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Senior Pastor Phil Roland


Pastor Ray Scott


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          The greatest challenge facing the Christian world today is not being martyred or persecuted for your faith in Christ. We gasp and cringe as we read of the atrocities committed against Christians by Muslims in the Middle East, but persecution is not hurting the Church of Jesus. Persecution, in fact and reality is probably the fastest way to grow a healthy and vibrant church. Have you ever heard the term,

          "The blood of martyrs is the seed of the church?"

The greatest challenge that any church can experience is not persecution but prosperity.

          The greatest irony we face in America today is our wealth. We wring our hands in anxiety if the Dow Jones Industrial averages go up or down a few hundred points. Yet, we are the wealthiest nation on earth. Why do people press to enter our "Golden doors?" They aren't anxious to get into India or Pakistan. It's our great wealth.

          Our currency reads, "In God We Trust."  We have more churches, more Bibles, more Christian literature and more Christian schools and colleges than anywhere in the world. In spite of all these blessings, we are not making an impact on our culture. Why do you think this is so?

          The answer is more than obvious, American Christians cannot handle prosperity. Remember the hyperbole Jesus used about the impossibility of a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven? (Easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.) We begin to trust in our riches and not the One who has blest us with a measure of wealth.

          We enjoy our state of plenty and have become fat, comfortable and self-sufficient. We have become as a nation, the frog in the beaker.  We have adopted the world's failed philosophy that stuff and things will make us happy. Today's text warns us about the spiritually lukewarm effect of trusting in riches. In order to spiritually grow we must pursue  a faith relationship with Jesus Christ. We must never forget that reality.                           Pastor Phil  <><<

February 28, 2016, Pastor Phil Roland

Sheepfold Ministries




Revelation 3:14-22

"The Spirit of Peace is also the Spirit of Completeness. Completeness is not brought about by individual acts of peacemaking, but is the process of becoming Christ-like.  It’s not what you do but who you are that counts.”

 Pastor Phil 


“Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons and daughters of God.” Matt. 5:9


Ephesians 2:14,15

 “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace. . .”


EPHESUS - The Spirit of First Love Poverty             

SMYRNA - The Spirit of Suffering   

PERGAMOS - The Spirit of Obedience       

THYATIRA - The Spirit of Righteousness

SARDIS - The Spirit of Mercy

PHILADELPHIA - The Spirit of Purity

LAODICEA - The Spirit of Completeness





Laodicea, the location of the 7th of John's churches was a banking center, proud of it's wealth.

It was beautified with resplendent temples to its gods and theaters for entertainment. It was noted for the manufacture of rich garments of rich, glossy wool. Dyes were made from the local woods common to the area.

It was also known for a medical school that made a powder for treatment of eye troubles. (See "eye salve" in 3:17,18)



15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.

            A. Church of Spiritual Poverty - v.17

                17 Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of                           nothing'--and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind,

               and naked--



                        1. The Laodicean Church literally made Jesus sick

                            I will vomit you out of My mouth. . .

                        2. Tepid Christianity made God ill

                        3. The Rich Fool Trusts his Riches - Luke 12:16-18         
                        16 Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: "The ground of a certain

                          rich man yielded plentifully. 17 And he thought within himself,

                          saying, 'What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?'

                          18 So he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build

                          greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. 19 And I                                 will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many

                          years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry." '  20 But God                            said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then

                          whose will those things be which you have provided?' 21 So is he

                          who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."

                        4. Laodicea must see What God Sees - v. 17

                                17 Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have

                          need of nothing'--and do not know that you are wretched,

                          miserable, poor, blind, and naked--
                        5. Wealthy in men's eyes / In Spiritual Poverty - Matt. 6:19-20

                                19 "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and

                          rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;

                          20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither                                       moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and

                          steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

            B. Church of Spiritual Blindness

                        1. Laodicea had everything but Jesus

                        2. Invited to Hear and Open - v. 20

                                20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice

                          and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he

                          with Me.
                        3. Jesus was on the OUTSIDE of the Laodicean door

                        4. Is He OUTSIDE, knocking on your heart's door?

            C. Theologians have a word for it, "Apostasy" - Matthew 13:22

                22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word,

              and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the

              word, and he becomes unfruitful.

                        1. An apostate = A person who was once a professing believer         2. Disappointment, disillusionment, heartache comes

                        3. The opposite happens and they become wealthy

                        4. The person who professed faith in Christ, walks away



            A. Played “Let’s make a deal” with God

                        1. There are no bargains in God's Kingdom

                        2. Few enter because God's Kingdom entrance is Expensive



                                 a. Give up Fear, Worry, Unbelief

                                    b. Give up Pride, Selfishness, Arrogance

                        3. Dietrich Bonhoeffer quote,

                            When Jesus calls a man, he bids him come and die!

            B. Laodicea measured its worth by Independence and Self-Reliance

                        1. Compromise Oscillates Between 2 Worlds: Flesh and Spirit

                        2. The Spirit of Completeness Crucified w/Christ - Gal. 2:20

                                20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but

                          Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by

                          faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.



9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.


            A. Creation Waits for Us to Reveal Jesus to this Generation

            “The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons and daughters of                          God to be revealed."       Romans 8:19

                        1. The American Churches have locked Jesus out

                      2. According to Fuller Institute of Church Growth                                                             4,000 churches die each year

                        3. Every year 2.7 Million church members fall away

            B. We Need Spiritual Eyes - Matt. 6:22,23

            22 "The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your

              whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body

              will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness,

              how great is that darkness!

                        1. Laodiceans were famous for their Eye Salve

                        2. Their medicine restored sight to the blind

                        3. They were Spiritually Blind and needed their own medicine

                        2. We Need An Eye that Sees only Jesus


IV.  PEACEMAKERS ARE PEOPLE WHO WALK IN REPENTANCE 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.   Rev. 3:19

            A. God Afflicts Us For His Purposes - James 1:2-4;  Heb. 12: 5,6

                2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing

              that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its

              perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

                5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:

              "My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged

              when you are rebuked by Him; 6 For whom the LORD loves He chastens,

              And scourges every son whom He receives."

            B. Patience is Submission to God, therein is Peace

                        1. Trials teach patience which leads us to Christ

                        2. He is knocking at your heart's door

                        3. This is the same door you left and walked away

                        4. He hasn't moved, have you?

            http://www.churchleadership.org/apps/articles/default.asp?articleid=42346                          &columnid=4545

Laodicea, The Spirit of Completeness


          Henry Morrison was a missionary to Africa. One day he was coming home from Africa on a ship, which was also carrying President Theodore Roosevelt. When the ship docked in New York, thousands of people were there to greet Roosevelt. But no one cheered for Morrison.

          Henry Morrison had served the Lord for forty years in Africa. As he watched the crowds greet Theodore Roosevelt, he became dejected to think he had served the Lord all those years and yet no one was there to greet him.

Morrison said that as he walked down the gangplank in a depressed mood, a voice whispered to him,

“Henry, don’t worry. You’re not home yet.”

          Then he said he saw a vision of multiplied thousands of Africans standing at the gates of heaven, those who he had reached for Christ, applauding him as he entered heaven.

If people are not recognizing you down here, if you are not getting applause right now, don’t worry. You are not home yet. Remember what Christ has waiting for you.