Pastors Peter Simpson and John Sherwood were preaching the gospel in the centre of Uxbridge on June 9th, helped by Mrs Lesley Pilkington along with two local sisters from the town. 

Mrs Pilkington at one stage spoke with a mother and her son, and was given opportunity to pray for them both in respect of a very difficult health problem which the son had. The lady had been brought up in a Christian home and seemed to know the gospel, but had gone away from the Lord, and so she was obviously encouraged in her desire to return to faithfulness.

A number of schoolchildren took evangelistic leaflets and were willing to listen to an explanation of the gospel, whilst others sadly mocked.

Pastor Simpson opened his preaching by quoting Romans 3:10-12 : “There is none righteous, no, not one … There is none that seeketh after God … there is none that doeth good, no, not one”. A man came up to Pastor Simpson and asked about the Christian teaching on drug-taking and excessive drinking. Since Pastor Simpson was in the middle of preaching, Pastor Sherwood sought to answer the question, and he explained how he himself once had to grapple with such issues on a personal ;level, but the power of the gospel changed him, for it has the power to remove the sinful dispositions which are an aspect of man’s fallen, sinful nature. By means of repentance the sin and faith in Christ, the Holy Spirit is received who is able to remove all sinful desires. 

Sadly, the man walked away on receiving this reply. He did not appear to welcome this emphasis on the need for repentance and for a thorough change in a person’s whole being by mean of faith in Christ. Yes of course, alcoholics and drug-users need care and compassion, but it is not sufficient for a Christian pastor merely to offer help on the level of dealing with an illness. The moral and spiritual issues must be to the fore. Making resort to drugs and alcohol is ultimately indicative of a serious spiritual malaise which only the gospel can cure.    

A man came up to Pastor Simpson to receive an evangelistic leaflet. He was obviously a strict Muslim dressed in decidedly Muslim garb. He argued that Mohammed, because he was a prophet, was without sin. Pastor Simpson responded that Moses was a prophet, and yet was guilty of killing a man and many other sins. It is also impossible to argue for the sinlessness of Mohammed, because the Bible clearly teaches that all men by nature are sinful. The only man who has ever lived his without sin is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Pastor Sherwood also joined the conversation, and in order to emphasise that salvation from sin cannot in any way be earned by the performance of religious duties, he referred to the reality of many Muslims before praying engaging in scrupulous acts of washing themselves. What really matters, however, is not outward ablutions, which can never remove inward corruption. What all men rather need is the inward washing of the heart, which is a work of the Holy Spirit and which can only be received upon repentance from sin and faith in Christ. 

Pastor Sherwood, in order to commend the gospel of Christ to the Muslim friend, also spoke of the fact that when approaching his death, Mohammed was actually not certain about his own salvation. In Sarah 48:9 of the Quran Mohammed states concerning his eternal destiny, “Nor do I know what will be done with me” ( Also in the Hadith, the recorded sayings of Mohammed, regarded as authoritative by Muslims, Mohammed declares, “Though I am the apostle of Allah, yet I do not know what Allah will do for me” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, no 266).   

The conversation with the Muslim gentleman was profound and polite. He took a tract about the Lord Jesus being the Light of the world. May the Lord open his heart to see this truth and indeed open the hearts of many others who heard the gospel in Uxbridge upon this day.