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, August 8, 2009

The Lord Knoweth His Own

(Article for publication week of 8-12-2009 AD)

“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His. And, Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." (II Timothy 2:19).

In our last several articles we have been showing how that love for the children of God is an indispensable evidence of regeneration. A dear sister writes this week to ask, ” How may we know the children of God?” The answer is we do not know infallibly. Only the Lord knows infallibly who is saved. We look for evidence in ourselves and in others, but only the Lord knows infallibly who is a Christian. So, we would say in the first place that we look for the same evidence in others that we look for in ourselves; that is faith in Christ, repentance from dead works, the practice of righteousness, no habitual sinning, and unfeigned love for the children of God.

Our text this week gives us some help in determining whom we address as “brother” or “sister”. We may not regard a person as a believer unless they publicly profess their faith in Christ- “every one that nameth the name of Christ.” Our Lord Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:32-33, ”whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I ALSO DENY BEFORE MY Father which is in heaven.” We should not address a person as “brother” or “sister” unless they publicly avow their faith in Christ. John 12:42-43 tells us of some who would not confess Christ for the fear of men. We have no reason to regard a person as a child of God unless they openly profess the name of Christ.

Of course we also know that a profession of faith does not mean that a person is genuinely saved. At the final judgment, Christ will say to many “depart” who named the name of Christ but were in reality lawless ones (Matthew 7:21-23). The Judgment Day will be an awful day for many of you because all you have is an empty profession. So there must be something more than a profession. There must be, as our text says a departing from iniquity. If you will read the context in II Timothy 2, you will see that the iniquity under consideration is false doctrine. Contrary to what many suppose, it does matter what you believe and espouse. The person who holds to false doctrine gives the lie to his or her profession. So we see that we should not regard a person as a child of God who holds to heretical teachings.

But, please note in verse 16 of II Timothy 2 that false doctrine leads to ungodliness. So we see the next important point is that we should not regard a person as a child of God unless they are living a Godly life. The professors of Christ must maintain purity in doctrine and life. Where there is no holiness of life, we have no reason to suppose that Christ has done His saving work.

But ultimately we see that only the Lord Himself knows infallibly who are His. Many that we have addressed as brother or sister either in ignorance or in charity will be finally discovered as false professors and must hear the woeful words, “ depart from me”! (I shudder to write it.) Perhaps some of those we doubted of their salvation, we will be happy and surprised when we see them in heaven. Let us be discerning and charitable with others and ruthless with ourselves, for the great day will declare who really belongs to Christ.

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