On August 21st Uxbridge resounded to the call of the gospel, as Pastors Peter Simpson (Penn Free Methodist Church) and John Sherwood (Pilgrim Tabernacle Church, Finchley) proclaimed the message of Jesus Christ and Him crucified, faithfully assisted by Mrs Patricia Newman and Mrs Eve Hammond.
By God’s grace many conversations were entered into and some passing Christians were encouraged by the witnessing Christians’ presence.
A man came up to Mrs Newman and asked her the way to the leisure centre. Whilst she was not able to help him with his enquiry, she asked him, Are you a Christian? He replied that he was a good person. Mrs Newman responded that even men’s good works are tainted by sin, and that in any case no one is good by nature. He then asked her what would happen to him in spiritual terms, if he suddenly died of a heart attack that same day. He was told gently but firmly that he dare not die in his present spiritual condition because of the awful consequences of death outside of Christ. He then encouragingly asked for prayer and was told about the need for a personal turning to the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. He also took a copy of John’s Gospel.
A man told Pastor Simpson that it was very wrong of the witnessing Christians to say anything against abortion or the promotion of the LGBT lifestyle in schools. Re abortion, he argued, it was no one’s else’s business to tell a woman what to do with her own body.
Pastor Simpson responded that the baby in a mother’s womb was not her own body. The opposer then tried to justify abortion using the ‘what-about-rape?’ argument, to which Pastor Simpson replied that such an argument was an absolute red herring, as 99.5% abortions were not for that reason, and in any case, it is not right to punish the child for the sins of the father.
The man also stated that people are free to do whatever they want, as long as it does not harm anyone. He was told that abortion most definitely does harm – it kills another human being. He was then asked if he himself would like to have been aborted. He replied that he would not have known anything about it. Pastor Simpson told him that he would have felt inn the womb the physical pain of the surgical destruction of his life.
Another well educated young man said that Christians were entitled to their beliefs, but must not criticise how others behaved. He then accused the preachers of hate speech, because of their stance on the LGBT and abortion issues. Having said his piece, he then refused to carry on with any conversation and walked off in righteousness indignation. Obviously, Bible-believing Christians are simply too prejudiced to be worth any time for debating with. Had he remained, he would have been told that to accuse someone of hate speech because of disagreement over a moral issue is far from being honourable conduct.
Pastor Simpson’s preaching focused much on the fact that the coronavirus was God calling out to the nation to humble itself before Him. Yes, the virus has been serious, but sin is even more serious. Yes, of course there is a place for some reasonable medical precautions, but many people are now living in excessive and unnecessary fear, and putting all their trust in the precautions, some of which are not founded upon clear-cut scientific evidence.
Society should be turning to Him who in His earthly ministry showed that He has control over all disease, and who in His providential care of His own is well able to grant protection from the effects of a plague (Psalm 91:10).
Sadly, many people are trying to achieve the impossible goal of removing all risk from human existence. It goes without saying that medical research has a key role to play in overcoming the pandemic, but not at the cost of overlooking the providence of God in bringing the virus upon the nation in the first place. Passers-by were asked the question, Why should God bless the nation in respect of Covid-19, if it keeps on living in defiance of Him?
Prayer is being offered up that many who heard the gospel in Uxbridge might turn to the great Physician of souls, the Lord Jesus Christ, so as to be released from fear and to be given the certain great hope.