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 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.

No comments: