Pastors John Sherwood and Peter Simpson were preaching the message of salvation through faith in Christ alone in Golders Green on June 9th. Golders Green is a strongly Jewish area, but the preaching was of course directed to all sinners, for “the scripture hath concluded all under sin” (Galatians 3:22), be they Jew or Gentile.
At one point a useful conversation was had with a group of schoolchildren on their way home, and as always seems to happen with young people in the day in which we live, the issue of homosexuality arose, with one boy making a point of telling telling Pastor Simpson that he was gay, even though the minister had not raised the subject.
The pastor replied that God’s word says that homosexual behaviour is wrong and sinful. There was of course rejection of this statement, and so Pastor Simpson challenged one girl who objected by telling her that, in rejecting thee Bible’s teaching, she was actually claiming that she was wiser than God. Was she happy to make such an arrogant claim?
At a different stage during the witness, as Pastor Simpson was preaching, a young man walked by and raised his finger at him in an unpleasant and vulgar gesture. It was felt that this was not in response to anything specific that he had actually heard the preacher say, but simply because he despised the Christian message. What a shame that he did not take the trouble to stop and explain the basis for his objections, rather than resorting to such a crude display, but such is the nature of the heart of fallen man when exposed to gospel truth.
A middle-aged lady contemptuously asked Pastor Simpson, “Why do you not go and do something useful?” She said this having read the poster own display which describes various social ills which have come about because of the nation’s abandonment of Biblical authority, including the LGBT agenda being promoted in schools. Nothing of course is more useful than to preach the gospel, the reception of which is of inestimable benefit to both individuals and to the nation at large.
A Jewish schoolboy in orthodox Jewish attire came up to the Penn minister and described his message using an unrepeatable word of contempt. He then spat at Pastor Simpson. This was again very sad, because there was no attempt to engage or give a valid reason for the opposition offered.
As the message of repentance from sin was being publicly proclaimed, a passer-by cheerily said that he had no sin to repent of. Whilst this could have been just a gentle attempt at some low key mockery, it is amazing how many people are totally unconcerned about the enormity of their sin, and do genuinely believe that they are good people, because they conform to the political correctness of the society around them.
A middle-aged Jewish gentleman in full orthodox dress of black formal hat and long black coat made of point of publicly putting his hands to his ears as he went by, so that no word of the preaching might possible be heard. Why not wait to see if he hears something that he actually objects to, before blocking his hears? This attitude of course reveals a desire not ever to be remotely exposed to gospel truth.
Pastor Sherwood was much encouraged by a conversation with a Jewish lady who had had some previous exposure to the gospel. Evidently drawn by the Holy Spirit, she came up to the pastor and actually asked, ‘I know the Bible but I do not understand it. What can I do to be saved?’
The North London minister referred to Acts 8 where the Ethiopian eunuch had similarly asked such a question of Phillip in verse 31. He then focussed on Leviticus 17:11, which states,
“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”.
To be saved, there must first be the satisfaction of God’s holy justice upon our sin, which can only be effected by then shedding of blood. Here in Leviticus, the shed blood of Christ is being prophetically referred to as the only means of atoning for all man’s defiant law-breaking. The Lord Jesus Christ has died in the sinner’s place, being his penalty. He is in fact the true Passover Lamb.
Pastor Sherwood also quoted to the lady Isaiah 53:6, “All we like sheep have gone astray”, and she replied that this verse was really speaking to her.
What a privilege it was for the preacher to explain the gospel to one who was so genuinely seeking and spiritually burdened. May the Lord continue to speak powerful to this lady’s heart, and indeed to many others who heard the gospel in Golders Green upon this day.