Pastors John Sherwood and Peter Simpson were proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ and Him crucified in the centre of Uxbridge on July 8th, assisted by a faithful band of witnessing brothers and sisters.
One homosexual young man was very angry with the preaching and the accusation was made of the preaching being judgemental and hateful. However, one of the helpers endeavoured to reason with him, and he gradually softened in his attitude. It was explained to him how, by God’s grace, it is possible to receive help to choose to leave a homosexual lifestyle, as the Holy Spirit works upon the heart concerning the truths of God’s word and the sinfulness of the practice in God’s sight.
At one stage, Mrs Pilkington had a deep conversation with a convinced atheist who at the end of the discussion, was, encouragingly, willing to take a copy of John’ Gospel.
An atheist also asked Pastor Simpson why God in His omnipotence does not stop physical suffering. One of his questions was, Why does God, if He has miraculous power, not restore the limbs of those who have had to endure amputations?
Pastor Simpson replied that God is all-powerful but generally chooses to act through the normal workings of His creation, not outside of them. In other words, He does not miraculously create flesh and blood out of nothing, although He could, if He wished. By the same token, God chooses graciously to provide food for people by the sowing of seeds in the field and their subsequent growth, not by miraculously sending down food from the sky, although we know from Scripture that He is well able to do that. However, no one can expect or demand that He works outside of the sphere of His normal manner of operation.
The plain fact is that, because of sin, we live in a fallen world in rebellion against God, and all suffer in varying degrees from physical ailments of one kind or another. All will ultimately die of such ailments. Pastor Simpson made the point that the non-Christian cannot bargain with God and lay down the terms on which he will believe, namely that there should be no human suffering.
Conversations took place with a Sikh young man and a Muslim young couple, who agreed with one of the posters on display which reads, ‘To promote the LGBT AGENDA in schools is to indoctrinate children into an anti-Christian worldview : what they rather need is the truth of God’s word’. Pastor Simpson tried to impress upon the Sikh that the source of true morality is to be found, not in all the different religions and cultures, but in the Trinitarian God alone.
Mrs Newman had a conversation with an 18 year old girl who visibly disapproved of the above-mentioned poster. She said that she believed in God, and so she was told that God’s word must be the foundation for all that one believes. The witnessing sister explained to her that God has shown us, in His word, how we are to live, and that His ways do not incorporate the LGBT lifestyle. She appeared to agree that God is the highest authority, but she then tragically stated that she did not trust the Bible as God’s word. Mrs Newman reasoned with her concerning the truth of the scriptures, and of God’s power to preserve them for each new generation. The girl was encouraged to read the Bible, and she accepted the Gospel of John that was given to her.
Yet a further incident occurred over the poster about the LGBT agenda in schools. A very young woman police officer came up to Pastor Simpson and said that a number of complaints had been received about the poster which was offending people. She asked if the Minister would remove it; he politely declined, mentioning that the London Pride parade on the previous Saturday was highly offensive to him and to Bible-believing Christians generally, but there is no way that the Police would have prevented it going ahead because of the offence felt.
May the Lord bring deep conviction of sin upon the hearts of many who heard the gospel proclaimed upon this very sunny day in Uxbridge, and may many then see the need to flee in repentance and faith to the only Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.