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, October 10, 2010

The Sovereignty of God in Hardening Sinners’ Hearts

(Article for publication week of 10-13-2010 AD)

“Therefore hath he mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will, He hardeneth” (Romans 9:18).

One of the most solemn facts that we face in all of scripture is that God is not going to save everyone. God has mercy on whom He is pleased to have mercy, and the rest he rejects and hardens their hearts. The previous verse gives as a stark illustration, Pharaoh of whom God said in Exodus 7:3, “ I will harden Pharaoh’s heart.”

The first and most obvious way that God hardens sinners’ hearts is by leaving them alone. This is a dreadful truth that God leaves some sinners alone. God gives to His elect people new hearts. He takes away their heart of stone and gives them an heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). With a new heart, an elect sinner is able to repent of his sins and believe in Christ. When God takes away the heart of stone and gives an heart of flesh, that sinner is able to believe the precious gospel of Christ and understand spiritual realities. But the unregenerate, hard hearted, lost sinner cares not for the things of Christ and is unable to see the kingdom of God (John 3:3). God is not obligated to give anyone a new heart. He is perfectly just in leaving sinners just as they are with a hard, unregenerate heart. It is all of His mercy that he gives any a new heart. So God hardens the reprobate’s heart by leaving him alone. And this is what you who are unconverted want; you want God to leave you alone. And so He does.

Another way God hardens sinners’ hearts is by removing providential restraints. How often we see this when children from Christian homes grow up and get on their own. Under the influence of Godly parents they were kept from much gross sins and perhaps even influenced to make a profession of faith. But then get away from home and the restraints are removed and they prove they were reprobate after all. It is a frightful thing for God to remove His restraints and let you go in the sin that you love and crave.

Also God hardens sinners’ hearts by blinding their eyes to the truth. That is right- you read right, God blinds some so they cannot see the truth. Jesus said in Matthew 11:25, “I thank Thee O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” Romans 11:7 says, “the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.” Again there is no injustice with God in blinding reprobates, for they do not desire the Lord and His salvation anyway. God does you no wrong if He hides from you what you don’t want anyway.

Finally, God hardens hearts by causing the gospel to be a savour of death unto them (II Corinthians 2:16). The same gospel that softens the elect of God, hardens those that God leaves as they are. This is easily illustrated. The same sun that melts butter hardens clay. So it is with the Son of Righteousness Who arises with healing in His wings. When he arises on His children it softens them. But those that God has ordained to condemnation are hardened by the precious truth of Christ.

Poor sinner, your only hope is if God takes away your hard heart and gives you a new heart of flesh. It would be an awful thing if God left you alone and hardened your heart to your eternal damnation.


Dale said...

An Open Letter to Roman Catholics:


Dale said...

One Mediator:


Dale said...

The Sovereignty of God:


Dale said...

The Natural Man and the Gospel: