Pastors Peter Simpson and John Sherwood were preaching the gospel in Slough High Street on July 12th.
On display were posters showing the words of Proverbs 14:34, 2 Corinthians 5:10 and Mark 1:15. For some unfathomable reason emanating from the depths of the unregenerate heart, one passer-by thought that these posters meant that the preachers were racists! What lengths the world will go to try and discredit the proclamation of God”s word. Any insult will do. Perhaps the thinking behind the insult was that Slough is a multicultural and multi-faith town, but the same description could be applied to most towns in London and the Home Counties. Must gospel preaching be abandoned in all of them? The gospel of Christ is for men of every tribe and tongue.
Lengthy conversations took place with two Muslims. One argued that it was blasphemy to say that God can have partners (which is how Muslims interpret the precious truth of the Trinity.). He denied that Jesus ever claimed to be divine. Pastor Simpson responded that Jesus of Nazareth forgave sins and received worship, which only God can do. He was also accused of blasphemy by the religious leaders for making Himself equal with God, which shows that he did claim divine status :
“Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he … said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God” (John 5:18).
Another argument proving the Lord’s deity is John 14:9, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father”.
The minister also tried to impress upon the Muslim that reconciliation with God can only be effected by means of the shedding of blood, not simply on the basis of God being merciful (which is what Muslims hope in for their salvation). As we read in Hebrews, ““without shedding of blood is no remission (of sin)” (Hebrews 9:22). This absence of ‘propitiation’ – the satisfying of God’s justice before forgiveness can take place, is absent in Islam, and constitutes a major and irreconcilable difference between Islam and the Christian revelation.
Another Muslim gentleman came up to Pastors Sherwood and Simpson and stated that Christian and Muslims ought to work together in tackling moral issues such as LGBT indoctrination in our schools. Whilst the Muslim’s friendly approach was highly valued, it was felt necessary gently to impress upon him that the differences between Islam and Christianity were so fundamental as to make combined witnessing to society impossible. Yes to friendly co-existence, but no to co-working, because the Lord Jesus Christ taught,, “He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him” (John 5:23). Relevant also to this matter is of course the issue of the persecution of Christians in majority Muslim contexts.
So the ministers tried to impress upon the Muslim friend that, whilst there is some agreement on moral issues, a personal trust for salvation in Christ, the Son of God, crucified and risen from the dead, is of primary and non-negotiable significance, and can be the only basis for fellowship and mutual activity.
May many who heard the gospel in Slough realise that there is no other way of having their sins forgiven except through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12).