Pastors Peter Simpson and John Sherwood were setting forth Jesus Christ and Him crucified in the centre of Uxbridge on May 14th. Some local Christians came and supported the witness, having been so shocked by the reports of Pastor Sherwood’s arrest for upholding Biblical morality on April 23rd.
A homosexual man came up to Pastor Simpson and stated that, although he strongly disagreed with the stance of the witnessing Christians, he thought that the treatment meted out to the arrested preacher was appalling.
It was quite a remarkable witness in that passers-by kept approaching the two preachers and their helpers asking questions about the Christian faith. There was, for example, serious questioning from two Muslim gentlemen. The first argued that Allah and the God whom Christians worship are the same God, and that any suggestion otherwise is highly offensive to Muslims. Pastor Simpson tried to explain that, whilst never setting out to offend, Christians must assert what the Lord Jesus Christ taught, namely that if He is not honoured as God the Son, then no worship of the Creator God is taking place at all. In other words, honouring Jesus merely as a prophet, which Muslims do, without acknowledging His divine essence and being, is simply not compatible with the worship of the one true God. The Lord Jesus declared,
“All men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him” (John 5:23).
The Penn minister also endeavoured courteously to point out that if Muslims and Christians worship the same God, why is there persecution of Christians in many majority Muslim contexts around the world?
The Muslim was also challenged regarding his hope of heaven on the grounds of Allah being merciful. On what basis can God be merciful, whilst also maintaining His justice? Sin must be judged. A holy God cannot just overlook it. How in Islam is mercy received, whilst justice is satisfied at the same time? The only way in which both mercy and justice can be reconciled is in the death of the Lord Jesus Christ on the behalf of sinners.
Another Muslim asked, “If Jesus is God, to whom did He pray during His earthly ministry?” It was explained to him that in His humanity Jesus did indeed pray to His Father in heaven, without this in any way being a denial of His full divine status. The point is that He is both man and God at the same time. The Trinity is a profound mystery and cannot be reduced to mere human arithmetic. God is Three Persons, whilst remaining as one God, not three Gods. There comes a point when feeble man must bow down in awe and wonder, rather than submitting the nature of God to the dictates of his own flawed and fallible human logic.
May the Lord open the eyes of these Muslims, and indeed of many who heard the gospel in Uxbridge, to see that Jesus Christ is “God … manifest in the flesh” (1 Timothy 3:16) and the unique Saviour of sinners.