PREACHING IN THE PHILIPPINES

 

Nestled in the mountains about a five hour drive north of Manila, Baguio is a city of some 300,000 + people. My I-phone tells me the weather back home in the D/FW metroplex is cloudy and 34 degrees. Here it is sunny and 73 degrees.

The Pilipino people are as gracious and hospitable as you would ever hope to find. Everywhere I turn, in restaurants, shops, or other places, I am met with smiles and courtesy.

Though this is not my first trip to the country, I never cease to be heartbroken at the poverty I see in many places. In the big cities, and especially in the outer provinces, stark poverty stares you in the face.

But there is another kind of poverty here; a poverty far more deadly. It is a spiritual poverty. Like so many places in our world, there are so many here who don’t know Christ.

Last Saturday in Manila, tens of thousands pressed into the parade route during the Catholic festival of the Black Nazarene. The “Black Nazarene” is an image of Christ carrying his cross that was carved sometime in the 17th century. Many believe it to possess miraculous power. It is brought out from the church in Manila every January 9th and paraded through the streets. Hundreds were injured in the press of the crowd striving to touch the icon. Two were trampled to death. Spiritual darkness.

Oh, there are churches here. But most of them are not evangelical, Bible-believing, churches. One group of churches in the country is actually a cult. They believe in a human Jesus, but not his divinity. Spiritual darkness.

Yet in the midst of this darkness, there is a light shining. Here, on the campus of the Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary, one of the highest spots in Baguio, sits a school with 150 students who have devoted their lives to changing the world for Christ.

At the gracious invitation of the president, Dr. Armand Canoy, I am here this week to deliver the annual Lide-Walker lectures during the day and preach each evening for the annual Bible Conference.  I was asked to lecture and preach on the book of Hebrews, which of course is like saying “sic ‘em” to a dog.

As I write this, I am sitting in the open prayer pavilion surrounded by beautiful, tall, pine trees. In the gym 50 yards below me, where 500 chairs await pastors, students and other occupants tonight at the opening of the Bible Conference, I hear the melodious strains of praise music being rehearsed:

“Alleluia, all I have is Christ! Alleluia, Jesus is my life!”

Once again I am reminded that God has his remnant; shining lights of His truth.

And as I prepare to preach tonight the majestic first four verses of Hebrews 1, I am ever thankful that God has spoken His final word in one who is by His character and nature, a Son: Jesus. And this Son, when he made cleansing for all sin on the cross, sat down at the right hand of God (Hebrews 1:1-4).

God help me to give my life to the preaching of Your word, to the winning of the lost to Christ, and to the building up of Your church . . . to the glory of the Savior.

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6 thoughts on “PREACHING IN THE PHILIPPINES

  1. Thank you Dr Allen for the post. I have been to the Philippines several times to preach the gospel also and have found it as you described. I pray that God will move in a mighty way as you preach the powerful Word of God!

  2. Inspiring message tonight Dr. Truly, holiness can’t be hurried. I’m sure glad I didn’t miss this Lide-Walker conference. I have learned much from you. God bless your good heart.

  3. “Once again I am reminded that God has his remnant; shining lights of His truth.”

    Heaven and earth will pass away but…..

    Dear dying Lamb Thy precious blood will never lose its power
    ‘Til all the ransomed church of God be saved to sin no more!

  4. Dr. Allen, thank you. So blessed listening to your life and your message. At this time while you’re preaching, I tried to find Sherrie’s poem or write up but I found this instead.

  5. May the Lord bless you as you keep on preaching Jesus in your life. May the word of God that overflows as you give us encouragement through your preaching remain in our hearts and may we apply it as we be God’s instrument to the souls of people. Thank you is not enough but kneeling to the Lord and mentioning your name will be a favor of returning the gracious message you shared.

  6. Praise God! Thank you so much Dr. David Allen. So Blessed to see you here in Baguio, Philippines. It reminded me that we have an Anchor all our Life only in Jesus! Please Pray for me this 3rd Sunday as I use Hebrews 11:10, starting from verses 4-6. I will be able to apply what I learned through Jesus Christ our Lord!

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