in the bodies of those pigs, rather than go to Hell.
Hell is a horrible place. And it is very real. Over and over the Bible warns us about Hell. Jesus said:
"The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 13:41-42).

Jesus warned us over and over about Hell. In fact, Jesus spoke more about Hell than anyone else in the entire Bible.

You may say, "I have plenty of time. I'm young." But the other night I read a gospel tract, which was sent to me by Dr. Arthur B. Houk. It was written by Paul J. Levin. Here's what it said:
 "I Have Plenty of Time…"
     A girl we'll call Mary was 19. She was invited to hear me preach and to be saved.                                        
     "I don't have time for that now," she said. "Besides, there'll be plenty of time for that."                            
     The next night, while I was preaching nearby, Mary's car skidded out of control and slammed into another auto. She died instantly.                                                 
     "I don't have time for that now." Fearful words! No time to think about God or death or judgment or eternity or her soul!
     "There'll be plenty of time for that." Little did she realize when she spoke those words that she was only hours from eternity.
The Bible says, "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). Life is uncertain. Death is often sudden. This may be your last warning.
"Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth" (Proverbs 27:1).

Someday soon it will be too late for you to get saved. Hell will open its mouth to receive you - into the open flames forever.

The demons prayed to Jesus not to send them "into the deep." They did not want to go to Hell yet. They were willing to live in pigs - anything - to keep out of Hell a little longer.
I caution you tonight: turn to Jesus Christ. Be cleansed from your sins by His Blood. Jesus died on the Cross to pay for your sins. He shed His Blood so your sins could be washed away. He rose from the dead, literally and physically. Today, He is alive in Heaven, on the right side of God. You can believe in Him, and Jesus will forgive you and save you now. Don't wait! Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ - and do it now!


II. Then, secondly, there was the prayer of the multitude.

Notice Luke 8:37,
"Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them" (Luke 8:37).
This prayer was even more strange than the first one. Here was this maniac who had terrified them for a long time seated in his right mind. They could now go to the tombs of their ancestors without being afraid of him. But they were not grateful to Jesus. They did not thank Him. Instead, they prayed that Jesus would go away and leave them alone.
Many people are like that today. You don't want to come back to church. You don't want to think about Christ. You want to be left alone. And someday soon God will leave you - alone. God said, "My spirit shall not always strive with man" (Genesis 6:3). There comes a time when God no longer speaks to you. He leaves you alone.
That's what happened to the people spoken of in Romans one. The Bible says,
"God…gave them up" (Romans 1:24).
"For this cause God gave them up" (Romans 1:26).
"And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind" (Romans 1:28).
And that can happen to you as well. The Bible says, "Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone" (Hosea 4:17).
"They shall go…to seek the Lord; but they shall not find him; he hath withdrawn himself from them" (Hosea 5:6).
And that's exactly what Jesus did - He withdrew from those people. And Jesus never again went back there! They prayed for Him to leave and He did. They never had another opportunity to be saved. They never heard from Christ again. He was gone - and they were left alone - in answer to their strange prayer. There’s a verse in the Bible that describes what happened to them:
"He gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul" (Psalm 106:15).
How about you? Will you leave this church this morning, and when they call you to come back, will you say, "Leave me alone"? If you are so foolish that you do that, you might very well never have another opportunity. You may be left alone by Jesus Christ forever! Oh, come back to church! And come to Christ while you can! Don't be a fool like those people were!


III. But, then, thirdly, there was the prayer of the saved man.

It’s recorded in Luke 8:38,
"Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him…" (Luke 8:38).

This man wanted to stay with Christ and go along with Him. He prayed for that. But Jesus said "no" in verse thirty-nine. Christ told him,

"Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee" (Luke 8:39).
When you get saved, Jesus doesn't take you to Heaven immediately. He leaves you on earth - to become a member of a church like this one. He leaves you here on earth to work for Him in and through a local church like this. Christ wants you to learn how to be a soul-winner, so you can bring others to church to hear the gospel and be saved. Christ leaves you on earth to become His disciple in and through the local church.
This simple account tells us how a man got saved. He got saved by simply believing in Jesus. When the man believed in Jesus, his sins were forgiven and he was in his right mind again. You will find that you have peace with God and peace in your heart when you believe in Jesus. The Bible says, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31).
Jesus Christ died on the Cross to pay for your sins. Christ shed His Blood on the Cross so your sins could be washed away. Christ rose literally and bodily from the dead. He ascended into Heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God. And Jesus loves you. He is not angry with you. Right now, you can believe in Jesus and He will forgive your sins and save you from a life of sin, exactly as He forgave and saved the man we just read about in the Bible.
From home and friends the evil spirits drove him,          
     Among the tombs he dwelt in misery;           
He cut himself as demon pow'rs possessed him,              
     Then Jesus came and set the captive free.           
When Jesus comes the Tempter's power is broken;             
When Jesus comes the tears are wiped away.                  
He takes the gloom and fills the life with glory,                
For all is changed when Jesus comes to stay.                  
          ("Then Jesus Came" by Oswald J. Smith and Homer Rodeheaver).


Scripture Read Before Sermon: Luke 8:26-39.

Solo by Benjamin Kincaid Griffith: "Then Jesus Came"
                                              by Oswald J. Smith and Homer Rodeheaver

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by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

"Return to thine own house, and shew how great things
God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and 
published throughout the whole city how great things
Jesus had done unto him" (Luke 8:39).                    


    1. The prayer of the demons, Luke 8:31; Matthew 13:41-42; Hebrews 9:27; Proverbs 27:1.
    2. The prayer of the multitude, Luke 8:37; Genesis 6:3; Romans 1:24,26,28; Hosea 4:17; Hosea 5:6;    Psalm 106:15.
    3. The prayer of the saved man, Luke 8:38-39; Acts 16:31.