About the Author

Thomas Ray Floyd was born in 1953 in Simpson County, Mississippi, the son of Roy Thomas Floyd and Lina Sue Shows Floyd. Thomas Ray's mother was a member of a Primitive Baptist church, and he cut his teeth on the doctrines of distinguishing grace.

When he was a small boy, his father was converted to Christ and became a member of a Missionary Baptist Church. Thomas Ray joined the church of his father when he was 13 years old, and thought of himself as a Christian. The doctrines of grace that he had heard as a child continued to be precious to him and when he became an adult, he joined a Primitive Baptist Church. When he was 27, Thomas Ray made his first effort to preach the gospel in public and was ordained to the full functions of the ministry in 1985. In 1986 he was convinced under the preaching of Rolfe Barnard (by tapes from Mt. Olive Tape Library), the written sermons of Spurgeon, and the ministry of Elder Zack Guess that he had been a false professor and cried out in agony of soul to the Lord Jesus Christ to have mercy and truly save him. And He did! Floyd then began to preach the gospel as he had been taught of the Lord.

Floyd has pastored churches in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Tennessee and until recently was pastor of a church plant known as "Particular Baptist Fellowship." He and his wife Brenda presently attend Zion Baptist Church at Polkville, Mississippi, pastored by Elder Glen Hopkins. The pulpit ministry of Zion Baptist Church can be heard at Sermonaudio.com.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Lord's Prayer

(Article for publication week of 10-8- AD 2015)

"Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which Thou hast given me: for Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world" (John 17:24).
Our text is found in the Real Lord's Prayer. The prayer the Lord taught us to pray in Matthew 6:9-13 should actually be called "the Disciple's Prayer", or "The Model Prayer." What we call "The Lord's Prayer" is not a prescribed prayer, per se, but rather an outline of prayer to help us in our prayer life. It is a prayer for us to pray, not a prayer that our Lord Himself needed to pray, or ever did pray. We know this because of one expression- "forgive us our debts" ( or sins, i.e. Luke 11:4). Our Lord Jesus Christ never had to ask for forgiveness of sin, for He was without sin, and could not sin (Hebrews 7:26). The 17th chapter of John is truly "The Lord's Prayer," for here we have the Eternal Son praying to the Eternal Father. Our text is proof of what we call the Doctrine of the Trinity, for here we see the Second Person of the Trinity praying to the First Person of the Trinity. Our Great God is One in Three, and Three in One (I John 5:7) and we see that plainly in this text. John 17 is a death blow to both Arianism and Modalism.
The seventeenth chapter of John is our Lord's High Priestly prayer for His people. Our Great High Priest continues to intercede for all those for whom He died (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25). After he died for our sins, He was laid in the grave, but He arose the third Day, and after He had shown Himself alive after many infallible proofs, He ascended back to the right hand of His Father where he continues to plead our cause in the high court of heaven. The Levitical priesthood has been abrogated and there will never be any more need for it. The Lord Jesus Christ is the only Person in the universe who is a priest. Any man (or woman) who claims to be a priest is an imposter and should be rejected. There is only one Mediator between God and man, the God-Man, the Lord Jesus Christ (I Timothy 2:5). It will thrill your soul (if you are born again) to go and read the 17th chapter of John, and see what wonderful things our Great High Priest prayed for His people.
Now, our text here in John 17:24 tells us one of the glorious things that Christ prayed for His people-- that we may be with Him! Oh! I can hardly contain myself as I write these words! We shall be with Christ when this life is over! That my friends is what heaven and the glory world is all about. As one of the Puritans put it, hell would be heaven if Christ were there! We shall be with Christ to behold His glory. We see that glory now by faith, but the day is coming when faith shall be changed to sight and all those who love the Lord Jesus Christ shall see Him in all His glory. That glory is the same glory as that of the Father, for Christ is indeed one with His Father (John 17:5; 1:14), and is of the same essence as the Father. To see Christ will be to see God, for Christ is both God and Man (John 14:9). (See also II Corinthians 4:6). All the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily in the Lord Jesus Christ(Colossians 2:9). So when we are glorified we shall see God as our Lord promised in Matthew 5:8. Dear Reader, do you long to see the Lord Jesus Christ? If you are a child of God I know you do.
Rest assured that God the Father always hears the prayers of His Eternal Son (John 11;42). You can be sure that this is one prayer that will be answered. Not one that God the Father gave to His Son in eternal election shall fail to be with Christ. Christ will not lose any for whom He died. All those whose names were written in the Lamb's Book of Life before the foundation of the world shall surely be with Christ, eternally beholding His glory.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Father's House

(Article for publication week of 10-1- Ad 2015)

"In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you" (John 14:2).
The scriptures do not give us many explicit details about what heaven is exactly like. However, it tell us enough for a believer to often long to be there! Whether there are literally mansions in heaven or not should not be our main concern. The point is that heaven is a city whose Builder and Maker is God, with true foundations, eternal in the heavens. If things like mansions, streets of gold and gates of pearl are metaphorical, then the reality is much greater, for the reality is always greater than the metaphor.
The first thing our text tells us is that Christ Himself has made all the preparations necessary for His people to live in heaven with Him. In our text our Lord was telling His disciples that He would go to prepare a place for them (and us). By this statement we may understand that Christ would go to the cross to suffer as our Sin-bearer to save us from our sins. We could never enter into heaven as the sinners that we are by nature. Our Great God is too holy to allow sin in His holy presence. Our sins must be taken away. This Christ did by His death, burial and resurrection (Romans 4:25; I Corinthians 15:3-4). Christ prepared heaven for us by shedding His blood to redeem us from all iniquity. He arose from the grave victorious over sin, hell and the grave and now sits at the right hand of His Father interceding for those for whom He died (Romans 8:34). In other words, Christ prepares a place for us by all that he does for us as our Prophet, Priest and King. Mark this down child of God, there is nothing you do to help Christ prepare heaven for you. Christ Himself has accomplished the whole work by Himself.
Secondly, the text tells us that there will be many finally saved and live in heaven. There are many mansions in heaven because there are many saved by Christ to finally dwell there. In Revelation 19:1 John saw "much people in heaven." Romans 8:29 tells us that God has predestinated His elect to be conformed to the image of Christ that He might be "the firstborn among many brethren." Our Lord proclaimed in Matthew 8:11 when He observed saving faith is a gentile that "many will come from the east and the west, and shall sit down in the kingdom of heaven with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob." Hebrews 9:28 says that "Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many." When Christ gave His disciples the cup of wine at the first communion service in Matthew 26:28 he said that cup of wine represented His blood "which is shed for many for the remission of sins." Christ died for a number that no man can number out of all the nations of the earth. This is a glorious truth that we may contemplate with joy- that there will be many finally saved and live in the Father's house. Every one for whom Christ died shall be in heaven without the loss of one. Everyone that the Father gave to His Son in the covenant of grace shall be in heaven. Everyone that is called effectually by the Holy Spirit shall live in heaven. Everyone who trusts in Christ Alone for salvation shall be in heaven.
But finally, let us take note of the fact that heaven is called the "Father's house." This tells us that heaven is the real home of the children of God. As the poet has written, "heaven is my Fatherland, heaven is my home." God's people are pilgrims and strangers in this low ground of sin and sorrow. This world is not our home. What a glorious day it will be when we arrive in our true and lasting home, the Father's house.