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, August 28, 2011

The Goodness of God

(Article for publication week of 8-31-2011 AD)

“For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations” (Psalm 100:5).

Jehovah, the only true God is essentially good. “In Him is no darkness at all” (I John 1:5). Jehovah, the God of the Bible is good in and of Himself, His goodness being un-derived. Whatever goodness may be found in any of His creatures, is all the gifting and gracing of God, but God Himself is essentially good.

Secondly, God is nothing but good. There are no variations whatever in Him. God is perfect in all His glorious being. The best of men are but men at best, as someone has said. The best of men still have their many faults. But not so with Jehovah. He is all good. His character is without any blemish or flaw. All His actions are good, because they proceed from the One Who is essentially and exclusively good.

Thirdly, the goodness of God is displayed by all His wonderful works to the children of men (Psalm 107:8,etc.). It was good of God to create man to begin with. It is in Him that “we live and move and have our being “ (Acts 17:28). God had no need of any of His creatures, for He was perfect and content in and of Himself. It was a glorious work proceeding from His goodness when God created us. Dear reader do you ever thank God for the very gift of your life, for letting you live in His world?

God’s goodness is directed toward all men, not just His people. “He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust” (Matthew 5:45). God is good to those who do not even love Him. He gives the rain to unsaved people just like He does to the saved. He blesses unsaved men with families, and good jobs, and businesses, and good health, and material prosperity, because He is good. Sadly, many people presume upon the goodness of God, and vainly imagine that all is well with their souls because God has blessed them with temporal blessings. But note well, dear reader, God gives these things to the unjust as well as the just. Temporal blessings and prosperity are no proofs of a person being saved. The rich man in Luke 16 had his good things in this life, but now he is in hell and can’t ever get out. Lazarus must needs wait until after this life for his good things , which are eternally better.

But the greatest act of God’s goodness is seen in the salvation of sinners. Oh! How good of God to adopt us into His family from all eternity! Oh! How good of God to provide the imputed righteousness of His Son for the believer’s justification! Oh! How good of God to send His Holy Spirit into His people’s hearts to regenerate and sanctify us! Oh! How good of God to deliver us from the power of darkness and translate us into the kingdom of His dear Son! Oh! How good of God to call us out of the darkness of this world into the marvelous light of His Son! Oh! How good of God to prepare an eternal home for us to live with Him forever and ever!

No wonder the Psalmist would exclaim in Psalm 107:8 “Oh! That men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!” Let us do so.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sinners in the Hands of a Merciful God

(Article for publication week of 8-24-2011 AD)

“I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy” (Romans 9:15).

Some of our readers may have noticed that we have had several articles entitled “sinners in the hands of God”, inserting the particular attribute of God with which we have been dealing. You may also have remembered Jonathan Edwards’ famous sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”, a sermon used of the Lord in the Great Awakening in the eighteenth century. I have deliberately entitled the concluding articles on some of God’s attributes this way to try to get some to see that they may not have had a Biblical understanding of what God is really like. One thing for sure, God is not like most people, including most professed Christians imagine. The only way that we can know what God is like is to read His Word. It will do you no good to worship a God of your imagination. You must worship the only true God, the God of the Bible.

Now it is very true, as Jonathan Edwards preached, that God is an angry God. He is angry with the wicked every day. But some of you may have never heard of any of Jonathan Edwards’ other sermons. If you spend some time with him, you will see that he actually preached more on the love, mercy, grace, etc. of God than on His wrath. Brother Edwards had a well-balanced, Biblical understanding of the attributes of God, and preached the whole counsel of God.

This is what I am labouring to show you friends, that God is a God of justice and mercy at the same time. He is a God of wrath and a God of love at the same time. It is a great mistake to take one of God’s attributes, and cling to that without any consideration for everything else the Bible says about God.

Our present day pulpits (to my mind) are much over balanced to the mercy, grace and love of God, without much emphasis on the justice, wrath, anger and hatred of God. Therefore, I have tried to present all these things to the reading public of our county (and our other readers).

And so, I conclude our short series on God’s mercy by commending you to that mercy. Praise the Lord! He will show mercy! Here is your warrant to come to God through His Son for salvation, for God has said, “I will have mercy.” God is able to show mercy to you poor sinner, through the justifying work of His Son. He maintains His strict justice, while showing mercy to the truly contrite, who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Poor sinner, you are in the hands of an angry God, as Jonathan Edwards so rightly preached. But you are also in the hands of a merciful God. Make no presumption of God’s mercy, but flee to the Sin Bearer, the Lord Jesus Christ. In and of yourself, you can only face God in His justice. But, the sinner who is joined to Christ by faith alone will find the Lord to be most merciful. You are in the sovereign and all-powerful hand of Jehovah, Who has power to save, and power to damn. Cry out for mercy now, and beg God to save you by the merits of His Son. He is rich in mercy.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sovereign Mercy

(Article for publication week of 8-17-2011 AD)

“… I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy” (Romans 9:15). The first thing I want you to see in our text this week is that God is absolutely sovereign in showing mercy to sinners. I wish you would stop now and go read the ninth chapter of Romans, and you will see the awful sovereignty of God. God is under no obligation to have mercy on any sinner. Were He obligated , it would cease to be mercy. Don’t you see that my friends? If God sent the whole human race to eternal hell, He would be a just and a good God, for hell is what sinful worms like you and me deserve. God says, “ I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy.”

Secondly, I want to point out that God will have mercy. God delights in mercy (Micah 7:18), and He is rich in mercy (Ephesians 2:4). God has promised that he will have mercy on every sinner that will repent of His sins, and trust in Christ Alone for salvation. The very angels in heaven rejoice when the chief of sinners repents, and God Himself rejoices. You will never find recorded in the scriptures where any who repented of their sins and believed in Christ were turned away. All of us who have believed in Christ can testify that God ‘s mercy was plenteous for us. I send out this proclamation of the gospel to you my friends, that there is mercy for the vilest sinner. “The vilest offender who truly believes, that moment from Jesus a pardon receives.” Yes, millions in heaven now , could they speak to you would say, “we found that God will show mercy to penitent sinners.” But there is still plenty of mercy for sinners. God has not expended His great treasure of mercy and grace. There is mercy reserved for you too, if you really hate your sins and want to be saved from them. Oh! What an encouraging word to sound forth today! God will have mercy!

But my text has a third point that I want you to see. Will God have mercy on you? Now friends and neighbors, mark it down. God only does one of two things with sinners (and you are a sinner). He either has mercy and saves a sinner, or He shows wrath to a sinner and damns him. There is no two ways about it. There is no middle of the road. God will either save you , and take you to heaven, or He will damn you and send you to hell. Now you think about that and let it sink in. Will you be an object of God’s wrath, or an object of His mercy? Now it is one thing to hear of God’s mercy, and another thing to be a recipient of it. Have you applied for mercy through the Sin Bearer, the Lord Jesus Christ? He is the only way that God will spare you. If you are not in Christ, there is no mercy for you. Come to Christ and do not delay. Flee from the wrath to come and seek salvation through Christ, for there is salvation in none other. May the Lord have mercy on you.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Mercy of God

(Article for publication week of 8-10-2011 AD)

“Who is a pardoning God like Thee, that pardeneth iniquity, that passeth by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He retained not His anger forever, because He delighted in mercy” (Micah 7:18). Dear reader, do you not rejoice to know that God is merciful? Where would you and I be were it not for the mercy of God? Thank the Lord that he delights in mercy!

Mercy may be distinguished from grace. Grace is when God gives a sinner what he does not deserve. Salvation is a free gift of God and is bestowed upon believers in Christ gratuitously by God. None of us deserve salvation; therefore it is all of grace.

On the other hand, mercy is when God withholds from us what we do deserve. Every person deserves eternal punishment in hell, so when God saves a sinner from hell, it is all of His mercy. Dear reader, do you realise that you are a hell-deserving sinner?

God’s mercy may also be distinguished temporally and eternally. Everyone, saved and unsaved enjoys the temporal mercy of God. It is a mercy of God that He lets a hell-deserving sinner live any time outside of hell. To be able to draw a single breath out of hell is all of God’s mercy. When you come to realise that, you will certainly see that you are indeed getting better than you deserve. Regardless of what you are going through today, if you are not already in hell, you are doing better than you deserve, for that is exactly what you, a poor sinner deserves by nature. And, no matter what present misery you are now in, the fact that it is not much worse is a mercy of God. Many of you that are unsaved are enjoying good health, respectable families, and material prosperity, and that is all of God’s mercy. These are temporal mercies that all people enjoy to one degree or another.

But, then there is the eternal mercy of God whereby He withholds from elect sinners what they deserve eternally. Thus our text speaks of God’s mercy toward the “remnant of His heritage.” God mercifully spares the believer in Christ (synonymous with “elect sinners”) from the hell he deserves because His justice was satisfied by the atoning death of Christ. This is a mercy that only the believer in Christ enjoys. God delights in mercy! He showed mercy to His elect people by passing the punishment that we deserved to His Eternal and Coequal Son! Oh! Thank God for such mercy!

Now, dear reader, think not that because God has kept you out of hell until today that He will always show such mercy to you. Saving mercy is in Christ Alone. Unless you are joined to the Sin Bearer by faith, you will find out that God’s mercy was only for this life. Unless the justice of God towards you as a hell deserving sinner is satisfied by Christ, you will at last be cast into eternal torment where God’s mercy will be no more. In hell you will never hear another gospel message about God’s mercy for sinners. In hell you will never be able to read the Narrow Way again. In hell you will not have anyone plead with you to repent and believe in Christ. You will not enjoy a family, health or prosperity again. It will be all over for you- forever.

Oh! Poor sinner! Come to the Dear Saviour of sinners today while there is still mercy to be found. God delights in mercy so much that He gave His Son to be a Saviour and Redeemer for all who would ever believe in Him. May the Holy Spirit draw you to the merciful Saviour now.