On January 27 High Wycombe resounded to the sound of gospel preaching, as Pastors John Sherwood and Peter Simpson proclaimed the message of Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
Various helpers from the church greatly aided the witness, as they handed out leaflets and spoke to passers-by. A number of very useful conversations were entered into.
One middle-aged gentleman walked by mocking and taunting and saying that all that was being preached was nothing but superstitious nonsense. Pastor Simpson endeavoured to explain to the man that his comments did not actually constitute a rational refuting of the Christian revelation. However, he sadly did not seem interested in having a serious conversation.
Pastor Simpson spoke to one lady who struggled with the whole issue of suffering, not understanding why God allowed allowed it to happen. She spoke of a number of personal tragedies in her own life. The minister endeavoured to point out that sickness suffering and even death were an aspect of living in a fallen world. Ever since Adam and Eve first rebelled in the garden of Eden there has been death and sickness. This world is not a paradise; it is rather a fallen world in deep rebellion against its Maker. However, for those who humble themselves before God, and to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, there is the realisation that God has a purpose even in the tragedies of life, and that all things work together for good to them that love God (Romans 8:28).
One passer-by, a Sikh, who spoke to Mrs Pilkington told her that he was doing academic research on the subject of the environment and ‘sustainability’ in respect of the earth’s resources.
The witnessing sister explained that the Christian revelation has much to say about the physical earth. Man has been given stewardship over it, and must indeed care for it, but it is also a fact that this dominion of man shows the special place of man in God’s creation. The Bible makes it clear that the creation is subservient to man, not man to the creation. Great care must be taken to avoid of veneration of ‘Mother Nature’ which can easily become pagan-like worship. The world of nature does not possess a mind and a will or which must be placated. God upholds His creation. Mrs Pilkington referred the gentleman to the book of Genesis and the account of the six-day creation, and offered him a free Bible, which he accepted. He also took of John’s Gospel, which speaks of Christ as the Creator right at its very commencement. May the Holy Spirit lead him to faith in the Creator and Redeemer God.
Pastor Sherwood had a productive conversation with man who had very sadly recently undergone some life-threatening injuries. The North London minister was able to focus much of the conversation of the issues of eternity and on the immortality of the soul.
A man working on a nearby building site asked Pastor Sherwood to ‘tone down’ the preaching, as he felt it was causing an unnecessary distraction. The preacher politely replied hat whilst he had no desire unnecessarily to disturb anyone, the message was so important that he wished that he had an even stronger voice. As Charles Wesley once wrote,
“O for a trumpet voice,
On all the world to call”.
May many who heard the gospel in High Wycombe come to understand the truth also set forth in that same hymn :
“Jesus, transporting sound,
The joy of earth and heaven;
No other help is found,
No other name is given,
By which we can salvation have;
But Jesus came the lost to save”.