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, September 12, 2010

The Sovereignty of God and Evangelism

(Article for publication week of 9-15-2010 AD)

“Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory” (II Timothy 2:10).

For the past several weeks we have been declaring the scriptural doctrine of the Sovereignty of God. One of the first questions people raise when presented with this truth is, “if God is absolutely sovereign (and He is) and has predestinated who would be saved (and he has), then why preach?”

The first answer to this question is BECAUSE GOD SAID TO! Our Lord plainly told us to preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15-16). Whether we understand anything else about it, we must obey God. “Our first duty is not to understand, but to believe” (A. W. Pink). Paul said he endured all things for the elect’s sakes that they would obtain salvation. We must imitate his example, whether we understand the Biblical connection between the end and the means of salvation.

Secondly, we preach the gospel to the whole world because the only way we know who the elect are is by their response to the gospel. In Acts 13:48 it says, “as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.” As surely as God ordained salvation, He also ordained to bring all His elect to faith in Christ, and He accomplishes this by the preaching of the word. Let no one imagine themselves to be among the elect of God who is not trusting in Christ Alone for salvation. The gospel draws out the elect from the rest of the world. I will illustrate my point like this. If you had a pile of steel shavings mixed with sawdust and drew a magnet over the pile, the magnet would draw out the steel shavings. So it is with the drawing power of the gospel. It draws out the chosen of God. The Lord sends His Holy Spirit into the hearts of His elect so that the gospel comes to them in power (I Corinthians 1:18).

Thirdly, we preach the gospel to the whole world because it is the means God ordained whereby His elect should obtain salvation. Although salvation has been decreed from all eternity, it must be obtained. It is through “sanctification of the spirit and belief of the truth” (II Thessalonians 2:13) that God’s elect come into possession of salvation. This is the reason Paul endured all things (no small statement) for the elect’s sakes, for he knew that not a single soul would be saved, unless the gospel be preached.

The preachers that have been most used of God in evangelism and missions have been Calvinists; men like George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon, William Carey, and Rolf Barnard to name a few. Their belief in the sovereignty of God moved such men to do as the Apostle Paul and endure all things for the elect’s sakes that would obtain salvation. May we do likewise for God has commanded it, and it is His means to bring salvation to His elect.

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