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 5, 2010

The Sovereignty of God and the Gospel Call

(Article for publication week of 9-8-2010 AD)

"But we are bound to give thanks for you, brethren, beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth, whereunto He called you by our Gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ." (II Thessalonians 2:13-14).

We have in recent articles shown that the scriptures declare that God is absolutely sovereign and that He has chosen from all eternity who will be saved. Our text this week affirms this glorious truth. Paul thanked the Lord for the salvation of the Christians at Thessalonica, because God had chosen them to salvation "from the beginning". No one will be saved unless God chose them to salvation before the foundation of the world, and every one that God chose for salvation will be saved without the loss of one.

Our text this week also says that it was "through sanctification of the Spirit" and "belief of the truth" that we are saved. Furthermore, our text says that it is by the calling of the gospel that we obtain this great salvation. The doctrine of God's sovereignty does not negate the necessity of faith in Christ. Nor does this truth in any sense relieve us of our responsibility to preach the gospel to the whole world. That is one reason I write this column each week, to call by the gospel those of you that I cannot reach in person.

At first glance these two Biblical truths seem to be at odds with each other. Indeed, many professed Christians reject one or the other of these two Biblical truths. Many, having seen the plain words of scripture that promise salvation to all who believe in Christ, and pronounce judgment on all who will not believe in Him, find the truth of God's sovereignty hard to reconcile with the call to faith. Some, on the other hand, seeing election and predestination plainly taught in the scripture, and delighting in it, find it hard to reconcile that with the responsibility of man. Actually, we do not have to choose between the two, because both are taught in the Word, as is seen in our text this week.

The fact is, God has ordained both the end and the means of our salvation. He has ordained that His elect would obtain the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. God has also ordained that His elect should hear the gospel and believe it to the salvation of their souls. God has joined these two together, and let us not try to separate what God has joined. There is a great banner over the door of salvation that says, "whosoever will may come." That is a sincere proclamation. All who will repent of their sins and believe in Christ may be saved. We preach that to every rational creature that we can reach. After you have entered through the door of salvation, you may see the backside of that banner has written on it, "chosen to salvation from all eternity" (Illustration borrowed from Charles Spurgeon). My friend, if you are lost, you do not need to be trying to figure out the high doctrine of predestination, you just need to come to Christ. George Whitefield once said, "no one should try to enter the university of predestination until he has gone to the grammar school of repentance and faith." But after you have been saved, you may rejoice that it was all of the Lord from first to last.

14 comments:

Michael Gormley said...
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Michael Gormley said...
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Michael Gormley said...
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Michael Gormley said...

Dear Mr Foyd,

What is required in order to have Jesus ABIDE in us and we in Him?

Can we do it:

1. By accepting Him as our our own personal Lord and Savior ?
No. Where does the Bible say that?

2. By the grace of GOD only? Sola Gracias?
No. Where does the Bible say that?

3. By faith in GOD alone? Sola Fides?
No. Where does the Bible say that?

It is simple common sense that since He commanded that we must do something, then doesn't it stand to reason that He would also tell us how to do it?

Jesus was very clear in what we must do in order to have Him ABIDE in us and we in Him.

Jesus left this command for us in John 6:53-57:

53 "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you (the taken away branch);

54 he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.

56 HE WHO EATS MY FLESH AND DRINKS MY BLOOD ABIDES IN ME, AND I IN HIM.

57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me."

Michael Gormley said...
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Michael Gormley said...

Dear Raymond,

THE ASSUMPTION OF MARY: A BELIEF SINCE APOSTOLIC TIMES

Father Clifford Stevens

The Assumption is the oldest feast day of Our Lady, but we don't know how it first came to be celebrated.

Its origin is lost in those days when Jerusalem was restored as a sacred city, at the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine (c. 285-337).

By then it had been a pagan city for two centuries, ever since Emperor Hadrian (76-138) had leveled it around the year 135 and rebuilt it as Aelia Capitolina in honor of Jupiter.

For 200 years, every memory of Jesus was obliterated from the city, and the sites made holy by His life, death and Resurrection became pagan temples.

After the building of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in 336, the sacred sites began to be restored and memories of the life of Our Lord began to be celebrated by the people of Jerusalem.

One of the memories about his mother centered around the "Tomb of Mary," close to Mount Zion, where the early Christian community had lived.

On the hill itself was the "Place of Dormition," the spot of Mary's "falling asleep," where she had died.

The "Tomb of Mary" was where she was buried.

At this time, the "Memory of Mary" was being celebrated. Later it was to become our feast of the Assumption.

For a time, the "Memory of Mary" was marked only in Palestine, but then it was extended by the emperor to all the churches of the East.

In the seventh century, it began to be celebrated in Rome under the title of the "Falling Asleep" ("Dormitio") of the Mother of God.

Soon the name was changed to the "Assumption of Mary," since there was more to the feast than her dying. It also proclaimed that she had been taken up, body and soul, into heaven.

More>>>

Tortoise said...

HOW DO BE A GOOD CATHOLIC!

Here are some very basic obligatory rules that all Catholics should know. However, some Catholics are either ignorant of them, or knowingly fail to abide by them.

*Attend Mass every week. To deliberately miss Mass on Saturday vigil or on Sunday, is a mortal sin.

*Attend Mass on Holy Days of obligation. We are obligated to do so on certain Feast Days of the year. The Church bulletin and a good Catholic calendar lists these obligatory days.

*Go to Confession at least once a year. If in mortal sin, go as soon as possible. A mortal sin is a sin against any one of the Ten Commandments. The CCC has distinct references to mortal and venial sins.

*Believe with all your heart in the True Presence, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.

*Do not receive Holy Communion if you know you have a mortal sin on your soul. That would be yet another and worse mortal sin called a Sacrilege. Examination of Conscience is suggested each day and especially before Confession.

*"Obey your superiors and be subject to them, for they keep watch as having to render an account of your souls; so that they may do this with joy, and not with grief, for that would not be expedient for you." (Hebrews 13:17)

Adults are subject to their superiors at work, to authority, and to the law. Of course, all these are subject to the law of God and that is where our first allegiance must be.

Obey the teaching of the Holy Father the Pope, and the teaching of the Magisterium.

*We must respect life in the fullest sense. Abortion is murder of GOD's most helpless creature, an innocent child in its mother's womb.

Life begins at conception. Pro-Abortionists try to conceal what is really "Legalized Murder", by using the term, "Pro-Choice".

It is NOT a mothers "choice" whether to murder her unborn child or not. The child is not hers. It belongs to GOD.

It is not a part of her body. How could it ever be if it is a he and she is a she? It is a separate person with its own human systems and could even have a different blood type.

Our Creator has thus created each person singularly, independently functioning and with the potential to be a humble member of the world or to become great.

In our wonderful country, we each have the power to vote to put great people into leadership. A good Catholic, casts the right vote intelligently and carefully for a person who is Pro-Life which is Pro-GOD.

To vote with the tide of popularity that encompasses arrogance, self-aggrandizement and self-pride for advocates who are "pro-choice" is to vote into power those who are the proponants of the culture of death.

This is strictly forbidden and against the teaching of the Catholic Church which is the teaching of Christ! A vote for Pro-Life is saying yes to GOD.

Remember, Mary, Our Blessed Mother said "YES" to GOD. Make your vote count for Life!

*Do not practice Contraception. It is counter to Holy Scripture and the teaching of the Church. Natural Family Planning, as taught by the Catholic Church is the way to go.

Tortoise said...

HOW DO BE A GOOD CATHOLIC!...continued...

Pope Paul VI wrote an Encyclical in 1968 in which he envisioned the evil consequences if contraception were to continue. It is called Humanae Vitae.

Be sure to read paragraph #17 as it foretold exactly what would happen and is happening today over 30 years later. Contraception is the drugged mentality that leads to abortion and more.

*The parents have the responsibility to teach their children right from wrong at an early age, and to see to it that they have the proper Catholic education.

Teach them their Sunday obligation, their prayers, that GOD loves them, etc., as soon as they are able to understand. It is not the responsibility of the Church to do this, as the primary responsibility rests upon the parents.

By the example of their parents, they shall learn. Our children when ill-prepared and with no role-models to emulate, go into the world as young adults and are prey for the many false religions and cults waiting to capture them.

In their ignorance of the truth, they are enticed by the falseness and succumb to its teachings. Get your children into a sound religious education program.

Ask questions of the teachers, lay and religious alike. Search for a program that is solid.

*Have a loving devotion for Our Blessed Mother of GOD.

*Pray the Rosary every day.

*Say your prayers every day. Say the Act of Contrition each night.

*Support the Church financially. Every person should know what they are able to contribute.

a39greenway said...

We are Catholic and are Proud of it...

"Christian is my name, and Catholic my surname. The one designates me, while the other makes me specific. Thus am I attested and set apart... When we are called Catholics it is by this appellation that our people are kept apart from any heretical name."
Saint Pacian of Barcelona, Letter to Sympronian, 375 A.D..

"Always remain close to the Catholic Church, because it alone can give you true peace, since it alone possesses Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, the true Prince of Peace."
Blessed Padre Pio...

"It is because Christ is the sole canon of her preaching that the Church adheres so obstinately and so rigidly to His traditional message. It is for this reason that she can endure no modernism, no fraternizing with the spirit of the age."
Karl Adam, The Spirit of Catholicism...

"The Catholic Church understands its opponents, her opponents do not understand the Catholic Church."
Hilaire Belloc, the Great Heresies...

"People can relate to a crucified Christ displayed in Catholic Churches, as each one of us has a cross to carry. None of us can relate to a risen Christ, as none of us has ever risen from the dead."
Fr. Groeschel...

"Apologetic knowledge of the Catholic Church is deeper than the ocean depth and no one will ever reach the bottom."
Anonymous...

"While Protestants study the menu (the Bible), Catholics enjoy the meal."
Dr Scott Hahn...

"Dogmas of the Catholic Church are interconnected. If one is rejected, such as the infallibility of the Pope, then all are rejected."
Fr. Trujillo...

"Here is the shotgun analogy. Fire a Protestant shotgun and a Catholic shotgun at a wall. The pattern will be the opinions of those within, liberal, conservative, etc. With the Catholic, we always know who is at the center, the Pope and the Magisterium. With the Protestant, how can we determine who is in the center?"
Marcus Grodi, ex Protestant minister, now Catholic...

a39greenway said...

We are Catholic and are Proud of it... continued...

"You blind guides who strain out the gnat but swallow the camel."
Matthew 23:24...

"The Catholic faith does not teach what we used to think and vainly accused it of."
St. Augustine, Confessions, 6, 11, 400 A.D..

"For those who spread lies about the Catholic Church: their ignorance is their lack of knowledge, their stupidity is their wisdom, and their truth is falsehood."
Author Unknown...

"Heretics bring sentence upon themselves since they by their own choice withdraw from the Church, a withdrawal which, since they are aware of it, constitutes damnation."
St. Jerome Commentaries on Titus, 3, 10 386 A.D..

"Where Peter is, there is the Church."
St Ambrose of Milan, On twelve Psalms 381 A.D..

"A Christian man is Catholic while he lives in the body; cut off, he is made a heretic; the Spirit does not follow an amputated member."
Saint Augustine...

"The Catholic Church Always Has What The World Is Lacking."
G.K. Chesterton...

"When the world goes wrong, it proves that the Church is right."
G.K. Chesterton...

"It is contradictory for a Protestant to accept the Bible and reject the authority of the Catholic Church which gave it to him."
Anonymous...

"In attacking the Catholic Church, Protestants sever their own roots."
Author Unknown...

"Protestant Churches have songs and prayer. Catholic Churches have songs, prayer, and sacrifice."
Dr. Scott Hahn...

"No protestant should quote Scripture at all, for he has no means of knowing which books are inspired; Unless of course, he wants to accept the authority of the Catholic Church for that."
Fr. William Most...

"If you read the Bible with Catholic eyes, things will start popping out at you."
Author Unknown...

"Thanks to the Catholic Church, the authority and the integrity of the Bible was kept intact."
Author Unknown...

a39greenway said...

We are Catholic and are Proud of it... continued...

"Catholic beliefs for 2000 years have been affirmed by independent study."

"The fullness of truth is in the Catholic Church."

"Our Church is the fastest growing Church in the world. We have one billion Catholics in the world today." (1995)
Fr. Luke Zimmer...

Note! Now there are 1,070,000,000 Catholics as of April 2001. World Christian Encyclopedia

"You must all follow the lead of the bishop, as Jesus Christ followed that of the Father; follow the presbytery as you would the Apostles; reverence the deacons as you would God's commandment.

Let no one do anything touching the Church, apart from the bishop. Let that celebration of the Eucharist be considered valid which is held under the bishop or anyone to whom he has committed it.

Where the bishop appears, there let the people be, just as where Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.

It is not permitted without authorization from the bishop either to baptize or to hold an agape; but whatever he approves is also pleasing to God.

Thus everything you do will be proof against danger and valid."

Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Smyrneans, 107 A.D..

"From what has been said, then, it seems clear to me that the true Church, that which is really ancient, is one; and in it are enrolled those who, in accord with a design, are just...

We say, therefore, that in substance, in concept, in origin and in eminence, the ancient and Catholic Church is alone, gathering as it does into the unity of the one faith which results from familiar covenants, - or rather, from the one covenant in different times, by the will of the one GOD and through the one Lord, - those already chosen, those predestined by GOD who knew before the foundation of the world that they would be just."

Saint Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis, 202 A.D..

"It is therefore, the Catholic Church alone which retains true worship. This is the fountain of truth; this, the domicile of faith; this the temple of GOD.

Whoever does not enter there or whoever does not go out from here, he is a stranger to the hope of life and salvation...

Because, however, all the various groups of heretics are confident that they are the Christians, and think that theirs is the Catholic Church, let it be known: that is the true Church, in which there is confession and penance, and which takes a salubrious care of sins and wounds to which the weak flesh is subject."

Lactantius, The Divine Institutions, 304 A.D..

a39greenway said...

We are Catholic and are Proud of it... continued...

"Let us note that the very tradition, teaching, and faith of the Catholic Church from the beginning, which the Lord gave, was preached by the Apostles, and was preserved by the Fathers.

On this was the Church founded; and if anyone departs from this, he neither is nor any longer ought to be called a Christian."

St. Athanasius, Letter to Serapion of Thmuis, 359 A.D..

"I should not believe the Gospel except as moved by the authority of the Catholic Church."
Saint Augustine of Hippo, Against the Letter of Mani, 397 A.D..

"This Church is Holy, the One Church, the True Church, the Catholic Church, fighting as she does against all heresies.

She can fight, but she cannot be beaten. All heresies are expelled from her, like the useless loppings pruned from a vine.

She remains fixed in her root, in her vine, in her love. The gates of hell shall not conquer her."

Saint Augustine of Hippo, Sermon to Catechumens on the Creed, 6, 14, 395 A.D.

Lloyd said...

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Michael Gormley said...
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