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.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Except You Be Converted

(Article for publication week of 11-26-2008 AD)

“…Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18: 3). Our Lord spoke these words to His disciples when they were squabbling about who would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. By these words our Lord warned them that the important thing is to be sure we are in the kingdom. Striving about preeminence is not of the spirit of Christ and we must ever be on guard against such a spirit in ourselves. So our Lord told His disciples they better search their hearts if they were really converted men. And of course we know one of them, Judas Iscariot at last proved he had never been converted and had never been part of Christ’s kingdom. If our Lord’s twelve needed such warnings, how much more do you and I!

“Except ye be converted and become as little children, ye shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.” First of all let us be sure we understand what the Lord means by being in the kingdom of heaven. Some have come up with fanciful ideas concerning what the kingdom of heaven is. Some have advanced the idea that the kingdom is the visible church state. Others have speculated such things as the millennial reign of Christ on earth and other unscriptural ideas. By comparing parallel passages in the gospels we will see that the “kingdom of heaven’ (generally used by Matthew) and “ the kingdom of God” (generally used by the other evangelists), is the kingdom that our Lord told Nicodemus in John 3:1-8 that we must be reborn to see or enter. It is the kingdom that we must be translated into by the sovereign, irresistible power of the Lord (Colossians 1:13). Every one of us are in one of two kingdoms, the kingdom of Christ or the kingdom of darkness. Simply put, to be in the kingdom of heaven is to be saved. If you are not in the kingdom of heaven you are in the power of darkness and lost, unconverted and unsaved.

Now, the Lord says here that the kingdom must be entered by true conversion. Theologically, conversion is the human response to regeneration. In regeneration, we are passive, but in conversion we are active. To enter the kingdom, you must be regenerated (John 3:5). But the regenerate person does indeed actively and consciously enter into the kingdom. Jesus spoke in John 10:1 and following of Himself as the door of salvation. Friend if you will be saved you must enter through the door of Christ Himself. Again, in Matthew 7:13 the Lord Jesus Christ tells us that to be saved we must enter in at the strait gate. You see dear ones, if you will be saved, you must actively and consciously enter through the door. Some of you have seen the door, but you have yet to get through. Unless you get through the door of conversion you must be forever lost. And be sure you understand that Christ is that door, the only door that will get you into the kingdom.

And I want you also to notice that our Lord tells us that to be converted is to become as little children. What does he mean by this? Well , we know He cannot possibly mean anything like infant purity. Psalm 51:5 makes it clear that we have a sin nature as soon as we are conceived. But our Lord does teach an important lesson about salvation by the little child He took in His arms on this occasion. Little children are very trusting of their parents. So, a converted person is a person who has trusted Christ for everything he needs for salvation. We also see a kind of simplicity in a child that is indicative of those who are Christ’s children. Let a person be brought to know Christ in salvation and he will give up his grandiose ideas of Himself and be like a little child in the presence of Christ and His children. We note also the smallness of the little child as a picture of how Christians feel themselves to be small. Those who still have grand ideas of themselves are not giving much evidence of being saved. I urge you to become like a little child and come to Christ for salvation this day.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Repent and be Converted

(Article for publication week of 11-19-2008 AD )

“Repent therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord “ (Acts 3:19). In previous articles we have been showing forth the evidences of regeneration. Our Lord Jesus Christ taught in John 3:8 that when a person is born again you will see the evidence for “the wind bloweth where it listeth and thou hearest the sound thereof.” We set forth that the first and indispensable evidence of the new birth is faith in Christ (I John 5:1). Then we set forth another indispensable evidence is repentance (II Corinthians 7:10; Matthew 5:4; Luke 13:5). Now we come to consider another vital evidence of regeneration, and that is conversion. Our text says that the repentant person is a converted person.

Now we live in a generation that is so dead spiritually that few ever have heard of true conversion, much less have experienced it. We hear a little bit about people “accepting” Jesus or “deciding” for Jesus, but we seldom hear of any who have been converted to Christ, and even more seldom do we find any who give evidence that they have been genuinely converted.

By conversion we mean the inevitable turning of one who has been regenerated by the sovereign , irresistible, immediate work of the Holy Spirit. In my text this week here in Acts 3:19, the Apostle Peter was preaching and calling on sinners to repent and be converted. He was calling on them to turn from their sins and bow the knee to the Lord Jesus Christ Whom they had killed , but He was now risen and was at the right hand of God. The Greek word translated “converted’ in my text this week is translated “turned” in I Thessalonians 1:9 where Paul said he knew the Thessalonians to be of the elect for they had “turned from idols to serve the living and true God.” conversion is the turning of a sinner from his sins , renouncing his sins and embracing the Lord Jesus Christ as the rightful owner of himself and all that is his.

Now, no person ever turns to Christ of his own free will, but mark it down friend, when the Lord turns a sinner that sinner surely turns (Jeremiah 31:18). Conversion is the certain and inevitable turning of an elect sinner that has been regenerated by the Holy Spirit. In regeneration the Holy Spirit gives spiritual life; In conversion the elect sinner lives. In regeneration the Holy Spirit gives faith; in conversion the elect sinner believes in Christ. In regeneration the Holy Spirit grants repentance; in conversion, the elect sinner repents. In regeneration the Holy Spirit draws an elect sinner to Christ; in conversion that sinner comes to Christ. The Lord turns, and we turn. That is conversion concisely stated.

Regeneration and conversion are two sides of the same coin. Where there is one, there will of necessity be the other. The scriptures speak nowhere of a person being regenerated without also being converted. By the same token, the scriptures speak nowhere of sinners being converted unless the Holy Spirit works antecedently in them. We may think of regeneration as the Divine side of salvation and conversion as the human side of salvation. No sinner is ever saved apart from the Sovereign power of God. But be sure you understand, the sinner who has that great power wrought in him will inevitably be converted.

Friend, have you been converted? I am not asking you if you ever decided for Jesus . I am asking you has the Lord turned you so that you were turned to Him? I as the Apostle Peter call on you today to repent and be converted. Turn from your idols and serve the Living God. May the Lord turn some of you today.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Repentance Impossible

(Article for publication week of 11-12-2008 AD)

“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened,and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame” (Hebrews 6:4-6). One of the most solemn truths we face in scripture is the truth that there are many who can’t be saved. Now I know that in this age of “easy-believes that sounds very strange to some of you. But please hear me out.

First , it is a solemn truth that the devils can’t be saved. Christ made no atonement for devils. His atonement was for men , not devils. No one can be saved apart from the atoning death of Christ, and since Christ did not die for fallen angels (AKA “devils”), none of the devils can ever be saved. The devil and his angels are doomed to everlasting chains in the Lake of Fire. There is no possibility of repentance and salvation for devils .

Secondly, reprobate men can never be saved. In the words of the Westminster Confession of Faith, “By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life, and others foreordained to everlasting death” (III:3). The scriptures plainly teach the awful doctrine of reprobation. For example we read in Romans 9:13, “Jacob have I loved , but Esau have I hated.” Before the foundation of the world, God chose Jacob to be saved and appointed Esau to eternal damnation. Paul goes on in Romans 9 and says in verse 22, “What if God willing to shew His wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction.” The unsaved are called “vessels of wrath.” They are ordained to destruction. Then we read in Jude 4 “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” The solemn , untwisted, plain truth of this text is that God has ordained some to condemnation. That ought to scare you to death. That solemn truth ought to drive you to your knees before the merciful Lord Jesus Christ Who is able and willing to save the chief of sinners. But sadly, such truths provoke few to fear God nor to tremble before His word. Some of you will probably just try to laugh this truth away and just count me a crank. Some of you will probably say to yourself, “well, if that is true then there is nothing I can do about it anyway.” And so you will use the truth of God to seal your own damnation. But I am giving you the awful truth of God; many cannot be saved because they are reprobate.

Now, no man may know of his election in grace without faith in Christ. So we call on all men to repent and flee to the Saviour of sinners. And no man knows he is reprobate until He has rejected the Saviour of sinners finally. The persons spoken of in our text fall into a class who have willfully and finally rejected Christ. The folks spoken of in Hebrews 6 are people who had made a profession of faith in Christ and were numbered visibly with the saints of God. But then they renounced their profession. They fell away, not from salvation, for it was never theirs, but from a false profession. They proved themselves to be reprobate and ordained of old to condemnation.

Now the Book of Hebrews is a book of warning against those who renounce their profession of faith. It is better to have never professed Christ, than to renounce Him after having professed Him. Sinners are in a great strait! Those who will be saved must profess Christ (Matthew 10:33-34). But to make a false profession is the most frightening of sins (Matthew 7:21). But possibly the most frightening of all is to renounce Christ after you have professed Him. We ought not be so quick to rush into a profession, nor to rush others into profession, seeing such solemn warnings. As always, I urge you on to Christ Who is able to keep you from falling.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

That All Should Come to Repentance

(Article for publication week of 11-5-2008 AD)

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to uswards, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (II Peter 3:9). In our most recent articles we have been dealing with the doctrine of repentance. Repentance is an evidence of a gracious state (II Cor. 7:10; Matt. 5:4). None are saved apart from repentance (Luke 13:3,5). All men are commanded to repent (Acts 17:30). And repentance is the sovereign and gracious work of God (Acts 11:18).

God is not willing that any of His elect should perish, but that all of His elect should come to repentance. The “any” and the ‘all” of II Peter 3:9 is understood by Peter’s introduction in II Peter 1:1 to “them that have obtained like precious faith.” Actually God is willing that those who are in rebellion against Him and refuse to repent of their sins finally perish in their sins and be sent to hell. God is of “one mind “ and none “can turn Him” (see Job 23:13). Whatever God purposes, He shall bring to pass (Isaiah 46:11). He will do all His pleasure (Isaiah 46:10). God is absolutely Sovereign and He will not be disappointed nor frustrated in His Holy designs. God is willing that the unsaved perish, and they will perish and that for eternity. But God is not willing that a single blood bought heir of promise perish, and none shall.

God is longsuffering with his elect while they are unregenerate. We were children of wrath even as others and we despised God, His grace and His gospel until He regenerated us and brought us to repentance and faith. There is a set time when God will call all His elect to the knowledge of His Son (Psalm 102:13). “There is a period known to God, when all His sheep redeemed by blood, shall leave the hateful ways of sin, turn to the fold and enter in.”(Kent). And God suffers long with us until that day appointed by Himself when he shall effectually call us. Believer , are you not thankful that the Lord suffered long with you. He could have cut you down while you were in your sins, but He suffered long until you were converted.

And God suffers long with the wicked until His sovereign purposes in this present order of things are all accomplished. God suffered long with the antediluvian world until the ark was finished and Noah and His family were safely aboard (I Peter 3:20). God withheld His Holy judgment and wrath for the sinners of the old world until all of Noah’s family were brought into the ark. And so God is longsuffering with the world until all His elect are converted to Christ and safe in Him the True Ark of their souls.

All of God’s chosen elect will certainly be brought to repentance. In His sovereign mercy and by His sovereign grace, He will grant repentance and faith. Not one chosen in the covenant of grace shall ever perish. Not one bought with the blood of Christ shall ever perish. All those blood bought heirs of promise shall be called by the Holy Spirit . Jesus said in John 6:37, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me.” you know what our Lord was saying there in John 6:37. Why He was saying that God has chosen a vast number in Christ from all eternity and that he (Christ) came to die for them and they are predestinated to be called savingly to Himself. What God has decreed must come to pass. It is impossible that any of these should ever perish for they are fenced in by Jehovah’s “shalls and wills.” Jesus said in John 10:28 concerning His sheep “they shall never perish.”

Thus we see the meaning of II Peter 3:9 who it is that God is not willing should perish. He is not willing that any of His elect should perish. He is not willing that any of His sheep shall ever perish. He is not willing that any believer perish. He is willing that they all come to repentance and believe in His Son, and they shall. This world shall not come to an end until God’s purpose of grace is accomplished. Just as God was longsuffering with the old world in the days of Noah, so He is being longsuffering with the world until all His elect are saved. Praise the Lord for His mercy, His grace and His longsuffering and His promise to grant repentance to all His elect.