March 2019 | Pasay City
BY Romeo T. Mangiliman
Over the last months since 2018, the Philippines for Christ has been a household expression in our churches. We’ve heard our church leaders promote it every time they get to the pulpit. We’ve seen our pastors roll up their sleeves to make sure groundworks were underway. Church members engaged through care groups. Visiting health missionaries flew in to remote areas bringing medical relief. Evangelists from all around the globe both local and foreign also came to participate in this Philippine-wide campaign for the sake of the Gospel.
Now, two months after the mass baptisms in different areas of the North Philippines, the excitement has finally subsided. Is it because the Philippines for Christ effort has finally come to its close?
Let me take you once again to one of the most overused scriptural passages found in the last chapter of Matthew. “All authority has been given me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (28:18-20).
This passage was spoken by Jesus Christ before His ascension to heaven. Here was this resurrected Master giving his final instruction to a group of ordinary men who seemed at a loss over the turn of events. The crucifixion. The resurrection. Now the ascension. Therefore, if there is anyone who has the guts to claim, "All authority was given to me," it is no doubt, this Man.
He went on with the imperatives. Go. Make Disciples. Baptize. Teach. Whom was Jesus speaking to? We know for certain that it was not for the original apostles only or to the frontline, missions-minded people only but to each and every Christian.
Thus, we went. We baptized. We taught. That’s exactly what we did during this Philippines for Christ effort. But that is not all there is in the Great Commission.
After we’ve brought in to the fold thousands of newborn Christians, we are expected to take care of them as a mother nurses her infant until they mature into full-grown Christians who in turn will go, make disciples, baptize, and teach. That is what making disciples is all about. We do not leave the young believers just as they are, otherwise they will grow old immature or worse, they won’t grow old at all. Instead, we continue to nurture them, until the consumer becomes the merchandiser; the disciple becomes disciple-maker.
As we go, we make disciples. As we baptize, we make disciples. As we teach, we make disciples. That's what making disciple is all about. It is the DNA of Christ's disciple. The effort may reach its conclusion. But the Philippines is for Christ, until then, we go, we baptize, we teach, we MAKE DISCIPLES.
Seventh-day Adventist beliefs are meant to permeate your whole life. Growing out of scriptures that paint a compelling portrait of God, you are invited to explore, experience and know the One who desires to make us whole.