On February 10th Pastors John Sherwood and Peter Simpson were preaching the gospel in the centre of High Wycombe assisted by members of the congregation at Penn.
Two young men were drawn to speak to the two ministers through Pastor Sherwood focusing on the Lord Jesus Christ being the truth.
One of the men asked why the Lord did not answer Pontius Pilate, when he asked him, What is truth? (John 18:38). The text does not actually tell us that the Lord refused to answer this question, only that Pilate suddenly walked away and said to the Jewish leaders that he could find no fault in the Lord, which suggests that he was very impressed with the Lord’s claim that His task was to bear witness to the world concerning all that is true.
Pastor Simpson was also asked by one of the men about the eternal nature of hell, and it was suggested that such a concept would make God to be unloving. The enquirer was told God is all holy and all just and must punish sin. God shows His love to sinners constantly by offering them his mercy through Christ, but if they persistently reject this mercy, then a just punishment must ensue. When time has ended, there are no further opportunities for repentance. The Bible makes it plain that there is no going into hell and then coming out of it again. This is what God has decreed. It is not for man to question the manner of God in exercising His perfect justice.
Both men were very pro-homosexual with one of them openly saying that he was ‘gay’. He suggested to Pastor Simpson that he was homophobic. The minister replied that the term homophobic is an artificial construct with no other purpose than to shut down debate with anyone might dare to question the LGBT agenda. The Penn minister also explained that whilst he taught that adultery is sinful, it does not mean that he hates adulterers or harbours an unjust prejudice against them.
One of the ladies helping the witness, Lesley Pilkington, had an interesting conversation with a man from a Muslim background, who particularly focused on the Bible poster on display which declared,
“The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
He said that he did not believe such a sentiment and did not see how atonement by the blood of another was possible. He was not mocking, but seemed to be genuinely querying. He did, however, accept the truth of all people being sinful.
Mrs. Pilkington then explained about the significance of blood in God’s scheme of salvation and how all men are descended from Adam and Eve, and have a sin nature, and how all are therefore under God’s wrath. She also explained Abraham’s willingness to offer up as a sacrifice his own son, Isaac, emphasising that it was a prophetic type and foreshadowing of God the Father offering up His own Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. The discussion centred much around the power of our Lord’s blood, the deep significance of which being brought out in texts such as,
“For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Leviticus 17:11).
It is worth noting in particular that this conversation came out of the public display of the word of God. The man seemed genuinely moved by the explanations which the witnessing sister gave him, and prayer is being offered up that the Holy Spirit continue to work powerfully in his heart.
Mrs Pilkington also had a conversation with the lady who openly said that she was a witch. The conversation included some very dark matters, and so it was encouraging to think on the power of the blood spoken of a few moments earlier in the previous conversation. The lady said that she would try and go to church, and did show some interest in Biblical truth. Sadly, she also said that she prayed to mother Earth.
May she and all who heard the gospel in High Wycombe realise the urgency of fleeing from the power of the Devil, and of coming in repentance and faith to the only Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.