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.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The World of John 3:16

(Article for publication week of 9-28-2011 AD)

“For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Last week we showed you three plain texts that declare that God does not love everybody (Romans 9:13; Psalm 11:5; and Proverbs 6:19). So how does one of the best known texts in the Bible fit into this?

First of all, you need to note well that the text does not in any way teach universal salvation. That should be plain from the multitude of texts that plainly say that the vast majority of the human race will finally spend eternity in the regions of woe. The promise of salvation is limited to those who believe in God’s coequal and eternal Son.

Secondly, the word “world” generally has a limited meaning, and must be determined by the context in which it is used. For instance, our Lord in His high priestly prayer in John 17 prayed in verse 9, “I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given me.” There is a world for whom Christ does not intercede. Further, we read in II Peter 2:5 that God sent the flood “on the world of the ungodly.” Since there is a world of the ungodly, there must be also a world of the godly. This is the world that is under consideration in John 3:16, that is the world of the godly, also known as the world of God’s elect. This is the world that God loved with an everlasting love, and the world for whom Christ died. It is the same world spoken of in John 1:29; “behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.” It is evident that Christ did not take way the sins of all men universally, for multitudes were already in hell when these words were uttered by John the Baptist, and multitudes more have been sent there since, and multitudes more will be sent there. Christ took away the sins of His sheep, not the sins of the whole world (John 10:15). The world of John 3:16 and John 1:29, is not the world of John 17:9 and II Peter 2:9. God so loved the world of His elect (synonymous with “whosoever believeth in Him), that He gave His Son for their salvation.

There will be a world of believing sinners saved by sovereign grace, because God loved them with an everlasting love, and the Lamb of God made a full atonement for them. Thus we see that John 3:16 is in full accord with Romans 9:13.

Now dear believer in Christ, John 3:16 is where your comfort stands. But a warning must be sounded to the unbeliever. You may not presume to be included in the world of John 3:16 whilst thy hard and unrepentant heart rejects Christ and salvation through Him. We repeat, God does not love everybody. May He have mercy on some today, and may the Holy Spirit work effectually in your heart that you may be given the gift of faith to believe in Christ for your salvation.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Does God Love Everybody?

(Article for publication week of 9-14-2011 AD)

“Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated” (Romans 9:13). I realise that many of you will be surprised to read this week’s title and our text. I also realise that this article will bring me scorn and ridicule from many. Some of you are probably surprised that this text is in the Bible, or that any would even pose the question, “Does God love everybody?”

Contrary to popular opinion (for which we care little), God does not love everybody. The Bible is plain, “Esau have I hated.” Nor is this an isolated text, for we read in Psalm 11:5, “the Lord trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence, His soul hateth.” Also, we read in Proverbs 6:19 that God hates those who sow discord among brethren. Note well, that these texts say that God hates the persons of the wicked, not just their sins. There is a trite little saying parroted around that says that God “hates sin, but loves sinners.” This little saying has a measure of truth in it, for God does love elect sinners that He will bring to repentance, but in the mouths of false prophets, it is a most dangerous little saying, for it conveys to the minds of most people that God loves them though they despise Him and His ways and His Son and His grace. Many will end up in hell parroting, “God hates sin, but loves sinners.”

Now, I declare unto you that the false doctrine of “God loves everybody” is at the root of much false profession, false teaching and also much of the social ills of our time and place. Not only is this false teaching contrary to scripture, but it is the root of much noxious fruit. Multitudes having heard that God loves everybody, quite naturally presume that God loves them, since they are a somebody included in everybody. And so, (though they may not actually say it), reason within themselves that everything will be all right in eternity. “Since God loves me” they think, “He will probably forgive my sins and keep me out of hell, even though I love my sins and refuse to repent and to bow to the Lordship of Christ and come to God through Him.” Sinner, wake up and read my text, and come to grips with this fact, that God does not love everybody.

Now, there is a sense in which God does love everybody, and this is in no way contrary to what I have written thus far. God does love all men in the sense that He treats all men right. God treats all men according to His law. Those who are now in hell are being treated right. And when God sends you to hell, my friend, He will be treating you right. God is treating you right at this moment. He is letting you breathe His air. He lets you eat His food and drink His water. He lets you enjoy His sunshine. He gives you all these good gifts. In this sense, God does love everybody.

But my text speaks of salvation, and sovereign election, not the general benevolence of God. God blessed Esau with much material prosperity, but Esau found no place of repentance. God did not love Esau as he loved Jacob, with His saving love. God did something for Jacob that He did not do for Esau. God did something for Peter that He did not do for Judas. God loves His people with an everlasting love, but His everlasting indignation is set upon the reprobate. The Bible says, ”Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.”

Now, I know many of you are now thinking, “what about John 3:16?” Lord willing, we will take that up next time.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Love of God

(Article for publication week of 9-7-2011 AD)

“Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee” (Jeremiah 31:3).

Love is a most misunderstood subject in our day, especially the love of God. Most people suppose that love is mere emotion, feeling, weakness, and sickly sentimentality. The Biblical concept of love, on the other hand is a commitment to treat others right, and that consistent with every other virtue. For instance, we read in Romans 13:10, “love is the fulfilling of the law.” To properly love, there must be a commitment to treat others according to the law of God.

This is an especially important truth as we take up the love of God. God’s love is perfectly consistent with all His other attributes. God’s love is consistent with His omnipotence, immutability, holiness, justice, wrath, mercy , grace, etc. So you need to get every humanistic idea about love out of your mind, especially regarding the love of God.

With that in mind, let us proceed to consider first of all, that God is sovereign in His love. Our text says, I have love thee.” Jehovah, the absolute sovereign of the universe made a determination in eternity to set His affections on His people. This is the fountainhead of salvation. In His sovereign love, God chose a people in Christ, and appointed Him as their Surety and Mediator and Covenant Head. Thus we see that God’s love was and is completely un-coerced. There was nothing in the creatures that could, or would have moved Him to set His affections upon them. As the poet has written, “what was there in you that could merit esteem, or give the Creator delight? ‘Twas even so Father you ever must sing, because it seemed good in Thy sight.” God loves His people simply because it is His good pleasure so to do.

Secondly, notice that God’s love is everlasting. “I have love thee with an everlasting love.” There was never a time when God did not love His people. As it says in Romans 8:29, we were foreknown by God. Nor will God’s love for His elect ever cease. God’s love for His elect did not cease when we fell in Adam and became polluted by sin. God commended His love toward us while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8). Nor will God ever cease to love His people, for again, it is everlasting.

Thirdly, notice that God’s love is active. “With lovingkindness have I drawn thee. (I can’t help but notice that my computer has underlined ‘lovingkindness’. It is an unfeeling machine, but the souls of God’s people recognise this word, and love it!) God’s love was commended toward us in sending His coequal and eternal Son to die in our room and stead to put away our sins.

Finally notice that God’s love is efficacious. God draws His people to himself. So, we also read in I John 4:19, “ we love Him because He first loved us.” God draws His elect unto Himself by regeneration and effectual calling so that they come to Him most willingly, and love the One Who has been so merciful and gracious to them. Where there is no love for God, there has been no saving work by God. But when God works saving grace in a poor sinner’s soul, that sinner becomes a lover of God.

Thank the Lord for His sovereign, everlasting, efficacious love.