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 26, 2008

Blessed Mourners

(Article originally published the week of 10-15-2008 AD)

“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” ( Matthew 5:4). The Christian life and experience is a great paradox that the world can never understand. The word blessed in our text means “happy”. How strange that one should be a happy mourner! Yet that is what our Lord said in Matthew 5 as He describes the citizens of His Kingdom.

Now the mourning described in out text has nothing to do with sadness because of earthly concerns. Our Lord is not speaking here of those who mourn at a funeral or because of some other sad event in their life. Nor is our Lord speaking of those who may be emotional by nature and are easily stirred to tears. Our Lord is speaking of nothing of nature , but is rather speaking of those who mourn because of their spiritual poverty (MATTHEW 5:3).

When God the Holy Spirit begins the good and gracious work of regeneration in one of His elect, that sinner becomes a mourner. Regeneration is a painful work. It is called “circumcision of the heart (Romans 2:28-29; Deuteronomy 30:6). When the Lord begins the good work of grace in His people’s hearts, he cuts into their very soul and it is a painful experience. In Acts 2:37 we read of those who were converted on the day of Pentecost and it says they were “pricked in their heart.” As the word of God came to them , not in word only, but in the power of the Holy Ghost they were deeply affected. They were pricked in their heart. They felt the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God like it was stabbing them in their hearts. And they began to cry out, ‘what must we do?” The Holy Spirit granted them repentance and they repented. As Peter preached to them and confronted them with their sins, they began to mourn as they looked on Him Whom they had pierced. They became keenly aware that they had sinned and come short of God’s glory. Those who are mourning as described in our text , mourn as they perceive that the Lovely Redeemer was pierced for them.

My dear friend, do you know anything of such mourning? Can you remember in your experience that day when your hard heart began to melt under the power of regenerating grace? Have you ever been pricked in your heart? All those who have been born again know something of my text. “blessed are they that mourn.”

But now our text says “Blessed Are they that mourn“, not “mourned.” those who are truly converted become continual mourners. Hear the Apostle Paul in Romans 7:24, “O wretched man that I am!” After Paul had been a Christian for a good while he still felt himself to be a ruined wretch in and of himself. Hear him mourning in I Timothy 1:15, ‘sinners, of whom I am chief.” Those who are born again are continual mourners as they see themselves as vile, and putrid and loathsome in the sight of the Thrice Holy God. To be a child of God is to be a spiritual mourner all your days until the Lord finally wipes away all tears.

Now hear the blessing of our text. They that mourn shall be comforted. Jesus said He came to “heal the broken hearted.” (Luke 4:18). Christ has commissioned His ministers to “comfort ye my people.” The gospel is a message of comfort to those who have had their hearts broken under the power of regeneration. And here is that message of comfort. Christ has accomplished our warfare. He fought the hard battle and won. We have received double for all our sins. Our iniquity is pardoned (Isaiah 40:2). I pray that poor mourners in Zion may be comforted by the gospel of Christ.

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