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, July 25, 2010

No Such Thing as "Luck"

(Article for publication week of 7-28-2010 AD)

"The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord" (Proverbs 16:33).

The word "luck" is a word that should be banished from our vocabulary. According to the scriptures, there is no such thing as "luck", for all things are foreordained by God. The casting of the lot is ordained by God, for He disposes of all things by His sovereign and absolute and all wise counsels. The movement of the heavenly bodies is by God's determinate counsel and foreknowledge. Every germ and bacterium on the earth is under the sovereign control of God. All atomic activity is by God's sovereign decree. God works all things after the counsel of His Own will (Ephesians 1:11). As our text this week says, "the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord".

Nothing in the universe is left to blind chance. The universe is governed by an all-wise God. God's eternal decrees are in accordance with His wisdom. Don't you see that the worlds are upheld by the One Who is all wise? You see, there is no wisdom in "luck". Those who believe in "luck" are simply saying that they do not believe in the all wise God. Now I know some of you use the word "luck" out of habit, rather than unbelief, but you should labour to eliminate the word "luck' from your vocabulary as much as you would labour to guard against unclean or blasphemous speech. You see, "luck" denies that God is absolutely sovereign. Actually, it ultimately denies that there is a God. There is no such thing as luck in a universe created and governed and upheld by Jehovah.

I thank our Great God that He rules, and over-rules all things for two glorious purposes; God's first great purpose is His Own eternal glory (Psalm 8:1; Romans 11:36). The whole idea of "luck" or "chance" ascribes no glory to God. Those who think that way are not giving God the glory that is due His holy name. Everything that happens in a universe governed and controlled by our Sovereign Lord is for His eternal glory.

God's other great purpose in all things is the eternal good of His people (Romans 8:28). God hath determined in Himself to do good to the objects of His love. We Christians know that our great God is too good to be unkind, and He is too wise to err. All things work together for the good of God’s chosen people. God is infinitely wiser than we. And He is infinitely more holy than we. So we trust Him that when things happen that are painful, He knows it will be for our spiritual and eternal good. He is good, and He is wise, and He will glorify Himself and work good for His people. There is no such thing as "luck", because God is absolutely sovereign.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Absolute Sovereignty of God

(Article for publication week of 7-21-2010 AD)

"Being predestinated according to the purpose of Him Who worketh all things after the counsel of His Own will" (Ephesians 1:11).

Last week we showed the sovereignty of God in creation, providence and salvation. This week, we wish to show that God is absolutely sovereign. Actually, the term "sovereignty of God" is being used more today than in my earlier years, and for this we are thankful. The renewed interest in the doctrines of grace and calvinism is an encouraging sign. But I suspect that many who are using the term "sovereignty of God", do not really believe it as the Bible says.

The great theologian, Lorraine Boetner once remarked, "there is no consistent stopping place between absolute predestination and atheism." This is the reason I entitle this week's article "The ABSOLUTE Sovereignty of God." According to our text here in Ephesians 1:11, God is not only sovereign, but He actually excercises His sovereignty. He works all things after the counsel of His Own will. God is the First Great Cause of all things. God has foreordained everything that comes to pass. "All things" means "all things"! As Boetner expresses it, to move from this high pinnacle of God's sovereignty is to move toward atheism.

This is a most comforting truth to know and to believe. I do not have to worry about what is going to happen tomorrow, for God has already ordained what will happen. He is working all things out for my eternal good and His eternal glory. The great Christian, General Stonewall Jackson was absolutely fearless in battle. When asked of his calmness on the battlefield, he responded, "I am as safe here as at home in my bed." This is the faith and confidence of those who understand that God has predestinated all things and that He is too wise to be mistaken, and too good to be unkind. Our lives and our deaths are predetermined by Him, and we cannot die a second before our appointed time, for he "worketh all things after the counsel of His Own will."

And most comforting of all, God has exercised His sovereignty in the matter of our salvation. Our salvation is certain and we cannot lose it, because it has been foreordained of God from all eternity. Not one that God predestinated to an eternal inheritance shall lose that inheritance. Our sovereign God has worked salvation according to His purpose which cannot fail. Praise be to Him Who rules over all!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Sovereignty of God

(Article for publication week of July 14, 2010 AD)

"Our God is in the heavens, He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased" (Psalm 115:3).

I begin this week by asking you, who do you believe is running the world? Some think that man is running the world. There are of course rich and powerful men in businees, finance and state who appear to have great power. Others don't believe anyone is running the world- they suppose that some blind "fate" controls the world. But our text tells us Who is actually running the world- God!

The God of the Bible does not consult with His creatures as to how He will run the world and the whole universe- He does as He pleases in all things. When God created the world, it was by His Own sovereign decree. Before creation there was none but God, so He did not have to consult with anyone as to whether or how He would create a universe. God rules the creation by His Own Sovereign power, and as one dear Brother often preaches, "There is not a misplaced atom in the universe." Every atomic particle in the universe is exactly where God ordained it to be and is kept in its place by the Sovereign hand of God.

So you see, when we speak of the sovereignty of God, we simply mean that God is in absolute control of everything and that he does as he pleases with His Own. And that includes you my dear reader- God owns you and He will do with you as seems good to Him. Your temporal existence is in the hands of Jehovah, the absolute sovereign of the universe. When he is so pleased, He will cut you down and take you out into eternity. God is not obligated to you to let you live a specified time on earth. Your days are numbered and are foreordained of the Lord. And your eternal destiny is in the hands of the Lord God, Who has power to save and power to damn.

The God of the Bible is much bigger than the God many of you believe in. I love this great God, because he is absolutely sovereign over all things and is working out all things for His glory and the good of His people. I love this omnipotent and absolutely Sovereign Lord, and I wish all of you loved Him. May the Lord help you to see how glorious God actually is and that he is the Sovereign of heaven and earth.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Omnipresence of God

(Article for publication week of 7-7-2010 AD)

"Whither shall I go from Thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, Thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold Thou art there." (Psalm 139:7-8).

The Psalmist declares in our text the omnipresence of God, that is, God is everywhere present, and nowhere absent. God is present everywhere in His great universe. He is a spirit (John 4:34) so is unbounded by space. He is in heaven, and he is everywhere on earth, and according to our text His presence is known , even in hell itself.

Ever since man sinned in the Garden of Eden, we have been trying to hide from God. The presence of God is a frightening thing to a poor sinner. In Genesis 3:8 we read that Adam and Eve hid themselves from the presence of the Lord. Before they sinned, they delighted in the presence of God. But after the fall their consciences were guilty and they feared the presence of God, knowing they were now under His judgment. But Adam and Eve found out there was nowhere to hide. And there is still no place for a poor sinner to hide.

Poor sinner , you cannot get away from God! There is no place for you to hide! We read in the Book of Revelation that at the reality of the day of Judgment , sinners will cry to the rocks and mountains to fall upon them (Revelation 6:15-17). But there will be no place to hide in that awful Day.

And after God's judgment is passed upon you poor sinner, there will still be no place to hide. Our text says , that when you have made your bed in hell, God will be there. God will be your judge and executioner for eternity. For all eternity you will be in the hands of an angry God Who will punish you forever. You will never get away from Him!

But for us who are saved, the omnipresence of God is a delightful thing! God is with His people at all times, wherever they are. Our great God has promised to never leave nor forsake us. Though we walk through the valley of shadow of death, He is with us. He is with us in every dangerous situation. He is upholding and protecting the sheep of His pasture. Our God is with us!

And we look forward to eternity, for we shall spend eternity with our great God. The thing that is frightening to the unbeliever is a source of endless joy for the believer. "If I ascend up into heaven" , our Great God is there. Christians, let this be your consolation- God will never leave thee nor forsake thee, and you shall be with Him forever.