Back to Basics

Our small evangelical denomination (HNI) is asking us to get back to the basics. Recovering our roots involves old-fashioned testimony meetings, preaching hell and heaven with conviction, and calling people into His Kingdom with altar calls. I’ve been exploring some of my own evangelical origins. I was born into a family where both mom and dad’s families were deep south evangelicals. I left al lot of the tradition behind when I entered the charismatic movement in 1972. This sermon examines the roots of my faith and why I believe.

Choosing Hell

A young man was considered violent and dangerous by Mercer County jail officials. Jail coordinators gave him a release to travel to my place for anger management training. After his 16 hours with us, he asked me if I would see his little sister as a charitable counselee. I agreed and she called for an appointment.

Brandi was a beautiful 19-year-old who was wild as she was beautiful. I could tell she had bought into all our cultures’ values. I could also tell this would be my only chance to present Christ to her. I prayed as I spoke with her. She heard very little of what I had to say. When she spoke, it was only of shallow, meaningless things. Too soon the hour was up and I never saw her again.

I did, however, read about her “accomplishments” in the local newspaper. She was arrested for being with several kids that broke into a local tattoo parlor and stole tattooing instruments. She was arrested more than once for drug possession or possession of drug paraphernalia.

I opened this morning’s paper and saw her name again. She was found hiding in an abandoned garage, and arrested. Brandi was taken to the Sharon jail. About 2 am Sunday morning, 26-year old Brandi hung herself.

She was wild, unmanageable, lived a short, mostly meaningless life and now she was dead. More accurately, she was lost and she was dead. She never heard a gospel sermon. She never heard the truth of Christ’s love from a Sunday school teacher who loved her. Now she had to face the great creator of the universe without preparation. All she needed was the gospel of Jesus Christ shared by those who loved her. By the time I spoke with her at age 19, it was too late. The die was cast and the cement had hardened.

“But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” James 1:14,15



Sheepfold Ministries / July 15, 2007

pastor Phil Roland



Matt. 28:18-20

"There are many ways to share your faith in Christ with others.  Not all believers are evangelists, but each believer can share the Good News with the world."         pastor Phil

GREEK  =   euangelion =      EUAN-GEL-ION  =  Good News,

                   Shouter of Good News, Announcer of Good Tidings


Eight Reasons I am an Evangelical:


          A. Physical Birth

          B. Spiritual Birth – John 3:3-6 - (D. L. Moody Quote)

          “In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of

God unless he is born again." "How can a man be born when he is old?"

Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb

to be    born!"  Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the

kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.”



          A. Reach a “Bottoming Out” with Sin - (Drug Problem)

          B. Chose to kneel at Jesus’ Cross and “Own It”

                   1. Repent of your sins

                   2. Confess them to God and ask His forgiveness


III. I LOVE JESUS CHRIST – Matthew 22:36-40

"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'  This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

          A. I believe He’s alive! John 14:19b

               Because I live, you will live also.”

B. Make your Love for Him Personal

          C. Make your Love for Him Experiential



“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

          A. Go to where the “lost” live

          B. Make them disciples – (Life-long learners)


V. I LOVE THE WORD OF GOD - Psalm 119:102-105

“I have not departed from Your judgments, For You Yourself have taught me. How sweet are Your words to my taste, Sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way. Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.”

            A. Must read it regularly

          B. Must apply it’s principles into your life



          A. There is only one way to heaven – John 14:6

“Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we

know the way?"  Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No

one comes to the Father except through me.”

          B. Those who do not choose Jesus are lost – Matthew 25

                   1. Prepared Hearts  - Parable of 10 Virgins

                   2. Prepared Resources - Parable of Talents (Gold Bars)

                   3. Prepared Lives - Parable of Sheep and Goats

C. The fire is real. Eternity is real. - Mark 9:43-48

"If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life

maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall

never be quenched; "where 'Their worm does not die, And the fire is not

quenched.' "And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to

enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire

that shall never be quenched; "where 'Their worm does not die, And the fire

is not quenched.' "And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for

you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be

cast into hell fire; "where 'Their worm does not die, And the fire is not

quenched.'  See Isaiah 66:23,24



“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed; in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. . . .Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." "O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?" The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”



"The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified."



D. L. Moody Quote:



“Someday you will read in the papers that D.L. Moody of East Moorfield, Chicago is dead.  Don’t you believe a word of it!  At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now!  I shall have gone up higher, that is all;  out of this old clay tenement into a house that is immortal---- a body that death cannot touch; that sin cannot taint; a Body Fashioned like unto His Glorious Body.

    I was born of the flesh in 1837.

    I was born of the Spirit in 1856.

    That which is born of the flesh may die.

    That which is born of the Spirit will live FOREVER!”






Jesus had no servants, yet they called Him Master. 
Had no degree, yet they called Him Teacher. 


Had no homiletical training, yet was a riveting speaker.


Had no real estate and owned no buildings,

yet His followers are in the millions
Had no medical degrees, yet they called Him Healer. 
Had no army, yet kings feared Him. 
He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world. 
He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him. 
He was left for dead, buried in a tomb, yet He lives today. 
Feel honored to serve such a Leader who loves us.



Drug Problem


The other day, someone at a store in our town said that a methamphetamine lab had been found in an old farmhouse in the adjoining county and he asked me a rhetorical question, ''Why didn't we have a drug problem when you and I were growing up?''

I replied: I had a drug problem when I was young: 

I was drug to church on Sunday morning.

I was drug to church for weddings and funerals.
I was drug to family reunions and community socials no matter the weather.

I was drug by my ears when I was disrespectful to adults.

I was also drug to the woodshed when I disobeyed my parents, told a lie, brought home a bad report card, did not speak with respect, spoke ill of the teacher or the preacher, or if I didn't put forth my best effort in everything that was asked of me.

I was drug to the kitchen sink to have my mouth washed out with soap if I uttered a profane four-letter word.


I was drug out to pull weeds in mom's garden and flower beds and cockleburs out of dad's fields.


I was drug to the homes of family, friends, and neighbors to help out some poor soul who had no one to mow the yard, repair the clothesline, or chop some firewood; and, if my mother had ever known that I took a single dime as a tip for this kindness, she would have drug me back to the woodshed.


Those drugs are still in my veins; and they affect my behavior in everything I do, say, and think. They are stronger than cocaine, crack, or heroin; and, if today's children had  this kind of drug
America would be a better place...


Courtesy of Sheepfold Ministries, Author Unknown




The High Price of Sharing the Gospel

A pastor friend of mine was blindsided by a screening group of his fellow pastors as he attempted to step up the status ladder in his denomination’s ecclesiastical hierarchy. He answered a 70 page questionnaire about his theology and personal experiences as a minister. He was also required to include a CD of his preaching.

His interview team of peers roasted him for hours and challenged his preaching ability and style. Most never read his written material. They only reacted to his preaching style. When he analyzed it later, he realized that it wasn’t his preaching they were reacting to, it was the fact he was an evangelical. He came very close to leaving his denomination. Preaching and carrying the gospel of Jesus Christ comes with a high price tag.