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.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Beware of False Prophets

(Article for publication week of 12-31-2008 AD)

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” (Matthew 7:16). One of the great difficulties in true conversion is the great number of false prophets who are deceiving people and leading them astray. Please note the context in which our Lord gives this solemn warning. After the Lord instructs us to enter into the strait (or difficult) gate that leads to the narrow way that leads to life, he warns us of false prophets. Do you see the picture? Positioned right near the strait gate (John Bunyan’s “wicked gate’ in “Pilgrim’s Progress”) , there are the false prophets.

So we see the true meaning of a false prophet. A false prophet is not one who disagrees with us on prophecy. Nor is a false prophet one who holds to a different view of church government and order. A false prophet is not one who belongs to another Christian denomination. But a false prophet is one who tells men they do not have to enter the strait gate of conversion to be saved. False prophets obscure the true way of salvation which is grace alone, faith alone and that in Christ Alone. False prophets , like Worldly Wiseman in Pilgrim’s Progress just tell people to be moral or religious and everything will be all right. False prophets never warn sinners of the wrath to come. They never call on sinners in plain terms to repent. And they do not insist that faith in Christ is the only way of salvation.

False prophets are not always easy to recognize. They have on sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. False prophets are often disguised in clerical garb. Sometimes they are disguised in a fashionable suit. They have on all sorts of clever disguises, but beware , lest they lead you into hell. Friends , you had better be very careful who you listen to for directions in salvation. A false prophet is more dangerous than a “quack” doctor. A “quack’ doctor can only harm your body, but a false prophet will destroy your very soul.

False prophets are often very congenial men. They can get along with everybody. False prophets are often very popular in the community and well thought of. They would never be considered as the “off scouring of the world”, like the apostles. “They (love) the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:43).

The prophet Isaiah warned of false prophets in chapter 56, verse 10, calling them “dumb dogs, they cannot bark.” The intruder is coming in to hurt those inside, but the dumb dog does not bark. Like a dumb dog, a false prophet knows when to keep his mouth shut. He may preach many things that are true, but he will neglect some of the most needful things of the hour if he knows his job is on the line. Martin Luther once said something along the lines that if a man preaches all the truth except the truth being attacked, he does not preach the truth.

False prophets are blind leaders of the blind, and they and their followers will finally fall into the ditch. The Apostle Paul warned in II Corinthians 11:13, “for such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.” You see, false prophets are very sneaky. They are talented “wordsmiths” who can craft clever little messages that their hearers never even understand the heresies they are preaching. They can appear to be “apostles of Christ.

Dear friends, beware of false prophets. Test what you hear by the word of God. And may the Lord deliver His people from false prophets.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Difficulty of True Conversion

(Article for publication week of 12-24-2008 AD)

“Enter ye in at the strait gate…” (Matthew 7:13). We have been considering the doctrine of conversion as illustrated by our Lord here in Matthew chapter 7. The word ‘strait” is an archaic word which means “difficult.” Our Lord is illustrating for us here how that true conversion is indeed a difficult thing.

Contrary to popular opinion, salvation is not an easy thing. We fear that many of our readers are indeed deceived in the matter of their own soul salvation because they have been told that getting saved is an easy thing. By using an illustration comparing true conversion to a “strait” or difficult gate, our Lord is telling us that salvation is a very difficult thing. John Bunyan in his classic “The Pilgrim’s Progress” , teaches this truth by the “wicket gate”. If you have not read it, you ought to. The wicket gate, or the strait gate, is a little gate that is very hard to get through.

How many here in Simpson County are deceived and being deceived by telling themselves and others that getting saved is an easy thing. It is widely believed that salvation is just “saying a prayer.” Now, no sinner is ever saved apart from prayer, but a prayer will not save you, for salvation is in Christ Alone. Many think they were saved by “deciding to accept Jesus.” And then I know a few who dangerously presume that salvation is a matter of just hoping they might be one of God’s elect. How many erroneously think that salvation is very easy.

Now conversion is a very simple thing. It is so simple that a little child can be saved when the Holy Spirit is please to work effectually. Salvation is so simple that people of very small intellect can be saved when the Holy Spirit immediately performs regeneration in their soul. Salvation is simply repenting of your sin and trusting in Christ Alone for your whole and sole righteousness. But see here now. There is a great difference in ease and simplicity. Getting saved is simple, but not easy.

The first thing that makes conversion a difficult thing is that the poor sinner is dead in trespasses and sin (Ephesians 2:1). The dead can do nothing. Conversion is so difficult that it is indeed impossible without a miracle from the Lord. The one thing needed by those that are dead is LIFE! Unless the Lord is pleased to give spiritual life, no sinner would ever be converted. In John 6:44 our Lord said no man can come to Him except he be drawn of God. We fear that many people we know have been drawn by a preacher who have never been drawn by God.

Another thing that makes conversion difficult is that a poor sinner’s will is averse to God and the things of God. The Lord said in John 5:40 “ye will not come unto me that ye might have life.” Not only is a sinner unable to come to Christ, he is unwilling. And I might put in here that the thing that is so terrible about the sinner’s plight is his stubborn rebellion. Friend, God is not going to send you to hell for your inability, but for your awful and inexcusable rebellion. Unless your will is changed and you are made willing in the “day of (HIS) power (Psalm110:3), you will perish in your sins and be doomed and damned for eternity.

But then as we read on in Matthew 7 we see another difficulty in conversion- there are many false prophets misleading people (see verse 15). There are many false preachers and teachers who are telling people they can be saved without going through the strait gate of conversion. Our Lord warns us to beware of such. Unless a man faithfully and constantly points men to the gate of entrance into salvation, he is a false prophet. Anybody who tells men there is a way of salvation that goes around the Door of Christ is a false prophet. I wish you would read the whole 7th chapter of Matthew and see how the false prophets are right there at the strait gate telling people they don’t have to go through that difficulty to get to heaven. Beware of such my friend, if you value your never dying soul.

Yes , true conversion is difficult. But thanks be to God all things are possible with Him. I pray He may give you grace to get through the gate of conversion and into the narrow way that leads to life.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Urgency of True Conversion

(Article for publication week of 12-17-2008 AD)

“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate , and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate , and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14). In this passage our Lord Jesus Christ is illustrating for us the doctrine of true conversion. And the very first thing we notice in the text is our Lord’s urgency in calling men to the narrow way.

My friends, I want to press upon your minds this week the great urgency of salvation. These words of our Lord Jesus Christ have a note of awful urgency about them. It is an urgent matter for you to attend to, the state of your never dying soul. Our Lord says here that conversion is an urgent matter, for if you are not converted by getting through the gate that leads to life, you are headed for eternal destruction. It is apparent that our Lord is speaking here of eternal destruction in hell for we read on in the rest of Matthew chapter 7 about unfruitful trees being hewn down and cast into the fire (Verse 19). Further down (verses 21-23) our Lord tells us of a great Day of Judgment when false professors must hear their awful doom, “depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

Do I seem as one who speaks as idle tales to you? Oh! My friends please do not dismiss me as a crank. I am labouring for your never dying soul and beseeching you to consider the urgency of getting out of the broad way that leads down to hell, and entering through the strait gate into the narrow way that leads to heaven. Heaven and hell are not idle tales. Heaven is a real place where the saved by grace shall live in eternal bliss with the Lord Jesus Christ. Hell is a real place where multitudes are already weeping and wailing and gnashing their teeth. Hell is a real place where you will spend eternity unless you are truly converted to Christ. Unless you go through Christ the Door to be saved you must spend eternity in hell.

If I were you I would not do anything else until I had found the way of salvation and entered in. What is more urgent than the state of your soul? Will you be like Felix who would wait for a more convenient season to be saved? (Acts 24:25). As far as we know that poor sinner never found a convenient time to call for the Apostle Paul to come back and tell him the way of salvation through Christ. Paul laboured for Felix’ soul as I am for yours and told Felix of the Dear Saviour Who is able, willing and ready to save the chief of sinners and Felix trembled but waited for a more convenient season. He waited too late and as far as I know that old sinner has been in hell well nigh two thousand years now. Oh! I think I hear Felix cry from the burning pit for a convenient season, but he will never have another opportunity to hear Paul preach Christ again. His doom is sealed for eternity and so will yours be unless you get through the gate that leads to life, and that gate is Christ himself.

Or will you be like Agrippa who was “almost persuaded “ to become a Christian (Acts 26:28). Like Agrippa some of you are almost a Christian , but you are still lost. You have been shown the way of salvation but you have never entered in by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. “Almost but lost” will be your cry as God casts you into hell. I weep as I consider how awful the day of judgment will be for most of you. You are “almost” a Christian. You have your church membership (and that is good if you are saved and are a member of a Bible believing church), but you have never gotten through the gate of conversion. Some of you read these articles every week and you have been almost persuaded, but you are still lost. Some of you may have a faithful pastor who calls on you faithfully to come to Christ, but you have told yourself you’re all right but deep down inside you know things still are not right between you and Christ. Some of you have heard a man of God warn sinners of lost profession and you said to yourself, “he must be talking about my neighbour“, but friend he was talking about you! Salvation is too urgent to wait for a convenient season or be almost persuaded. Repent and come to Christ now is my urgent call to you today.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christ, the Only Way

(Article for publication week of 12-10-2008 AD)

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, ‘He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbed up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.” (John 10:1). One of the most soul damning lies being advocated in your day and mine is the lie of “inclusivism.” The false prophets who advocate this awful lie say that everyone who is religious and sincere will finally be in heaven. These false prophets say that Christians, Jews , Moslems, Buddhists , Hindus and everything else all actually worship the same god. But my friends, the Lord Jesus Christ did not preach that. He said the only way to get to heaven is through Him, and that everyone who is trying to get to heaven some other way is a “thief and a robber.” Further down in John 10 (verse 7), our Lord said, “I Am THE Door of the sheep.” all who think they may be saved without faith in Christ are nothing but thieves and robbers and they will be eternally disappointed in the Day of Judgment.

Nor is this an isolated or ambiguous text concerning Christ being the only way to God. Acts 4:12 plainly says “Neither is there salvation in any other , for there none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.” My friends Mohammed cannot get anyone to heaven. Bhudda can’t get you to heaven. Moses cannot get you to heaven. Your good works cannot get you to heaven. Your church membership cannot get you to heaven. No religious system can get you to heaven. Every Christless religious system is leading folks down to hell. Christ is THE WAY and the only Way to heaven . In John 14:6 our Lord Jesus Christ said “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” Christ is not one of many ways, but he is the One and Only Way of salvation.

Christ is the only way of salvation because he is the only one who has made a real and full atonement for sinners. God’s justice requires that sinners against His Holy Law must be punished. Neighbour, you and I have sinned against God and broken His laws and unless our sin is atoned for, we must bear the terrible punishment ourselves. But I want you to know that Christ took the sins of believers upon Himself (I Peter 2:24) and made a full and a real atonement for all who come to Him in faith. The Lord Jesus Christ was wounded for our transgressions (Isaiah 53:5). The Lord Jesus Christ was made sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. (II Corinthians 5:21). The Lord Jesus Christ is the only Substitute for sinners that there will ever be, and unless you have Him for your Substitute, you must bear the heavy guilt of sin yourself and be punished eternally in Hell. But everyone who truly trusts in Christ as their Substitute will be saved from the wrath to come.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation because he is the one and only Mediator between God and men. Go read it in I Timothy 2:5. My friend, you cannot go to God on your own. You are a sinner, and God is too Holy to let people like us into His Holy Presence (Habakkuk 1:13). To get to God we must have one to be our “go between.” This the Lord does this for sinners who come to him begging for mercy. The Lord Jesus Christ is this very moment interceding in heaven for the chief of sinners, and He has said He will in no wise cast out any who come to Him. The Lord Jesus Christ is the only Person in the universe who is fully God and fully man. He is the GOD-Man. He is the Daysman Who takes sinners by one hand and lays hold on God with the other hand. No one who trusts in Him alone for salvation shall ever be disappointed.

Come to Christ today without delay. There is salvation in Him and in no other. I promise you , you will not be disappointed in Christ. He is able, willing and ready to save all who come to Him in faith. May the Holy Spirit quicken you and draw you effectually to the Dear Saviour and may you find salvation in the only Saviour of sinners. Come into the sheepfold through the only Door- the Lord Jesus Christ.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Gate of Conversion

(Article for publication week of 12-3-2008 AD)

“”Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” ( Matthew 7:13-14). In this section of the Sermon on the Mount our Lord illustrates for us two vital doctrines- true conversion and true perseverance. For the next several weeks we will be considering more of the doctrine of conversion as given here by our Lord.

First of all , I call your attention to the truth that there are only two ways set before us- the narrow way, leading to life, and the broad way leading to death. There is no middle ground here. All of us are right now at this moment in one of two ways, either the narrow way or the broad way. We are either on our way to heaven or we are on our way to hell. Neighbour does that disturb you in the least. I grieve in my soul for my neighbours and kindred that go on day by day heed less of eternity. Dear ones, please wake up to the fact that if you are not in the narrow way you are lost and headed for hell.

Secondly , I call your attention to the way our Lord speaks here. He does not use some of the modern jargon we hear. I think it will do us well to imitate our Lord in our evangelism. Rather than asking people if they are “saved”, it would be better to ask them if they are in the narrow way. Here in our part of the world, it is hard to find any one who is not saved (to hear them tell it). You think because you prayed a prayer or made a decision you are saved. But friend , are you in the narrow way? Be sure if you are not in the narrow way, you are not saved, and you are lost and on your way to hell.

Thirdly, please note there is only one way into the narrow way, and that is through the strait gate. Now we need to note that the word strait is an archaic word that we seldom use. (Some would suggest that we should discard our reliable authorized translation since it has archaic words and replace it with modern versions translated from the corrupt Alexandrian texts, and the corrupt text by Westcott and Hort, but we should rather reacquaint ourselves with the language of our ancestors and keep our reliable Authorized Version translated from the Textus Receptus). The word strait means “difficult”. Salvation is not as easy as most people think. True conversion, getting saved is a very difficult thing. We are reminded of our Lord’s words in Matthew 19:24, “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle , than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” The gate of salvation is hard to get through. It is so hard that you will not get through it except by Divine Grace.

The strait gate is the exclusive way of salvation. Our Lord said in John 14:6, “I am THE way.” we read in Acts 4;12, “Neither is there salvation in any other”. The Lord Jesus Christ said in John 10:1 “He that entereth not by the door of the sheepfold, but cometh up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.” Christ is the exclusive door of salvation. You will not get into the narrow way that leads to life any other way except by faith in Him.

Fourthly, we see in this text that there must be a conscious entering in to salvation. The idea that God saves people and leaves them in their ignorance is shown to be a great error by this text; or the idea that you can just complacently wait for the Lord to save you as some vainly suppose; or the idea that you can use salesmanship or psychology to get people saved without them hardly even knowing what happened. No my friend, if you have not consciously pressed through the strait gate, you are not saved. Now may the Lord give grace that someone may seek, find and enter the strait gate of conversion today.