Mr Graham Parkhouse, and Pastor John Sherwood (Pilgrim Tabernacle Church, Finchley) and Peter Simpson (Penn Free Methodist Church) were proclaiming Jesus Christ and him crucified in Slough on June 30th. Sister Eve Hammond distributed a very encouraging number of evangelistic leaflets.
Pastor Sherwood and Pastor Simpson engaged in discussion with a passing Muslim young man, who argued that the various religions should lay aside their differences and focus upon beliefs which they hold in common such as social equality. He also stated, however, that Jesus Christ could not possibly be the Son God and never claimed to be. In addition to this, he asserted that the Bible has been altered and is totally untrustworthy. Such statements of course reveal the degree to which there can be no possible common ground with our Muslim friends, for the infallibility of Scripture and the deity of Christ are non-negotiable truths at very heart of all that Christians believe.
In response to the claim that God can have no ‘partners’ (a rejection of the Trinity) and that Jesus never said that He was the Son of God, Pastor Sherwood pointed the Muslim gentleman to John 9:35-38, referring to a blind man healed by the Lord : “Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him”. Here is a plain statement by the Lord that He is indeed the Son of God.
It is of course relevant to state in the context of the Muslim claim that the Bible is corrupted and that the Quran has always remained perfect and untouched since first delivered to Mohammed, that the third caliph Uthman (Mohammed’s son-in-law) carried out the destroying of various competing texts of the Quran, so that he could thereafter issue a single standardised text. So this shows that there is real uncertainty about what is the original text of the Muslims’ holy book. Pastor Simpson endeavoured to point this out to the Muslim. There are in fact no original manuscripts of the Quran available, not even of Uthman’s standardised version.
Sadly, the Muslim seemed unmoved by any arguments put to him, but prayer is being offered up that the Lord might open his eyes.
A good conversation was had by Mr Parkhouse with a young lady who had been seeking to know the Lord in the past, and who, when walking by, took considerable interest in the poster on display, which reads, ‘Coronavirus – Yes, we care for the sick and vulnerable, and take necessary precautions, but we must also seek the Lord Jesus Christ, and cry out for mercy as a nation which has failed to honour God’.
Pastor Simpson stated during his preaching that the Lord is well able to remove the virus completely, but will He grant such a blessing to the nation, if it has no intention of turning to Him? With regards to the grave economic downturn which the lockdown is bringing, it was pointed out that this can only indicate a removal of God’s favour. The nation should be using the advent of the pandemic in God’s providence as a reason to be humbling itself before Him. Do people really think that if the virus does go away, they can then just carry on ignoring the one true God in their lives and breaking His commandments?
May many who heard a word of gospel truth in Slough upon this day be humbled and come in repentance and faith to the Lord Jesus Christ, He who has power over all disease, including the greatest disease of all, which is sin.