Pastors Peter Simpson and John Sherwood were proclaiming Jesus Christ and Him crucified in the centre of Aylesbury on December 5th.
A Muslim gentleman came up to Pastor Simpson and seemed willing to engage in conversation. He said that he believed Jesus was just a prophet. Pastor Simpson explained how Jesus forgave sin, healed the sick and even raised the dead. He also received worship. Therefore he must be fully divine.
The preacher asked the Muslim if he knew whether he was going to heaven. He said that he did not know. He was then asked, Does that mean that you can be a faithful Muslim all your life and still end up in hell? Islam in fact teaches that there will be Muslims who go to hell to suffer for their sins before they finally enter heaven. So hell is erroneously and dangerously thought of as a place of purging and cleansing. The only place, however, to be cleansed form sin is ion this life though faith in Jesus Christ. There is no going into hell and then coming out again. This is seen in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16, where Abraham in heaven says to the rich man in hell,
“Between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence” (Luke 16:26).
Pastor Simpson told the Muslim that one of the great blessings of believing in the Lord Jesus Christ is the assurance of heaven, not on the basis of any good that he believes he has done or that he hopes to do, but on the basis only of what Christ has done for him by His death on the Cross.
There was an encouraging moment when a young woman came up to Pastor Simpson and simply handed him a slip of paper, and then walked on. The message on the piece of paper read, “God bless you – keep spreading the message”.
Pastor Sherwood had a productive conversation with a man running one of the nearby market stalls. He testified to carefully listening to Pastor Sherwood’s preaching on previous occasions, and asked him about what will happen when he dies. He also referred to the belief of both Hindus and Sikhs about reincarnation and that there 8.4 million life forms which a person might have to experience before they are liberated from the cycle of ‘samsara’ (the cycle of life death and rebirth)” (1). pastor Sherwood pointed out the teaching of Hebrews 9:27, “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”. A man only has this life in which to make his peace with God.The stallholder was thankfully willing to take some literature including a copy of the New Testament.
A passing lady took great exception to the preaching suggesting that it constituted hate speech. This was because one of the posters on display said that abortion and the promotion of the LGBT agenda in schools was contrary to God’s will. The lady, who was of maturer years, defended abortion because many mothers were too poor and were suffering from all kinds of other social ills to be able to bring up their babies. It was not fair to the baby to bring it into the world. Pastor Simpson told her that the prosPect of growing up in poverty was absolutely no reason at all for destroying human life, and in any case, each life conceived in the womb had been directly ordained by God.
The two ministers carried on preaching and witnessing until the light faded. May the Lord speak to the hearts of many who heard a word of gospel truth and cause them to engage in serious reflection about the state of their souls.