Pastor to Muslim : Are you going to heaven? Muslim to Pastor : I am working on it

Mr Graham Parkhouse from Epsom and Pastors John Sherwood and Peter Simpson were preaching the gospel in Slough High Street today, aided by valiant octogenarian, sister Eve.

One young man walking by as Pastor Sherwood was preaching said that he ought to lower his  voice, as he did not want to hear him. Pastor Simpson replied that it was such an important message, and the whole world needs to hear it. One could also refer in this context to the words of the Lord to His disciples, “What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops” (Matthew 10:27).

A believer going past expressed his delight at hearing ministers willing to preach about the seriousness of sin and the need for repentance. One lady told Mr Parkhouse that she was enjoying listening to the preaching. 

Conversation was entered into with a Muslim gentleman who explained how in Islam Mary occupies a most esteemed place in heaven, an interesting similarity to Roman Catholicism. 

He also asserted that the Lord Jesus Christ was a Muslim! The discussion then turned to heaven and hell. Pastor Simpson asked the Muslim if he was going to heaven. He replied, “I am working on it”. This reply encapsulates a major contrast between Christianity and Islam The minister responded, But what if you do not do enough good works? In any case, no good works can cancel out the sin of which all men are guilty. The Islamic gentleman, however, did not seem concerned abut the prospect of possibly not reaching there, nor about the fact that he had no present assurance of salvation. He sadly was not open to an explanation of the Christian taken gospel of salvation by grace alone apart from works. 

Some passers-by seemed to take a special interest in one or two of the posters on display, but it was also felt that there was at times much indifference to the message. One would have hoped that the coronavirus might have made some more receptive. How very much the Holy Spirit’s power is needed to convince the hearers of the corruption of their hearts and of the great danger which they are as long as they are outside of Christ. 

May the Lord cause at least some of those who heard in Slough today to fear and to tremble because of the reality of their sin and guilt, which only the Lord Jesus Christ can remove. 

Pastor John Sherwood, Minister of Pilgrim Tabernacle Church, Finchley, North London

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