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?

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