Pastors John Sherwood and Peter Simpson were preaching the gospel in High Wycombe on January 13th aided by various members of the congregation at Penn. A good number of evangelistic tracts was handed out by the helpers, and various conversations were entered into. Mrs Pilkington spoke altogether with four non-believers walking by, endeavouring to explain to them the importance of coming to faith in Christ.
Pastor Sherwood spoke on 1 Corinthians 15:22 – “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive”. Adam brought sin and death into the world, death which was also spiritual death and separation from God, but in Christ there is life eternal for those who believe in Him. No other religion or philosophy can grant everlasting life. Those who are in Christ are risen up to new life here on earth, a life which then leads on to everlasting life. Those who are in Christ have hope, and are not overcome with fear about health issues. There is coming the day of resurrection of both the just and the unjust. Only those who abandon trust in their own good works and who trust rather in the death of Christ for them will be partakers of the resurrection of the just.
Pastor Simpson spoke on Ezekiel 18:31 – “Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die?”. Sin must be cast away, for it is a killer disease which has a 100% mortality rate. Sin leads to the everlasting judgement of God; therefore repentance is a matter of the utmost urgency.
The Penn minister contrasted the current levels of fear within society about health matters with the general lack of fear about the consequences of sin. A passer-by challenged him on this, saying Covid-19 is extremely serious, because it can lead to death. The minister agreed that covid is serious, but stated that sin is even more dangerous, because it leads, not just in some vulnerable cases, but in every single case to a certain death which is everlasting.
The passer-by continued to reject the preacher’s endeavour to speak of the plague of sin as the most serious problem of all afflicting mankind. Pastor Simpson tried to explain to him that a virus is an issue concerning the health of the body, but man is far more than just flesh and blood; he has an immortal spirit which lives on after the body dies, either in the place of eternal happiness or else in the place of eternal judgement, which is hell. The man then questioned the very concept of eternal life, doubting that there was such a thing. He then sadly walked away and did not continue the conversation.
May the Lord open his heart to see that, whilst our physical health is of course important, the issue of our spiritual health is even more important, having consequences enduring way beyond this short span of our earthly lives, consequences which will last for evermore. Indeed, may the Lord open the hearts of many others also who heard a word of gospel truth upon this sunny winter’s day in High Wycombe.