“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14:12-14, NASB)


Considering the boldness and the power of the house church movement in China as an example and contrasting it with the human weakness of so-called “churches” in this country that feel such a need to placate the fickle flesh it’s not hard to see that we are living well below the standard of our Lord’s promise to His Church above. How very different would the local church be that would approach the Christian faith completely expecting that God would empower it as the history of the New Testament reports that He does. Above the Master says – “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” I wonder though, do we even believe this any more?

A.W. Tozer recounted the story of the church where a pastor had placed an interesting sign in it’s window: “This Church Is Either Going To Have A Revival–Or A Funeral.” Well, a while back Connecticut River Baptist Church, the little church where I am pastor, used to meet in a storefront location in downtown Claremont, NH and we put this sign up in our own window. You would be amazed at the amount of negative feedback and controversy we quickly received by this simple gesture, and the vast majority of such was from the evangelical community itself. I shudder to imagine the reaction as we follow our Lord’s lead to begin to take His Gospel out into the Roman Catholic community of Claremont.

In our mind this idea was just a little something to let the Devil and his cohorts know that we intend upon completing the work in this community that Jesus has called us to. Our feeling was it’s either that or we’re just going to stop wasting everyone’s time and ask the Lord to shut us down. The truth is, since then we’ve lost three more members and have had to move into the home of one of our members, however we ourselves are in revival and the Lord has even given us an international outreach through Apprising Ministries! And the reason for this is I feel led that the Lord is telling His children to be bold and to ask Him for exactly what we want in order to better serve Him.

This is exactly what Jesus is telling us in our above text – “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do anything you ask in My Name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask Me anything in My Name and I will do it.” And brothers and sisters the time has arrived for us to come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace in time of need (Hebrews 4:16, KJV). I know my hometown of Claremont–and I’m certain in your community as well–we would definitely qualify as to being in time of need of the true Gospel message to be preached boldly.

A Peculiar People For God

In keeping with our theme of asking God to either send revival to our local church or to give it a funeral in order that we might then move to a fellowship the Lord is working with, maybe you have noticed that He has somehow kept your little flock together. And often, I might add, God has kept you going even through quite a bit of adversity. I know we at CRBC kind of unofficially refer to ourselves in the Lord as “the little Church that just wouldn’t go away.” Which is actually one of the things that God has given to us to rally around, something that uniquely unites this body of believers, and keeps us humbled by His great provisions.

The King James Version of the Bible says of His Church, His Bride – ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people (1 Peter 2:9) and I know we feel we are truly a most peculiar bunch at that. However, it is proper in the Lord for a local church to be grateful to the Lord for keeping a body of His children together. Today I encourage you that if you remain faithful to the mission that your room of our Father’s house has been called to then it will soon begin filling with a peculiar people to that particular mission. Oftentimes these will be people who are misfits elsewhere in this world, but somehow will nonetheless now find themselves a perfect fit with this labor in Christ.

I will also tell you that as you make your stand for the absolute Truth of His Word Jesus will be pleased with your church. You see, you might have chosen to give up, but your brothers and sisters praise our wonderful Lord that He decided we wouldn’t. So now the time has come for us to seriously begin seeking His face, His favor, and to cry out to God to see what He wants to do with our faithful fellowships. Of this much we can be sure; the Lord did not have us remain standing this long, and lead us through this adversity many of us are going through for nothing. Jesus would have His reasons. Beloved of God the time has arrived for us be bold in prayer and to expect to hear from Him. There is nothing that displeases God more than for His people to pray to Him and then not have the faith to expect Him to answer, for Him to come in power and be among us in ways that we will see, if we will but believe.

Revive Us O Lord

And after all, Jesus did say – “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves Me. He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love him and show Myself to him” (John 14:21). The Greek word translated here as “show” – or “manifest” – in the King James Version is emphanizo which gives the impression “to appear in person.” Dr. A.T. Robertson, who was perhaps one of the greatest Greek scholars who ever lived says of this passage: “the Unseen and Risen Christ will be a real and spiritual Presence to the obedient and loving believer.” And lest you think that Jesus was only talking about the first twelve disciples, well, that’s also what they thought as well.

Take a close look at verse 22 – Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) – he had already left to go betray Jesus – said, “But, Lord, why do You intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?” Notice very carefully the answer that Jesus then gives to this question in verse 23 – Jesus replied, “If anyone loves Me, he will obey My teaching. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make our home with him.” Certainly now, you and I qualify as “anyone,” because this is an all-inclusive term, so this means the promise above is actually for all of us. This glorious promise is for any of us who have truly surrendered our lives to Jesus and are walking with the Great Shepherd in faithful obedience.

And further, God the Holy Spirit tells us:

This is the confidence we may have approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us-whatever we ask-we know that we have what we asked of Him. (1 John 5:14-15).

So with all of this in mind, right now let’s join together and ask the Lord to: “Either Give Us A Revival–Or A Funeral.” And to paraphrase Leonard Ravenhill’s heartfelt prayer: “Our Great God, if You cannot use this people You have called, then cast us from Your sight and raise up another people who have not yet known You, but Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.”