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, January 15, 2012

The Patience of God

(Article for publication week of 1-18-2012 AD)

“Which sometimes were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a-preparing, wherein few, that is eight souls were saved by water” (I Peter 3:20).

For about one hundred and twenty years from the time He pronounced judgment on the old world, God patiently waited until Noah had built the ark for the salvation of his family. The ungodly world continued on in their rebellion against God while Noah preached righteousness and prepared the ark by faith. God was longsuffering with the world for the sake of Noah and his family. The world was ripe for judgment, but God waited to execute that judgment for Noah’s sake.

God is never in any hurry. He often waits decades and centuries to bring to pass His wise counsels. God does not have to get in any hurry because He is absolutely sovereign and no one is going to disturb His plans. The continued evil imaginations of the antediluvians did not hinder God’s purpose. He had decreed judgment on the old world, and it was certain to happen in God’s way and time. God had also purposed the salvation of Noah and his house, and nothing could hinder that either.

Lost men in their ignorance and blindness greatly misinterpret the patience of God. Since He delays judgment, they wrongly suppose it will not come. I am sure that Noah was made a laughingstock in his day. If they had comedians on television back then (some archaeologists believe the old world was highly advanced) I am sure they had many good laughs out of the “old fool” building and ark, warning of the judgment of God, and preaching righteousness. Since God waited, they thought it would never come. But after about one hundred and twenty years the rain began to fall and then they began to beat on the door of the ark for entrance, but it was too late! God is patient and longsuffering, but He is true to His word.

Even so, now God is longsuffering with the world of the ungodly. He has pronounced a day of final judgment. He has pronounced the end of the world when the elements shall melt with fervent heat. He has pronounced judgment on everything and everybody that is outside of Christ. Just as in the days of Noah men scoff at the threat of eternal judgment and the end of the world. But mark it down neighbors, God will be true to His word. Just because God waits does not mean He will not bring it to pass and execute judgment.

Why does God wait? Well, first of all because he is God and runs His universe as He is pleased. But then there is another scriptural answer to that question. God waits with longsuffering until all His elect are brought to the saving knowledge of Christ. When the last heir of promise is effectually called from darkness to light, then God will be through with the present order and will usher in the new heavens and the new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness. So you see, the longsuffering of God is salvation.

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