Pastors John Sherwood and Peter Simpson were preaching the gospel in Slough High Street on February 8th. Pastor Sherwood spoke on Psalm 67, referring in particular to God’s “saving health among all nations” (verse 2). The message of salvation in Christ is for all the world.
A Roman Catholic gentleman walked by, who was possibly from Eastern Europe, and hearing about salvation, he claimed that Mary was his saviour, probably thinking that the witnessing Christians would agree with him. Pastor Simpson tried quickly to explain to him that Mary herself was a sinner who needed mercy. Yes, she was greatly used of the Lord and had a unique privilege, but she still referred to God as her own Saviour, for she was born with a sinful nature like the rest of mankind, and needed God’s mercy.
As Pastor Simpson offered a lady walking by a leaflet, she said, ‘No, thank you; I am an atheist’. The minister responded, ‘But that is exactly why you need to read it’. She sadly did not accept the challenge, but carried on walking.
A man came up whilst Pastor Simpson was preaching and asked, ‘Why did God allow me to carry a rifle and kill people?’ The man seemed very troubled about his past military service, but the preacher endeavoured to explain to him that fighting in the armed services to defend one’s country, or one’s allies’ country, was an honourable activity in the sight of God. Nevertheless, even if someone were guilty of the unjust killing of others, not even this would exempt him from the sphere of God’s mercy, if he humbles himself before God and comes to Christ with “a broken and a contrite heart’ (Psalm 51:17).
As Pastor Simpson was preaching, he contrasted all the careful precautions which so many people have taken against Covid-19, but the absence amongst so many of any corresponding precautions about the killer virus of sin.
Two women approached him, as he was speaking. The first one told the preacher that he, the preacher, was not educated enough in philosophy to lecture people. Preaching from the Bible was simply not enough to be properly qualified. Pastor Simpson was even asked if he had a degree, and (although he does – not that it matters ), he was then told that he was obviously not well educated, because he did not understand the modern world, or contemporary thinking.
Pastor Simpson responded that fashion is not the yardstick of truth, and that the Bible has authority as being the very word of God. He also made it clear that philosophy, academic study and degrees will get no one to heaven.
The second lady complained about Pastor Simpson’s ‘homophobic’ language. He had briefly referred to the nation’s deep rebellion against God manifesting itself in, for example, abortion, the redefinition of marriage and the promotion of the LGBT agenda amongst schoolchildren. The lady complained that what the preacher had said was offensive, particularly because her own son was homosexual. The preacher replied that explaining what the word of God teaches would be a means of helping her son.
She then came back and asserted that the Bible has to be interpreted in the light of modern thinking. Pastor Simpson again reminded the two opposers that being modern does not determine issues of right and wrong, and the Bible unequivocally states that homosexuality is sinful. Furthermore, the Bible’s truths are as valid today, as when they were first written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit many centuries ago. The lady also asserted that the Penn minister’s preaching belittled her son and others like him, to which he replied that the Christian gospel asserts that all people without exception are sinners.
May the Lord open the hears of these two ladies, and indeed of many others who heard the gospel in Slough, so that they come to realise that the contemporary “wisdom of this world is foolishness with God” (1 Corinthians 3:19).