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       Senior Pastor Phil Roland


              Pastor Ray Scott


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          In my 43 years of preaching the gospel I have officiated at more than 600 funerals, most of them with graveside services. Again and again, hundreds of time I have read the scriptures of the Blessed Promise of Jesus. "Because I live, you will live also!" Celebrating the life of the person deceased is part of the task of a minister or officiant. As a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ I am compelled to leave the family and friends of the deceased with a simple message of HOPE.

          My greatest compliment as to how my ministry impacts the lives of those family and friends as they leave with that tiny little Lingering Hope in their hearts. One lady leaving a graveside service I overheard saying, "Geeez, I came today expecting to be bummed out! Instead, I feel good!"  That's the power of the Word of God on human hearts.

          We who love and follow Jesus, leave our sadness at the parting in this life with our loved ones at the grave. Because Jesus' grave was empty, our graves also with be empty at the end time call of the Shofars in the Eastern skies as Jesus calls us home to be with Him.

          This Lingering Hope my sermon is about is acquired by simple belief in the Promises of God's Word. Paul wrote in Romans 10:8-10

8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach):
9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.


Pastor Phil  <><<





April 21, 2019,  Easter Morning

Sheepfold Ministries / Rev. Phil Roland



John 20:1-18


 “When Jesus calls Mary's name, her dismay and hopelessness were lit to a blazing flame as faith, hope and love became sight. So it is with us in life's blackest hour when Jesus calls our name hope bursts forth.”   Pastor Phil


 “Jesus   said  to  her,   "Mary."   She  turned  toward  him  and  cried  out  in  Aramaic, "Rabboni!"   (which means Teacher).”   John 20:16 

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jere. 29:11 NKJV


31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)



I.   H O P E   IS   A   SEED - John 12:24

          A. Natural Biological Seed -  A tiny capsule of protoplasmic life that                    holds all the blueprints of the original DNA biological life form

                    1. Seeds are the sure cure for winter’s cabin fever

                    2. Seed hope is our insurance against winter’s blaughs

          B. The Miracle of Germination

                    1. Out of Death comes Life

                    2. Spring Reminders of the Resurrection


                    1. Egyptian Vase was carelessly broken

                    Many years ago, a beautiful vase, tightly sealed, was discovered in

                        an ancient tomb in Egypt.  It was shipped to London.  There a young,             inexperienced archaeologist, carelessly dropped the vase,                                            shattering it to bits!

                        Inside the vase was found a small handful of wheat: shriveled,                         wrinkled, hard as grains of sand.  The seeds were planted under                                  glass in mid-summer, and thirty days later, green shoots began to                               appear!

                        The tiny seeds had been hidden away for millennia!

                        They looked dead!

                        They appeared outwardly to be lifeless!

                        THEY WERE NOT DEAD!

                        There was the life-force still within them!

                    2. WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN, the great Christian orator and                                  statesman gave this public address after hearing about the incident:

                        “If God will give a grain of wheat found in the pyramids the power to                           live after it has slept in the grave 3,000 years, will He deny to man,



                        His masterpiece, the capacity to rise after his body has reposed in                               death through the centuries?

                        NO!  UNEVIQUIVOCALLY,  NO!

                        WE SHALL LIVE AGAIN!

                    3. There is a certainty about life in a seed

                    4. Everlasting Life is found in Jesus Christ

                    5. God's only Son became a seed, nailed to the Cross

                    6. He was buried, dead, His Body a lifeless corpse

          D. That seed of Jesus' lifeless body germinated in 3 days -John 12:24   

                    24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground

              and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.

                    1. The third morning under the power of the Holy Spirit

                    2. He arose victorious over Death and the Grave



II.  H O P E   I S   A   N A I L  

          A. Our Sins Nailed Christ to the Cross- Col. 2:13-15  LB;1 Peter 2:24

                    1. Jesus forgave our sins and took our consequences

                        13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision

                        of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven

                        you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of

                        requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He

                        has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having

                        disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of

                        them, triumphing over them in it.     Colossians 2:13-15

                    2. He was nailed to the Cross for our sins

                                        23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He

                        suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who

                        judges righteously; 24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on

                        the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness--

                        by whose stripes you were healed.  1 Peter 2:23-24 (NKJV)

          B. “The Hands of Christ” were punctured by a nail

                    “The Hands of Christ seem very frail

                                    For they were punctured by a Nail,

                        But only they reach heaven at last

                                    Whom those nail-pierced Hands hold fast.”

                    1. Things are not always what they SEEM outwardly to be

                    2. Those calloused hands hold the salvation of all mankind

                                    ". . .by whose stripes you were healed."




35 But someone may ask, "How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?" 36 How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.   1 Corinthians 15:35-36 (NIV)
42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in


glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 1 Corinthians 15:35-36


          A. Spring itself reminds us of Christ’s Resurrection

                    1. Eg. pastor Ben Saint's quote,

                        "Springtime around here is like the Millennium!"  

                    2. Resurrection is built into all of God's Creation

                    3. Countless Cycles of Birth, Death, Rebirth

                    4. Even our own bodies experience it thru the miracle of sleep

          B. Hope enables us to face death with courage

          C. Hope is our Heavenly Savings Account - 1 John 3:3

                 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.




          A. Jesus will one day return in the manner He left - Acts 1:9-11

                    9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken

            up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked

            steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them

            in white apparel, 11 who also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing

            up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven,

            will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven."


                    1. He comes with clouds; and every eye shall see Him

                    7 Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even

                        they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn

                        because of Him. Even so, Amen.   Revelation 1:7
                    2. We yearn for His Blessed Hope and His Glorious Appearing

                                        13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great

                        God and Savior Jesus Christ,   Titus 2:13

          B.  When He appears. . .we shall be like Him - 1 John 3:2,3

                    2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed

            what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like

            Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in

            Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.



John 20:1-18
1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.
2 Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him."
3 Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb.
4 So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first.
5 And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in.
6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there,
7 and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself.
8 Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed.
9 For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.
10 Then the disciples went away again to their own homes.
11 But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb.
12 And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
13 Then they said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him."
14 Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus.
15 Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?" She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, "Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away."
16 Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to Him, "Rabboni!" (which is to say, Teacher).
17 Jesus said to her, "Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, 'I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.' "
18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her.













A Lingering Hope

Hanging in the Tate Gallery in London is George Frederic Watts's great painting entitled Hope. It pictures a blindfolded woman sitting on the world, stricken and dejected. In her hand is a harp with all the strings broken except one. She is striking that one string and her head is bent toward it in closest attention to catch its sound. This is the artist's picture of hope, triumphant over the world's sin and sorrow, triumphant over anything and everything that can hurt a human being. When all else is gone, one still has hope left and hope can triumph.

There are many stories of people who were inspired by Watts's painting. One that I like tells of a man who was on his way to drown himself. On the way he saw this painting in a store window. He looked carefully at the blindfolded woman on her world of misery, playing on the one string. Finally he said, "Well, I have one string. . .I have a little boy at home," and he retraced his steps.

In one form or another, that story can be repeated countless times. No matter how bad life is, if one will only look, he can always find one hope that is left and that one hope can be the saving power.

Life can weigh heavily on a person and can eventually break one down. Another painting which comes to mind is Jean Franqois Millet's Man With Hoe. Some believe the French artist intended to show the dignity of labor. Others see the painting as showing one who is weary, crushed, and defeated. Look at the painting and you see a man leaning upon his hoe. That hoe is the heaviest-looking hoe one can imagine.

Edwin Markham saw Millet's painting and was moved to write:

Bowed by the weight of centuries he leans

Upon his hoe and gazes on the ground,

The emptiness of ages in his face,

And on his back the burden of the world.






A Lingering Hope

There was a man named Henry P. Crowell who had tuberculosis. In his day there was no cure for this dreaded

disease, and he was making his way west to die. The slow train he was on stopped at a station where nearby was a grain mill with a FOR SALE sign on it. He got off the train, bought the mill, and set to work to get it going again. That was the beginning of Quaker Oats. He made a fortune, overcame his tuberculosis, and lived past the age of ninety.


A good example of how one can start again after seemingly total defeat comes out of the life of Thomas Carlyle. There was a period in his life when he was living in almost total poverty and defeat. During this time he labored to write the first volume of the history of the French Revolution. It was his greatest work, and he felt it would bring to him the literary success he sought. When he had finally completed the first volume, he took it to John Stuart Mill to read. Mill sat by his fire and carefully read the remarkable work page by page. One morning his maid was cleaning the room and, seeing the disarrayed pages of the manuscript on the floor by Mill's chair, she thought they were papers he had discarded, so she used them to build a fire.

       When Carlyle learned that the work into which he had put so much was destroyed, he was a depressed and defeated man. He had neither the strength nor the heart to start over. He vowed he would never write again. For days and days he brooded over his misfortune. Then one day he looked out the window and saw a man building a brick wall. He watched as the man picked up one brick at a time and set it in place.

          As Carlyle watched, he decided he would write his book again, by writing one page at a time. So it was that the hope which had died began to live again.











Chuck Swindoll from his book Hope Again states this about hope:

Hope is a wonderful gift from God, a source of strength and courage in the face of life’s harshest trails.

• When we are trapped in a tunnel of misery, hope points to the light at the end of the tunnel.

• When we are overworked and exhausted, hope gives us a fresh energy.

• When we are discouraged, hope lifts our spirits.

• When we are tempted to quit, hope keeps us going.

• When we lose our way and confusion blurs the destination, hope dulls the edge of panic.

• When we struggle with a crippling disease or a lingering illness, hope helps us persevere beyond the pain.

• When we fear the worst, hope brings reminders that God is Still in control.

• When we must endure the consequences of bad decisions hope fuels our recovery.

• When we find ourselves unemployed, hope tells us we still have a future.

• When we are forced to sit back and wait, hope gives us the patience to trust.

• When we feel rejected and abandoned, hope reminds us we’re not alone …we’ll make it.

• When we say our final farewell to someone we love, hope in the life beyond gets us through grief.

Put simply, when life hurts and dreams fade, nothing helps like hope!


(Chuck Swindoll, Hope Again, page xi and xii).









1 Corinthians 15:3-8 (NKJV)
3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,
5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.
6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.
7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.



you lift me up




resurrection day




THE EASTER SONG, 2bd chapter of acts





Easter song Keith Green