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, 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.

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