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

Jesus Preached Repentance

(Article originally published the week of 9-3-2008 AD )

“From that time Jesus began to preach , and to say, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ “ (Matthew 4:17). The Lord Jesus Christ, the King of preachers, began His earthly ministry calling on men to repent. There is something most significant about this, and calls for our serious consideration.

The first thing I would note is the reason stated in His call for us to repent. “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” The “kingdom of heaven” is a spiritual kingdom. It is contrasted with the “power of darkness” ( Colossians 1:13). Everyone is in one of two kingdoms, the kingdom of Christ, or the kingdom of darkness. To be in the kingdom of darkness is to be unconverted, unsaved, unregenerate, without Christ, and on your way to hell. Most of you are in this kingdom. Then there is the kingdom of Christ. To be in the kingdom of Christ means to be converted, saved, regenerated , in union with Christ, and on your way to heaven. The call to repentance is a call to renounce the kingdom of darkness , and embrace the kingdom of Christ. The person who is saved, comes under the rule of Christ which he loves. The call to repent is a call to admit that you have been in rebellion against Christ your lawful King, cease from that rebellion and surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ will not accept anything less than a total surrender to Him. You cannot have Christ and salvation through Him and remain wedded to your sins. Mark it down neighbors and friends and kindred, if Christ is not your Lord, He is not your saviour. The kingdom of heaven is at hand. The King demands that you surrender your will absolutely to His. Christ demands that you quit doing things your way and start doing things His way. If you are determined to live like you want to , then you will end up in hell. But if you love King Jesus and want to live His way, then you will be delivered from the power of darkness, be translated into the kingdom of Christ, and live with Him eternally in heaven.

The second thing I would note is that since the Lord Jesus Christ began His earthly ministry calling on us sinners to repent, it shows He is willing and able to save all those who will indeed repent of all their sins and believe in Him Alone for salvation. It would be absurd to suppose that Christ would call on you to repent, and then reject you when you do repent. Jesus said in John 6:37, “him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out.” Coming to Christ is believing in Christ (see John 6:35). Those who come to Christ are repenting ones. The Lord Jesus Christ gladly receives all those who will repent and believe in Him. But mark it down sinner friend, if you refuse to repent, you must perish in the sins you love so much and be rejected by Christ for eternity.

But then the next thing I gather from our Lord’s call for repentance is an example for all those who preach the gospel. The man who does not continually call on people to repent is not one of Christ’s ministers. A gospel that does not include the demand for repentance is not the true gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. The message of easy believeism that does not demand that you turn from your idols and worship the Christ that you believe in, is not the true gospel. If you value your never-dying soul, shun the “preacher” that does not call on you to repent, even as Jesus called on people to repent.

I conclude today as my Lord preached and call on you my dear readers to repent. There is no salvation for you except you repent. I press the claims of my Lord upon you again. His kingdom is at hand. It is of eternal urgency that you get out of the kingdom of darkness and get into the kingdom of God’s Dear Son. You cannot get out of the kingdom of darkness without repentance. And you cannot get out of the kingdom of darkness without being translated out by Someone more powerful than yourself. May the Sovereign Lord grant someone repentance and transfer you into His Kingdom.

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