Pastors John Sherwood and Peter Simpson were preaching the gospel in the centre of Aylesbury, the county town of Buckinghamshire, on March 15th.
Standing in the market square, they endeavoured to hold forth the word of life to needy sinners. Because of a strike by school teachers there were many young people in the town centre, which afforded a providential opportunity for them to hear the gospel, and the ministers tried to strike up conversations with a number of them.
One boy told Pastor Sherwood said that he was ‘gay’. The other sadly came from a broken home. It was very difficult for the two ministers to get the boys to focus seriously, but they persevered in speaking to them about the seriousness of sin and the reality of God’s eternal condemnation upon it.
One of the boys thankfully took a tract on the importance of prayer, and said that he would go home and pray, which was most encouraging, if he really meant it.
Pastor Simpson approached a different group of school-age teenagers and asked them if they were good people. One girl replied that she was, because she was not not a sinner. It was explained to her that ”all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
As Pastor Simpson began preaching, he quoted Psalm 51:10, “Create in me clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me”. All people need an inward cleansing, because all have sinful natures. He challenged a passingly school girl – Do you enjoy your sins?, because if you do, that is the evidence that you have an unclean heart, which only the Lord Jesus Christ can take away.
May those who heard the gospel in Aylesbury realise the pollution of their hearts and believe the gospel promise, fulfilled in ChrIst, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you” (Ezekiel 36:26).