Pastor John Sherwood, Pastor Peter Simpson and Graham Parkhouse were preaching the gospel in Slough High Street on Tuesday 14th May. Just as the preachers were arriving and placing out their equipment, a man came up and said, Do you have permission from the Council for this? Pastor Sherwood replied, No, but we do have a commission from Almighty God, which is far more important.
During the preaching a Muslim gentleman approached Pastor Simpson who was standing by handing out tracts to issue various pre-thought-out challenges to him. Firstly, referring to Matthew 12:40, he asked, Since Jonah did not die in the whale’s belly, therefore Jesus could not have died on the Cross, Jonah’s experience being a sign of the Lord’s experience.
Pastor Simpson responded that Jonah’s time in the whale was an effective and symbolic death leading to new life, prophetically pointing forward to the Lord’s real and actual death and subsequent resurrection
The Muslim further claimed that the ‘Son of man’ title which the Lord used of Himself proved that He was just a man. The minister responded, THE Son of man is quite different from A son of man. Jesus Christ was God who became a representative man to accomplish man’s salvation. This representative man is unique, being also God; He is therefore THE Son of man.
The Muslim friend’s primary challenge was : Where in the Bible does Jesus say, I am God, worship me? Pastor Simpson cited the following arguments :
1) The Lord Jesus Christ healed the sick, raised the dead, forgave sins and calmed storms, which only God can do.
2) John 14:9, Jesus said, “Philip, he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?”
3) Revelation 1: 18 and John’s vision of the Lord Jesus Christ, who says to Him – “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death”. Only God could possibly hold these keys, determining men’s eternal destiny.
4) Thomas said to Jesus, “My Lord and my God”, and the Lord accepted the designation.
It would be helpful to know what other arguments Facebook friends would use when facing this objection that the Lord Jesus never Himself claimed to be God or receive worship.
On this occasion the Slough witness was reinforced by three additional preacher friends who contributed, including Rich Davies from nearby Langley, who also fielded a strong challenge from another Muslim on the above issues. Particularly encouraging was the very large number of tracts given out, literally hundreds.
We pray earnestly that those who heard will be moved to serious reflection about their lack of personal righteousness, and will consider their need to come with urgency in repentance and faith to the Son of man and unique Saviour of the world, the Lord Jesus Christ.