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

The Lost Son

(Article originally published the week of 10-8-2008 AD)

“And the son said unto him ,’ Father I have sinned against heaven and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.’ “ (Luke 15:21). Our Lord Jesus Christ illustrates repentance in Luke 15 by a parable of a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a lost son. Lost sinners are like a lost sheep. They have wandered out of the way and do not know how to get to God. “All we like sheep have gone astray” (Isaiah 53:6). A Sovereign and Almighty Shepherd must come and save the lost sheep. Worse than that, lost sinners are like a lost coin. They are lifeless and cold. Lost sinners are powerless to do anything to save themselves or help save themselves. But worst of all, we are like the son that we call the prodigal. We have all left the Father’s house. Lost sinners are not only wandering out of the way with no sense of direction. Lost sinners are not only dead in trespasses and sins. But lost sinners are in willful rebellion against the LORD.

The parable of the Prodigal Son is one of the most misunderstood parables in the Bible. It has been generally used in our part of the country in regards to those who are said to have “backslidden.” Actually, most of the people known as “backsliders” in our day are people who have never been truly saved, but that is a subject for another column. The Lord’s parable of the Prodigal Son is not about “backsliding” (so-called), but about lost sinners being brought to repentance. Our Lord gave this parable when He was criticized by the Pharisees and scribes for receiving sinners(Luke 15:2). Religious people who murmur against Christ and His gospel of salvation for sinners are like the elder brother who claimed he had never transgressed his father’s law. The elder brother in Luke 15:11-32 represents those who have never been brought to see that they are indeed lost rebels. The ‘prodigal’ son represents those who have “come to themselves” and felt with great pain in their souls that they have indeed sinned against the Father and Heaven and are not worthy to be called a son. The parable of the Lost Son ought to awaken our conscience that we have indeed left the Father’s House in sinful and willful rebellion against Him.

When a sinner repents it is because the Lord Jesus Christ like a Great Shepherd has gone and found that sinner. When a sinner repents it is like lost coin being found as Christ in His Sovereign Power searches diligently until He finds that sinner, gives him life, grants him repentance and draws that sinner to Himself. But a repenting sinner is also like a returning prodigal. He comes to himself and acknowledges his great sin against God. The lost sheep and the lost coin teach us the Sovereignty of God in salvation, that is that no sinner can or will repent until the Lord grants repentance. The returning prodigal teaches us that when God grants repentance, sinners really do repent.

Now my dear readers, I ask you, are you , are you like the prodigal son or like the elder son? Do you vainly imagine you have never transgressed the Law of God? Or, do you like the Prodigal son confess that you have sinned against heaven and against God and are not worthy to be called a son of God?

Now remember this. Christ only saves those who are utterly lost. If you think like the elder son, you are not lost and you are not one that Christ will save. But if you by God’s sovereign grace have come to yourself and seen that you are a lost rebel, there is hope for you. Now to you who are lost (oh1 I hope someone out there is lost!), I point you to Christ Who receives sinners. He has promised that He will cast out none who come to Him. Come to Him now awakened sinner! Come to Him like a returning prodigal. Come with your filthy rags and he will give you the best robe, the robe of His Own righteousness. Come to Him and confess that you wasted all He gave you. Come as a lost sinner to Christ. “Come Ye sinners poor and wretched, weak and wounded sick and sore. Jesus ready stands to save you , full of pity, joined with power. He is able; He is willing; doubt no more.”

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