Pastor Peter Simpson was preaching the gospel in the centre of Slough on April 9th . His texts included “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God” (Psalm 14:1). Man’s fundamental problem is his corrupted heart which is by nature alienated from God. He needs nothing less than a brand new heart, which only Jesus Christ can give to him. All need to come to the Saviour for inward cleansing and inward renewal. The performing of religious duties, such as routinely saying so many prayers each day, giving money to charity or engaging in fasting, cannot in any way remove man’s sinful heart, or compensate for it, although large numbers of people in our society today imagine that they can contribute to their salvation in this manner. However,  sinful man rather needs a total inward transformation to take away his corrupted heart, namely the “washing of  regeneration”, which is also known as the new birth.  

The minister also preached on Acts 17:30-31 : “God … now commandeth all men every where to repent, because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness” (Acts 17:30–31). All men will have to stand before Jesus ChrIst as their Judge. He is not just a dead  prophet, albeit an honourable one, as Islam teaches, but He is now seated at the Father’s right hand looking down upon this sinful world, governing it and fulfilling the role of Judge of all men. 

Whist preaching a more elderly Muslim man came up to Pastor Simpson and asked him, If Jesus died and went to the grave, how can he possibly be Allah? (Allah of course is not the God whom Christians worship, but Pastor Simpson did not challenge this for the sake of the immediate point being made by the Muslim). The minister responded that yes, Jesus died, but He also rose again from the dead in the mighty power of God. It was a miracle. You surely believe that God is capable of  performing miracles?, he asked the Muslim. The conversation them proceeded roughly along the following lines : 

Muslim : He can’t be God, if he goes to the grave.

Pastor : He died as a man, but He also raised Himself from the dead on the third day afterwards (John 2:19). So He is both man and God. Five hundred people saw Him risen on one day (1 Corinthians 15:6). Mohammed believed the authenticity of the Injil, the Christian Gospels. 

Muslim : Your Bible is a man-made thing.

Pastor : If you deny that Jesus rose from the dead, you will not get to heaven. 

Muslim : I believe that Jesus was a prophet. 

Pastor : But did He rise from the dead?

Muslim : Jesus has now disappeared. How he can do that, if he is God?

Pastor : What do you mean? He has not disappeared. He is now at the Father’s right hand. He is your Judge.

Muslim : If anybody goes to the grave, he cannot be God.

Pastor : Jesus is returning. How can He possibly be returning, if He is dead right now?

Muslim : He is returning at doomsday, but not before. 

Pastor : Well, if He is returning at doomsday, He must be alive now. Does not Islam teach that Jesus is returning?

Muslim : Yes, on doomsday, but he cannot take Allah’s place.

Pastor Simpson then tried to steer the conversation more in the direction of focusing upon the Muslim’s own personal spiritual condition.

Pastor : Are you a good person, Sir?

Muslim : Jesus is just a man, whereas God is the Creator of everybody.

Pastor : But are you a good person, Sir?

Muslim : God created Jesus.

Pastor : But are you a good person?

Muslim : I do not know. Allah knows.

Pastor : The Bible says that you are not a good person and you have done wrong (as all people have). Therefore, you deserve hell. 

Muslim : You are doing wrong, you are deflecting people. I’m telling you, If anybody says that Allah has a son, he will go to hell. This is what the Quran says. 

Pastor : So I am going to hell, because I have said that God has a Son?

Muslim : Yes. 

Pastor : But Jesus called Himself the Son of God. 

Muslim : Read what the Quran says about Mary or Maryam.

Pastor : Mary did not know a man when she bore the Lord Jesus.

Muslim : No, no. Allah says what He says. You have to listen.

Pastor : Respectfully, the Quran is not the word of God. I want you to get to heaven, Sir. You must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God and your Saviour from sin. 

The Muslim walked away after this. May the Lord open his heart to see the truth of Jesus Christ, God manifest in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16), and the only Saviour of sinners. Indeed, may He open the hearts of many others also who heard the gospel in Slough upon this day.