Pastor Peter Simpson was preaching the gospel in the square adjoining the Marble Arch monument close to Oxford Street in central London on February 15th.

At one stage a lady walked by and said somewhat disrespectfully that no one was listening. The preacher responded to the effect that the presence of the preacher was obviously registering with the lady herself, or else she would not have bothered to make the comment. How tragic it is that so many appear dismissive of gospel preaching in public places, not realising that it presents a special God-given opportunity to them to escape from eternal condemnation and find everlasting life.

Pastor Simpson had a discussion with a council worker who was clearing litter in the square. He strenuously dismissed the message, saying that it was a Jewish myth. It was not clear what he meant by this, because Judaism also rejects the Sonship and unique Saviourhood of the Lord Jesus Christ, although of course the coming of Christ is foretold throughout the Old Testament. The minister tried to impress upon the man the importance of listening to the message, but he most sadly would not in any way be convinced.

Two young Christian women walked by and encouraged the pastor as he was handing out leaflets. The encouragement was, of course, much appreciated, because the witness was hard-going, to say the least.

At one point a couple came and stood right in front of the preacher for a while. It was not clear whether this was because they simply wanted to listen, or because they wished to ask a question. Pastor Simpson thought it best to carry on preaching in the hope that a word of gospel truth would reach into their hearts. The couple walked away after a few minutes without any further interaction, but it is hoped that something of the truth of God’s word was taken in.

Marble Arch is a major tourist attraction in central London. It is currently being renovated and so is surrounded by scaffolding, which is covered over with protective sheeting. On this sheeting, there were enormous photographs of a female model in a rather erotic pose. This was shameful, undignified and highly inappropriate. What kind of impression would this give to a first-time visitor to London from another part of the world in that public displays of women in underwear are deemed to be perfectly acceptable?

Overall, there was a sense of much indifference to the preaching taking place, but the word of God was publicly proclaimed, as well as portions of Scripture being displayed for all to see. The preacher had some small battery-operated amplification to help him, Marble Arch being surrounded by busy roads. It was quite a sunny day, and there were folk sitting on the other side of the square in the sunshine who were able hopefully to hear the preaching as well as the passers-by. May the Lord be pleased to open the hearts of some to the life-changing message of Jesus Christ, of whom the apostle Peter declared,

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

By Pastor Peter Simpson

Pastor Peter Simpson is Minister of Penn Free Methodist Church, which upholds the historic Christian faith according to the Scriptures and the Reformation principle that the Bible, God's inspired and inerrant word, is the Church's only authority.