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, February 22, 2009

Lovest Thou Me?

(Article for publication week of 2-25-2009 AD)

"He saith unto him third time, ‘Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?’ Peter was grieved because He said unto him the third time, ‘Lovest thou me?’ And he said unto Him, ‘ Lord Thou knowest all things; Thou knowest that I love Thee.’ Jesus said unto him, ‘Feed my sheep.’ " (John 21:17).

We are showing from the scriptures who the true ministers of Christ are so that our readers may not be deceived by false prophets who will lead them into hell. One of the ways to recognize false prophets is to be well acquainted with the true.

Last week we showed from Jeremiah 3:15 that true ministers are men that God calls into the ministry and men that feed the people of God with His blessed Word. This week we bring before you one of the most important marks of a true minister- he must be a converted man himself. The Lord asked Peter, “lovest thou me?” This is a mark of a truly converted man, that he loves the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the only kind of man that is fit to be in the ministry, a man that is saved himself.

The sad fact is that many ‘preachers’ are not converted men themselves. Our Lord warned us of that in Matthew 7:15-22. The Lord in His glorious sovereignty may sometimes use an unconverted man as an instrument in the salvation of sinners, but this is most extraordinary. The Lord used Balaam to preach some truth (Numbers23:10), but Balaam was a lost man himself (II Peter 2:15). The Lord used Judas Iscariot and gave him spiritual gifts, but Judas ended up in hell. What an awful thought! That some preachers who may be gifted and even be used instrumentally in the hand of a sovereign God who saves his people in extraordinary ways, will end up in hell themselves. Preachers should not trust in their gifts or even that there may have been conversions under their ministry for their own assurance. Preachers must trust in Christ alone for their own salvation. So just because the Lord sometimes uses lost preachers is no reason why we should want to be one, nor trust our souls to one. I urge you dear people to be sure your minister is a converted man himself.

Now , our Lord asked Peter one of the most important questions in the world, “lovest thou me?” Be sure my friend, if you do not love Christ, you are not a converted person. Any person who has truly come to know Christ will love Him! Why, He is altogether lovely! He is the most wonderful Person in the universe! He is the friend of sinners. He is our Prophet to teach us. He is our Priest to intercede for us. He is our King to rule over us and protect us from our enemies. He is the Saviour of all who repent of their sins and come to Him by faith. He is the God- Man , the only Mediator between God and men. He is God Incarnate. He is the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. He is One with his Father. He is the Eternal son of God. He had no beginning and He shall have no end. He lived a perfect life and kept the law of God to a ‘jot and tittle”, and His righteousness is imputed to all believe in Him for salvation. He was laid in a borrowed tomb, but on the third day He came forth victorious . After forty days , He returned to heaven to sit on the right hand of His eternal Father. One day he is coming back to raise the dead , and sit on His throne of Judgment. Finally, He shall take all His ransomed people to His eternal kingdom where we shall worship Him in perfection forever.

I cannot understand why any would not love Christ. He is so precious to me. But the sad truth is many do not. Dear reader, do you love Jesus?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Faithful Pastors

(Article for publication week of 2-18-2009 AD)

“And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding” (Jeremiah 3:15).

Having warned our readers of false prophets who lead men away from the strait gate of conversion (Matthew 7:13-14) and into the ditch of hell (Matthew 15:14), we are now proceeding to describe a true man of God. One of the best ways to recognize the false is to be thoroughly acquainted with the true. Having a true man of God for a pastor is a necessity for our eternal good. If you value your never dying soul, set yourself under the ministry of a true man of God. As John Bunyan said, such men are indeed “one of a thousand”, but they are to be found.

As we begin to consider the marks of a true pastor according to God’s heart, we shall first of all emphasize that the scriptures teach that all the Lord’s people should have pastors (Ephesians 4:11; Hebrews 13:17; Acts 20:28). The scriptures teach us that all Christians should be members of Bible believing, Bible preaching churches (Matthew 18:17; Acts 2:47; Acts 9:26). All believers are to be under the nurture, ministry, authority and discipline of the Church. The idea of a person being a Christian and not belonging to the Church is foreign to the Bible. Being a member of a church will not save you, or help save you, but if you are saved you will want to be in fellowship with other believers (I John 3:14). So I will just ask each of you, “to what church do you belong, and who is your pastor?” In these articles we are continually warning against false profession and lost church members and lost preachers, but we want none of our readers to suppose we are in any way belittling church membership, true profession and true men of God. These are all rarities in our time and place, but they are to be found. So I challenge all of my readers to find a true church and true man of God and formally connect yourself with them. Note well I am not saying like a TV weatherman in our area used to say, “go to the church of your choice”! The church of “your choice” may be a synagogue of Satan. I am saying find you a church where the gospel is being preached, where there is an effort in practical godliness, and where there is a true man of God as pastor.

Now, back to our text. We see two marks of a true pastor. First of all, he is a man that God has called into the ministry, a man according to God’s heart. Paul said in I Timothy 1:12 that God put him into the ministry. We fear that many “ministers” in our day put themselves into the ministry. The same apostle said in I Corinthians 9:16 that “necessity’ was laid upon him to preach the gospel. A true man of God has a compulsion to preach that is given him of the Lord. No man should be trying to preach who does not feel this “necessity.” The man who will preach when it is convenient or if the money is right or if he has nothing better to do has no business in the ministry and you should not put yourself under him.

The second mark we see in our text of a God-given minister is that he feeds the people of God with knowledge and understanding. He is a man like Bunyan’s portrait in the Interpreter’s house with the “best of books in his hand. He will preach “thus sayeth the Lord” and he will not shun to declare the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27). True ministers are not to be entertainers or public relations men. They are to be preachers of the Word. Paul exhorted Timothy to “preach the word” (II Timothy 4:2). I have sat in the presbytery to ordain a few men as elders, and this is what I have whispered in their ear- “PREACH THE WORD!” I hope all of them are. And I pray this for you my dear readers that God will give you a pastor after His heart who will feed you with the Word. If you are serious about salvation, settle for no less.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A Faithful Minister of Christ

(Article for publication week of 2-11-2009 AD)

“As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellow servant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;” (Colossians 1:7).
The past few weeks we have been sounding the warning against false prophets. Our Lord warned us in Matthew 7:15 to beware of false prophets for they stand near the difficult gate of conversion (Matthew 7:13-14) and tell people they can get to heaven without entering the gate of conversion. The Lord warned us of following blind leaders for they and their followers will fall into the ditch of Hell (Matthew 15:14). In Matthew 7:21-23 the Lord warns of the certain doom of the false prophets.

We have shown from the scriptures some of the marks of false prophets with an earnest desire that none of our readers be led into hell by people who pervert the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. One of the best ways to recognise the false is to be thoroughly acquainted with the true. If you are in dead earnest concerning the welfare of your never dying soul (and no one will ever get to heaven who is not in dead earnest about it) , you must seek out a faithful and true minister. The next few articles will be devoted to this all important subject.

John Bunyan , who lived and died in England in the seventeenth century is a great help to us in this matter, as he is in all spiritual subjects. John Bunyan was a faithful minister himself, and had the help of some faithful men, especially his own pastor, Mr. Gifford. Bunyan became a pastor himself, and was jailed for several years in Bedford jail for preaching without a license. I highly recommend his writings to all who are sincerely concerned as to their spiritual condition.

Mr. Bunyan gives us a portrait of a true and faithful man of God in his book “Pilgrim’s Progress.” This is found in the part where Christian comes into the Interpreter’s House where he is shown a picture of the kind of man that he should trust as a helper to his soul. I now quote: “The man whose picture this is, is one of a thousand; he can beget children, travel in birth with children, and nurse them himself when they are born. And whereas thou seest him with eyes lift up to heaven, the Best of Books in his hand, and the Law of Truth writ on his lips; it is to shew thee, that his work is to know and unfold dark things to Sinners; even as also thou seest him stand as if he pleaded with men; and whereas thou seest the World as cast behind him, and that a Crown hangs over his head; that is to shew thee that slighting and despising the things that are present, for the love that he hath to his Master’s service, he is sure in the World that comes next, to have glory for his reward. Now, said the Interpreter, I have shewed thee this picture first, because the Man Whose picture this is, is the only man whom the Lord of the place whither thou art going, hath authorized to be thy guide in all difficult places thou mayest meet in the way: Wherefore take good heed to what I have shewed thee, and bear well in thy mind what thou hast seen; lest in thy Journey thou meet with some that pretend to lead thee right, but their way goes down to death.”

Dear readers, the man portrayed here by Mr. Bunyan is indeed a rare specimen. I have only known a handful of such men in my entire life. I urge you my dear readers, if you value your never dying soul, be careful what minister you listen to. As Mr. Bunyan so sweetly says it, the true man of God is indeed “one of a thousand.” Lord willing we will pursue the theme further in coming articles . Meanwhile, may the Lord bless you and lead you to a faithful minister.