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.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Faith That Saves

(Article for publication week of 12-26- AD 2013)

"But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul" (Hebrews 10:39). That none can be saved apart from faith is evident from even a cursory reading of the scriptures. In our text today Paul (I realize some have questioned the Pauline authorship of the Book of Hebrews, but we hold with the old school who believed he was the inspired writer of the epistle in which we find this week's text; ultimately, we don't have to argue about it much, for the Holy Spirit is the true author of all scripture) numbers himself among those who believe to the saving of the soul. He recognizes that some who had once professed to believe had drawn away unto perdition, and proven themselves to be apostate, but he trusts that his hearers and readers will not draw back, but prove to be true believers.

The doctrine of saving faith is so simple a little child can understand it. We know a few who were converted and believed to the saving of their souls from a tender age. Saving faith is so simple that those with very limited intellect may exercise it. We have known a few who were what we call retarded who have believed to the saving of their souls. Saving faith is so simple that people with no education can believe in Christ and be saved. We have known of a few who could not read or write that believed the gospel they heard and were saved. The fact is, God has chosen the simple and the foolish and by-passed the wise and prudent (Matthew 11: 25). Saving faith is simple, but in spite of its simplicity, many get it mixed up and are not saved. In the coming months we will be addressing this eternally important subject of saving faith. I hope you will be reading and telling others to be reading the Narrow Way, and that some will believe to the saving of their souls.

Now, the very first thing I wish to point out is that there is a vast and eternal difference between saving faith and "believism." There are multitudes all around us who suppose all is well because they "believe", but they are not believing to the salvation of their souls. James 2:19 tells us that the devils have a sort of faith, but they are not saved, and cannot be saved. Our text here in Hebrews 10:39 plainly says that some who profess to believe draw back unto perdition. I fear that many of my readers have a "faith" no better than that of devils. I want you to pay close attention now, for it is vital for the salvation of your soul to know and understand what true saving faith is, and whether you have it or not.

I want to emphasize that saving faith is NOT a sinner's contribution to his own salvation. This is popularly believed in these parts. People are urged to believe in Christ, or to "accept Christ", but they do not know what they are believing, nor do they know the Christ they think they have "accepted". I heard a popular preacher at a funeral awhile back who urged us to get our "card punched." He said he had gotten his " card punched”, and therefore he was going to heaven, and if we got our "card punched", we could go to heaven also. Dear readers, this is not even a distant cousin to saving faith. Saving faith is a gift of God whereby an elect sinner, broken by the terror of the law, repents of his sins and flees to the Lord Jesus Christ, the only Saviour of sinners. Saving faith is in no sense meritorious, but relies wholly on the merits of Christ for salvation. Saving faith is not man -centered, but Christ-centered. Dear reader, will you believe to the saving of your soul?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Death and Judgment

(Article for publication week of 12-19- AD 2013)

"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). The recent death of the communist thug, Nelson Mandela causes us to stop and reflect upon the sober reality of death and the certainty of judgment to come. While the liberal press and nominal "christians" have heralded Mandela's death as that of a hero, informed people know better. The facts are that Nelson Mandela was a communist terrorist and an enemy of Christ. As far as we as we know Mandela is in hell now and won't ever get out. He has kept that certain appointment that all of us will keep, and has met his Maker and Judge, who judges all men according to His strict justice (Roman 2:6), and not according to the depraved opinions of fallen man.

That Nelson Mandela is being eulogised as a hero is a testimony to the evil of the times and the willing ignorance of even professed Christians. The facts are that Nelson Mandela and his wife Winnie were leaders of the communist terrorist organisation , the African National Congress, which became the ruling party of South Africa. Mandela was jailed for acts of terrorism which he admitted. Mandela and his ilk, with the support of communists like Fidel Castro, and liberals in North America and Europe, and South African traitors in their press and academia and government led a communist revolution against the lawful government of South Africa. One of the African National Congress' favourite methods of terror was the practice of "necklacing" , perpetrated against their fellow blacks who would not join the African National Congress. The victim of "necklacing" had his hands and feet chopped off with an axe, and then a used car tire filled with diesel was put around his neck, and lit. Mandela's wife Winnie was quoted as saying , " with our matches and necklaces we will take over South Africa." After several decades of terrorism, international pressure, and internal treason, the South African government finally capitulated to Mandela and his communist thugs, and South Africa has been declining ever since.

Under White rule, South Africa was one of the most prosperous nations on earth, rivaling the USA in terms of economic prosperity. Under White rule the blacks in South Africa had the highest standard of living of any blacks on the African Continent. Since the ANC has taken over, South Africa is fast becoming a third world country. Nelson Mandela was instrumental in writing a new "constitution" for South Africa and one of the articles he insisted on putting in was "rights" for Sodomites.

But liberals and willingly ignorant "christians" will protest, "but Mandela helped end apartheid (segregation)." The fact is that apartheid was a good system under which all races in South Africa prospered. The scriptures nowhere condemn apartheid as sinful. In fact God commanded Israel to practice apartheid (Deuteronomy 7:3; Joshua 23:12). You had better be careful what you call sin lest ye charge God with sin. Sin is the transgression of the law of God (I John 3:4), not the violation of the pet peeves of liberals. Apartheid (segregation) is not condemned by the law of God and required no one to break the law of God.

Now, we are faced with an awful reality. Each of us must die and face God to be judged for the deeds done in the body, whether they be good or bad. When you read an obituary, or the news account of the death of a man, it is a solemn reminder that a man has gone into eternity. And it is a solemn reminder that you will die. It is a solemn reminder that God's word is truth, that it is indeed appointed to each of us to die and meet our Maker and Judge. Dear reader, you better be sure the eulogies and accolades of men will do you no good when that time comes for you. Unless God finds you righteous according to His law, you will spend eternity in hell with the Devil and Nelson Mandela and all the wicked crew who lived in the broad way. You better be sure you know what God says about sin, and His remedy for it. May God have mercy on your poor soul.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Have You Ever Been Lost?

(Article for publication week of 12-5- AD 2013)

"For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which is lost" (Luke 19:10).

Dear reader, have you ever been lost? I ask you not "have you been saved?”, but I ask you rather, "Have you ever been lost?" Mark it down dear ones, if you have never been lost, you surely have never been saved, for the only ones that Christ saves are those who are lost.

Many years ago when the power of God was upon Pastor L. R. Shelton in the New Orleans area, one of his hearers told her neighbour, "You need to come hear my preacher so you can get lost"! Oh! how we need such an awakening ministry in our day! This is the great need of the hour, to get men lost. I fear we have pulpits and pews filled with people who have never been convinced by the Holy Spirit that they are lost sinners. We have multitudes who have "decided for Jesus" and such other mess who have bypassed Holy Spirit conviction. We have a whole generation of religionists who have never felt the plague of their heart nor seen their utterly lost condition. We have those all around us who have a false peace, and false prophets crying "peace, peace," when there is no peace. We have folks who can sing "Amazing Grace" like nobody's business, but they haven't a clue what John Newton meant when he said, "I once was lost"! Dear reader, have you ever been lost?! This is an eternally important question, for if you have never been lost, you surely have never been found, I don't care if you know every verse of "Amazing Grace" by heart and can sing it frontward and backwards.

Now what does it mean to be lost? A lost sinner is a sinner who has been convinced by the Holy Ghost that he is indeed a thousand talents in debt, and has not a farthing to pay. A lost sinner is one who has read in God's word that "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" and knows it is talking about himself. A lost sinner has felt the terror of the law of God rightfully condemning him to an eternal lake of fire. A lost sinner is one who can sing from the heart "Show pity Lord, oh Lord forgive, let a repenting rebel live;" and "if my soul were sent to hell, Thy righteous law approves it well" (Isaac Watts). A lost sinner is one who has felt in his very soul that he is indeed too sinful for the Lord to save. A lost sinner is one who hates sin in himself, more than sin in his neighbour. A lost sinner is one who feels himself unable to pray. A lost sinner is one who feels his repentance is a lie, and his faith is insufficient. A lost sinner repents of his prayers, and prays over his repentance. A lost sinner is one who says, "Oh! wretched man that I am." A lost sinner is one who abhors himself and knows that he is a loathsome thing in the eyes of the thrice-Holy God. A lost sinner is one who has been emptied of all his self-righteousness. A lost sinner is one who really believes he is no more than a worm in the sight of God. A lost sinner has lost all his "self esteem", and is made to cry unto God, "Lord save, or I perish!"

Do I describe anybody's case? Is there a lost sinner anywhere in Simpson County? Is there a lost sinner among my readers? Well, if you are lost, I have a gospel to preach to you! Christ came into the world to save you! Though you know yourself to be a vile wretch, Christ is able and willing to save the vilest of the vile. I leave you with the precious words of Christ to sinners, "Him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out." May the Holy Spirit convict some of their sins and draw them to the mercy seat this day.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Whosoever Believes

(Article for publication week of 11-28- AD 2013)

“Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and everyone that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of Him” (I John 5:1).

As we continue our study of the doctrine of saving faith, we notice again that big word “whosoever.” As we wrote last week, “whosoever” is big enough and inclusive enough to include you if you will repent of your sins and trust in Christ alone for your eternal salvation. My Lord has commissioned me to preach the gospel to every rational creature that I can get to listen. And so I declare the truth of the Bible to you that whosoever believes in the Lord Jesus Christ, as my text says, is born of God, and to be born of God is to be saved. Now dear reader, you have no excuse to reject the gospel message as long as the Bible says “whosoever believes.” And you have no reason to despair of being saved, as long as it is written, “whosoever.” Don’t you just love this word “whosoever”? Why, it tells me that I am one of the “whosoever’, and though my sins are as black as the hinges on hell’s doorpost, I may come to Christ and be saved. And it tells us as a church that we may preach the gospel to the whole world, and invite sinners everywhere and in every condition to come to Christ. That is a wide-open gospel, and I rejoice to believe it and declare it to all who will listen.

Now, some of you who read the Narrow Way regularly, and know that your humble columnist is a High Calvinist, may wonder how it is that we forcefully declare the doctrine of unconditional election, and also invite the whole world to come to Christ. Well, I will tell you what Charles Spurgeon said. There is a large banner over the door of salvation, and it is written upon it,” whosever will may come.” And that is all a poor lost sinner needs to know. After a sinner has entered into salvation, he may look back and see written on the backside of that large banner, “elected and predestinated”! As we pointed out from Acts 13:48 recently, every elect person will come to faith in Christ, and as sure as a sinner puts his trust in Christ, he may be assured that he was ordained to salvation from before the foundation of the world.

And notice here in I John 5:1 that same truth. For our text says that whosoever believes in the Christ of the Bible “is” born of God. Don’t you see, the new birth precedes a sinner believing in Christ. Our text tells us why some sinners will believe and others will not. It is because of regenerating grace. It is no surprise to God when a sinner comes to faith in Christ, for He sends His Blessed Holy Spirit with all His quickening powers into the heart of every heir of promise chosen in Christ from before the foundation of the world. Every chosen one for whom Christ died will be effectually called to saving faith in Christ. “There is a period known to God, when all His sheep redeemed by blood, Shall quit the hateful ways of sin, turn to the fold and enter in” (John Kent, Gadsby’s Hymnal #76).

I invite all of you my dear readers to quit the ways of sin, and believe in Christ today to the salvation your poor soul. May the Holy Spirit draw you to Christ, for whosoever believes in Him is saved and born again.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Whosoever Believeth

(Article for publication week of 11-20- AD 2013)

“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).

Lord willing we will be considering the subject of saving faith for the next several weeks (perhaps months). I know of no better place to start than John 3:16. Some have called this verse “the little Bible” for it contains so much truth and so many cardinal doctrines in a short verse. John 3:16 no doubt has been used of the Lord in millions of conversions, and perhaps He will be pleased to use it in millions more. I pray he will use it to convert some of you even as we send out the Narrow Way.

To set the verse in context, we must go back to the beginning of John 3 and see that verse 16 is a continuance of our Lord’s meeting with Nicodemus. He began by telling him of the necessity of regeneration and then began to tell him of the evidence of regeneration. This is fundamental to our understanding of John 3:16. When we look at the whole passage from verse one through John 3:16 we will see that regeneration precedes faith (see also John 1:12-13). This is an important doctrinal point that we shall consider in detail later. But for this week, rather than trying to plumb the depths of the doctrine of regeneration we simply wish to see the glorious truth that whosoever believes in the Lord Jesus Christ is saved with an everlasting salvation.

Believing in the Lord Jesus Christ is the only way that salvation comes to sinners. Now that is what the Bible says. God has not ordained any other way for a sinner to be saved except by a true and living faith in the Eternal Son of God. You cannot be saved by your good works, for the best of your noble deeds are filthy rags in the sight of God. You cannot be saved by just hoping in the mercy of God. There are many people who are making that fatal mistake. They hear of the mercy and love of God and they suppose that God will in the end just have mercy upon them because He loves them too much to send them to hell. No my friend, do not make that fatal mistake. You cannot be saved any other way than by God’s grace which comes to a poor sinner by faith alone.

Now let us be sure that we understand that saving faith is in the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our text says, “whosoever believeth in HIM”, that is the Lord Jesus Christ Who is the eternal Son of God. Saving faith is not believing in some “deity” of your choice. It is believing in the Christ of John 3:16, the Christ of the Bible. “There is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). You must believe in God’s coequal and eternal Son that He gave to be the savior of sinners. You must believe in the Christ Who died on a cross as a Substitute for all who would believe in Him. You must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ who was raised from the dead the third day and has ascended to His rightful Throne in heaven.

And John 3:16 says that “whosoever” believes in the Lord Jesus Christ has eternal life. Whosoever reaches to the four corners of God’s green earth. It reaches to the very depths of depravity. The gospel message reaches to the most vile. John 3:16 reaches to the uttermost and to the “guttermost” as someone has said. The whosoever of my text reaches to the very young and the very old. It reaches to the rich and the poor. It reaches to kings and to peasants. It reaches to masters and to slaves. Whosoever is a mighty big word and it reaches to you my dear reader if you will believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Election and Saving Faith

(Article for Publication Week of 11-14- AD 2013)

“As many as were ordained to eternal life believed:” (Acts 13:48b).

This week we will begin a new series for the Narrow Way on the subject of saving faith. I wish to start here in Acts 13:48 both as a foundational text, and as a connection with our last short series on true conversion and false profession. Last week we had ended by showing that the false professors of Matthew 7:21-23 were never known of Christ in His saving love and purpose. So I wish to bring balm from Gilead and offer a cordial to poor afflicted souls who are distressed in soul and concerned about their spiritual and eternal state.

First, our text today tells us of eternal and sovereign election. Our text today declares that God has ordained by an unalterable decree from before the foundation of the world a multitude of the human race to grace and glory. He has written their names in the Lamb’s Book of life from eternity and their number is so fixed that it cannot be increased or diminished. God chose His people in Christ before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4; II Timothy 1:9; II Thessalonians 2:13; Romans 9:11; etc.) and not one shall be eternally lost. Election is a wonderful truth found all through the Bible and no one should be opposed to it. Believers have no reason to oppose election, for we would never have chosen the Lord had He not first chosen us. “My Lord I did not choose you for that could never be. My heart would still refuse You had You not chosen me” (Joseph Conder, Baptist Hymnal page 289, 1991 edition). Nor do unbelievers have any reason to quarrel with election for you have declared you do not want to be saved. You say by your refusing Christ that you do not want to be justified by Him, nor do you want to be made holy by Him.

Secondly, our text declares that everyone that God ordained to salvation has also been ordained to faith in Christ. God has ordained the end of eternal life, and all the means thereunto. Faith is a gift of God (Ephesians 2:8; Galatians 5:22; II Peter 1:1), and He bestows it upon whom He is pleased. God has not only ordained that His people should live with Him in glory, but He has also ordained their effectual calling. So the dear Saviour says in John 6:37, “all that the Father giveth me, shall come to me.”

Thirdly, our text sweetly tells us that all those who believe in Christ are of the elect. By believing in Christ you may make your calling and election sure (II Peter 1:10). God will not allow you to look into the Book of His secret counsels, but He presents to you a lovely Saviour Who is able, willing and ready to save all who will lay down their arms of rebellion and come to him in faith. So the dear Savior of sinners continues in John 6:37, ‘him that cometh to me, I will in wise cast out.” Those of you who are trusting in Christ Alone for salvation may know that God foreordained and predestinated you unto salvation. Election does not bar the door to any man’s salvation. Election is the thing that opens the door. I have been asked, “suppose a man wanted to be saved, but he was not chosen of God, does that mean he can’t be saved.” This is a false and unscriptural supposition for no one wants to be saved from their sins apart from God’s effectual call to repentance and faith. All those who love Christ and look to Him Alone to be saved from their sins were chosen by God. “As many as were ordained to eternal life believed”

Sunday, November 3, 2013

I Never Knew You!

(Article for publication week of 11-7- AD 2013)

“And then will I profess unto them, ‘ I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity’ ” (Matthew 7:23).

For the past several weeks we have been considering this awful passage in Matthew 7:21-23. At the last Judgment many will meet their awful and eternal doom and the Lord Jesus Christ will say unto them, depart from me, I never knew you”! We have been showing how multitudes have a profession of religion, but are not saved. We have seen from the text that they did not the will of Christ and were antinomians. We made the connection with verses 13 and 14 and showed that they had never entered into salvation by the strait gate of conversion. Now we come to consider what is possibly the root of the matter. Christ said He never knew them.

Now, we know that Christ knew about them. Christ is omniscient God and knows all things (John 21:17). The Lord Jesus Christ knows about everybody, everywhere. No one escapes His all- seeing eye, and none of our deeds or thoughts are hidden from Him. Christ knows everyone in this sense. But only His elect are known to Him in the sense of our text today.

In Galatians 4:9, the inspired writer uses this terminology as the essence of salvation: “But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God”. In John 10:27 our Lord said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them.” In II Timothy 2:19 we read, “The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are His.”

Christ knows every one of His sheep in sovereign, electing love. He has known them from eternity (Romans 8:29). Having loved and known them from eternity, He entered into a covenant with His Father to secure their salvation. The Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the eternal and coequal Son of God, came into the world at the appointed time and joined His glorious Deity to sinless humanity and laid down His life for all those that He knew. Thus He is indeed a personal Saviour to everyone for Whom He died. When He was on the cross, each of them was on His mind (as a hymn writer expressed it). Though He died for a number that no man can number, He died for each of His sheep personally. He would have died for one of them, if that one was the only one in need of salvation. Christ foreknew His sheep and has secured their everlasting salvation by His bloody sacrifice. “Not one shall ever perish, or be lost; His blood has bought them, dear they cost” (author unknown).

Now, here is the awful truth of the word of God. Though a person may be as religious as all get out, if Christ does not know them, they will be lost world without end. I am shut up to the truth of God. I cannot tickle your fancy with idle tales of your ability or your pretended free will or your imagined merit. I leave you right where the Bible puts us all, in the hands of a sovereign Christ Who is obligated to save no man, but will certainly save everyone He knows in covenant love.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Set Time of Conversion

(Article for publication week of 10-31- AD 2013)

“But when it pleased God, Who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by His grace, to reveal His Son in me…” (Galatians 1:15-16b).

One of the most soul destructive lies being told in your day and mine is the lie that a lost sinner can get saved any time he pleases. It is popularly believed and taught that a lost sinner can exercise his “free” will and be saved at his own leisure. This error is confirming multitudes in their pride and rebellion against God, and sealing them in their damnation.

Contrary to all this, the Apostle Paul declared that he was converted “when it pleased God.” No doubt it would have pleased the Church if Saul of Tarsus had been converted before he had consented to the persecution of so many Christians. Perhaps it would have pleased the martyr Stephen if Saul of Tarsus had been saved before he consented to his being stoned to death. I don’t know if you ever thought about it, but if Stephen had not been stoned to death we would not have that glorious account of his triumphant entry into heaven recorded for us in the end of Acts 7.

The conversion of the Apostle Paul (AKA Saul of Tarsus) is a prototype of every conversion (I Timothy 1:16). Paul’s account of his own conversion here in Galatians 1:15-16 tells us two important things about true conversion. First of all, we see that true conversion is a revelation of Christ to us. Secondly we see that sinners are converted at God’s appointed time, for Paul plainly says here that he was converted “when it pleased God.”

God Who works all things after the counsel of His Own will (Ephesians 1:11), has a set time for all things, including, and perhaps we ought to say especially, the conversion of every one of His elect. God will not fail to convert every one of His elect, and He will convert them when it pleases Him. Not one sheep for whom Christ died shall fail to be enfolded. In our text today Paul (as he does in all of his inspired writings) gives all glory to God for his salvation, and traces it all back to the eternal purpose of God. Paul was saved as every other sinner is ever saved, and that is by free and sovereign grace. Our text today completely destroys the idea that a sinner can cooperate in his own salvation by his so-called “free will.” Every sinner that has ever become experimentally acquainted with Christ (for that is what conversion is), had Christ revealed to him at God’s appointed time.

Conversion cannot be rushed. The modern day professing church is (I fear) being filled with those who have been rushed into pseudo-conversion by extra-Biblical methods. Preachers take warning and note well- you may rush a person into a “decision”, or into “accepting Christ”, or into “joining the church”, but you cannot rush true conversion.

Now, here is a sweet encouragement and cordial for downcast souls. Divine Omnipotence is on your side! Poor awakened sinner, have you been seeking peace for your soul, and have been unable to obtain it? Well, I will tell you that is a good sign that God has already begun a good work in you, and that your set time has come! Look to Christ the Saviour of sinners as He is revealed to you by the Holy Spirit.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Conversion - A Revelation

(Article for publication week of 10-24- AD 2013)

“But when it pleased God, Who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called my by His grace, to reveal His Son in me…. (Galatians 1:15-16). We have been trying to show you the nature of true conversion, praying that you may not miss the strait gate that leads to life. In the preceding articles we showed that conversion is nothing less than a turning from idolatry to serve God (I Thessalonians 1:9). Our text this week says that conversion is nothing less than the revelation of Christ to the soul. In our text Paul is relating his own experience of grace. There was a time when Baptist Churches would not receive a person into membership unless they could give a credible testimony of the work of Christ in their souls. There was a time when Baptist preachers would not baptize a person unless they could relate a personal experience of grace. (The Narrow Way is not a denominational column, but your humble writer is not ashamed to be known as a Baptist of the Old School.)

Paul says here that he was converted by a revelation of Christ to his soul. God revealed His Son in Paul. And this is what happens to every sinner converted by God. We see from this text that a person may have intellectual knowledge of Christ, without actually knowing Christ. There is a vast and eternal difference. Many of us knew about Christ from infancy. For myself, I was taken to the House of God from infancy. My parents taught me of Christ. I cannot remember when I did not know that Jesus Christ was the Son of God who died to save His people from their sins. But this head knowledge was not conversion. (I write this not to discourage you from teaching your children and taking them to church, but simply to show that there must be more than head knowledge for a person to be saved.) But when God revealed His Son in me, I came to actually know Christ experimentally.

When a person comes to know Christ by revelation, it is greatly different from just knowing about Christ. I will illustrate. One of my dearest friends is Pastor John Ashwood from Muskogee, Oklahoma. I first heard of him in about 1990 from mutual friends. I knew of his good reputation and his faithfulness to preach the gospel. I even heard him preach by tape recording. But then one evening in the fall of 1995, the phone rang and the voice on the other end said, “This is John Ashwood.” He had heard from mutual friends that I was going through a terrible trial, and he called to encourage me and tell me he would pray for me. The next spring I met him in person. Now I can say that I actually know John Ashwood. Previous to meeting him on the phone and in person, I could only say that I knew about him. This is the difference in knowing about Christ, and actually knowing Christ.

Now the revelation of Christ to the soul comes not by Christ picking up the phone and calling us. It does not come by our seeing Him with our physical eyes. Nor does it come by our having a dream, or hearing a voice in our head, or seeing a vision. No! Christ is revealed in the soul by the Holy Spirit of God working in us by regeneration and effectual calling so that we get into contact with the living Christ. When that happens, a poor sinner comes to love this precious Saviour for He believes what the Bible says about His Glorious Person and Work. Christ is made altogether lovely to his soul, and he can truly say that Christ is precious to him.

This is a little of what it means to be truly converted to Christ by revelation. Poor sinner, have I traced out your experience?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Turn Thou Me

(Article for publication week of 10-17- AD 2013)

“I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; ‘Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn Thou me, and I shall be turned; for Thou art the Lord my God” (Jeremiah 31:18). Except a sinner turn from his sins, and turn to Christ, that sinner shall surely perish (I Thessalonians 1:9; Luke 13:5). And the solemn fact of the matter is that no sinner will ever turn from his sins and repent except the Lord turn him. You are shut up to the sovereign will and mercy of God. The worst thing that could ever happen to you would be for the Lord to leave you alone and let you perish in your sins. Then it must be said of you as did our Lord of Judas Iscariot, “it would have been good if that man had not been born”!

Lost sinners cannot convert themselves. Conversion is a work of Omnipotence. Our Lord has solemnly declared in John 6:44, “no man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him.” Poor sinner, do you, like Ephraim bemoaning himself, feel your utter inability? Do you feel helpless and hopeless as you consider the eternal state of your soul? Do you long to be free from your burden of sin, and realize that it is greater than you can bear? Well, I will give you a word of hope and encouragement. Such feelings are hopeful signs that the Lord may already be turning you.

Now, let us see that there are two sides to conversion. There is the human sign. I Thessalonians 1:9 says that a Christian is one who has turned from idols to serve the living and true God. Then there is the Divine side, as we see in our text today that it is God Who actually turns the sinner. When God turns a sinner by efficacious grace, that sinner will surely turn from his sins and come in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ. In the initial work of conversion, God is active and the elect sinner is completely passive. But, mark this well- when God begins a good work of grace in the sinner, that sinner become active. And the very first action we see in one who has been turned by efficacious grace is that he bemoans himself. Seeing his utter depravity, the poor sinner, stripped of all his self righteousness begins to cry to a Sovereign God Who has mercy upon whom He will, “Lord have mercy upon me a poor sinner, and turn Thou me or I shall surely perish”!

Now dear Reader, if you are bemoaning your lost condition and crying out to God for mercy, it is as I say a hopeful sign. I urge you to continue to cry out to God and ask Him to turn you, that you may be turned. You have no power or ability in yourself to convert yourself. Neither I nor any other preacher has such power. But the LORD has the power to draw you today to the Saviour of sinners. May the Lord reveal Himself to you today as the Lord thy God.

Sunday, September 29, 2013


(Article for publication week of 10-3- AD 2013

“….Ye turned from idols to serve the living and true God” (I Thessalonians 1:9b).

I continue to blast the trumpet of warning against false profession. For several weeks I have been writing to you from our Lord’s warning found in Matthew 7:21-23. Last week I showed you that one of the defects in the false professors in that passage was that they had missed the gate of conversion. The characters addressed in Matthew 7:21-23 are not unlike many of you. They were as religious as all get out, but were unconverted. Dear reader, if you come to the Final Judgment unsaved, you blood will not be on my hands, for I am faithfully laboring for your soul and warning you of the wrath to come.

Now, we have previously noted that conversion is illustrated by our Lord in Matthew 7:13. True conversion is like a ‘strait” gate. True conversion is necessary, urgent, difficult, agonizing, and rare. After urging us to enter into the narrow way by means of the difficult gate of conversion, our Lord goes on and describes many who missed that gate. And this is exactly where the majority of professed Christians and church members are in our day and in our county. There are multitudes that have been close to the gate, but have never entered in. Multitudes have tumbled over the wall supposing to be in the way, but they did not get in the right way. To be sure that you understand what true conversion is, we shall now devote at least a few articles to the subject.

Our text today in I Thessalonians describes for us true conversion. Paul would write to the believers in the Church at Thessalonica and tell them he knew they were of God’s elect (see I Thessalonians 1:4), because they “turned from idols to serve the living and true God.” If you care to do a simple word study, get your Strong’s concordance and compare “turn” with “convert”. You will see they are generally translated from the same Greek word. And so you see, conversion is a turning from idolatry to the only true God. Dear reader, does this describe you? Have you turned from your idols to serve the God of the Bible? Have you ever admitted that you have been an idolater? Some of you are so ignorant as to suppose that because you have not bowed to a statue of a heathen “deity” that you are not an idolater. But go read Colossians 3:5 and you will see that covetousness is idolatry. If you have something or someone that you love more than God, you are an idolater. Some of you have made money your god. Some of you have made pleasure your god. Some of you have made your base lusts your god. Some of you have made your children your god. Some of you have made your religion your god. Ultimately, a lost man worships himself. You are not saved, because you have never turned from your idols to serve the living and true God.

Now God’s word is clear. “Idolaters… shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone” (Revelation 21:8). Dear reader, unless you turn this moment from your idols, and turn to God, you will spend eternity where the fire is not quenched, and the worm never dies. Sinner, turn or burn!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Professors, but not Possessors

(Article for publication week of 9-26- AD 2013)

“Not every one that saith unto me, ‘Lord, Lord’, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;” (Matthew 7:21).

There are multitudes that profess Christ, but do not possess Christ. There are multitudes that are very religious, but are unsaved and will hear their awful doom at the Day of Judgment. Dear reader, am I talking about you? Will you be exposed at the Day of Judgment as a false professor and finally go to hell to be punished forever?

We have previously seen these defects in the false converts that our Lord talks about here in Matthew 7:21-23: 1) they never questioned whether they were genuinely saved; 2) they did not the will of God; and 3) they were antinomian. Now we come to notice another defect in false professors: though they had a loud profession, they had missed the gate of conversion. Note well, that back in verse 13 our Lord exhorted us to enter into the strait gate that opens to the narrow way that leads to life, and warned us to avoid the wide gate that opens to the broad way that leads to destruction. Now in verses 21-23, He tells us of that destruction. He goes on in the following verses and says the destruction will be great. Our Lord warns us that a man may be religious and profess faith in Christ, and yet never possess Christ. A man may profess Christ, and yet be unconverted. A man may even be a preacher, and yet never enter the strait gate of conversion.

Dear reader, have you been converted? Do you even know what conversion is? I wrote on this extensively several weeks ago as we looked at the strait gate of Matthew 7:13. That difficult gate represents true conversion which we showed is necessary, urgent, difficult and rare. Conversion is a turning from sin, and a turning to the Saviour of sinners. Paul would write to the saints at Thessalonica and tell them he knew they were elect of God because they had “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (I Thessalonians 1:9). A lost sinner turns from the darkness of sin, to the light of Christ, when he is turned by the efficacious grace of God (Jeremiah 31:18). Conversion is the inevitable and conscious turning of an elect sinner from his natural state to a state of grace in the Lord Jesus Christ. A sinner may do all kinds of religious things and remain unconverted. He may attend church, and even join a church; he may “walk the aisle’, or “decide for Christ”; he may be active in all sorts of religious activity; he may be as busy as a bee in community affairs, or works of so-called benevolence; I tell you, you may be do all these things and more and remain unconverted and a stranger to Christ and His saving work. Unless you have consciously entered the strait gate of conversion, you will hear Christ say to you, “Depart from me, you worker of iniquity.”

There is somebody reading the Narrow Way this week that needs to come see me so I can tell you what true conversion is. There is somebody reading this article that needs to come see me or call me at 601-927-5070 so I can tell you how to be saved. There are many of you who have missed the strait gate of conversion altogether. If you have missed conversion, you have missed Christ, and if you miss Christ, you miss everything. Except ye repent, ye shall certainly perish. May the Lord have mercy upon you, because if He doesn’t, you will be miserable forever in hell.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sin Defined

(Article for publication week of 9-19-2013 AD)

“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (I John 3:4).

For the past several weeks we have been exposing false profession from Matthew 7:21-23. I encourage you to go back and read the text. One of the things we noted that is fundamentally wrong with the false professors in that text is that they are in reality lawless. Though they had a fine profession, our Lord pronounced them “workers of iniquity.” Our regular readers will remember that we pointed out that the Greek word translated “iniquity” means “lawless.” At the final judgment our Lord will say to many “depart from me”, for they are antinomians, that is “lawless.” They had no regard for the law of God. They probably misused Romans 6:14 and insisted the law had nothing to do with them because they were saved by grace!

Lawlessness appears to be the attitude of most professed Christians nowadays. (And I keep reminding you who make no profession of religion that you are no better off, so don’t start thinking you are better than all the “hypocrites”; you are lawless too, as is evidenced by your refusal to worship God as He has commanded.) Antinomianism is the spirit of the age, even in the professed church. This lawlessness is two-fold. First, there is a refusal to call sin what it is, and a libertine spirit that refuses to be ruled by the word of God. You cannot tell the professed church from the world. The average church member dresses like the world, talks like the world, thinks like the world, and generally lives like the world. This generation of hell-raising church members thinks the casino and the ball game is perfectly compatible with Christianity. About the only “sin” known to the modern church is the “sin” of being “judgmental”!

But secondly, not only is there a refusal to call sin what the Bible calls sin, but there is the practice of calling sin that which the Bible does not. Our text this week plainly says, “sin is the transgression of the law.” In too many cases the professing church has accepted political correctness as its definition of sin. It is sinful to refuse to call sin what the Bible does, but it is equally sinful to call sin what the Bible does not. For example, the modern church has maligned and even reprobated our Forefathers for the practice of domestic servitude, but the Bible nowhere calls domestic servitude a sin. In fact it regulates, condones, and approves the practice. Before you start cussing me, go read Genesis 17:23; Genesis 24:35; Exodus 20:10; Exodus 20:17; Matthew 8:5-10; Ephesians 6:5; Colossians 4:1; and I Timothy 6:1-5 for starters. I just use this as a vivid example of accepting some standard other than the Bible in our definition of sin. Many more examples could be cited.

Dear readers, especially you who claim to be Christians, I challenge you to think Biblically, not like the world. Do you love the law of God? Do you delight in the law of God after the inward man? Do you accept the law of God as your rule of life, even though you know you come far short in keeping it? (I have written plenty over the years showing that believers are saved by grace, not law keeping. But I have also tried to be faithful to your souls in showing that salvation by grace is not a license to sin.) May the Lord deliver us from a sprit and practice of lawlessness.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

What it Means to be Under Grace

(Article for publication week of September 12, AD 2013)

“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Roman 6:14).

For several weeks we have been exposing false profession from Matthew 7:21-23. One of the indictments our Lord will bring against false professors at the Day of Judgment will be that they are, in spite of their profession, “lawless” (workers of iniquity). Lost men, whether professors of Christ or not, are, after all “lawless;” they have no regard for the law of God.

Sadly, we see this attitude toward the law of God prevalent amongst professed believers all around us. How often do we hear church members, and even preachers parrot, “we are not under the law; we are under grace.” I had a preacher parrot this to me just recently. This is a blatant example of the lawlessness our Lord describes in Matthew 7:21-23. It is an example of men wresting the scriptures to their own destruction.

So what does the inspired word mean when it says in Romans 6:14 “ye are not under the law, but under grace.” Does this text say that a believer in Christ is free to ignore the law of God since he is saved by grace? A million times “NO”! This text in no way even suggests, nor implies, much less commands that a believer reject the law of God as his rule of life. The context in which it is given, and the whole of scripture will not allow such an interpretation as the antinomians try to give for this verse.

First of all, this statement is made in the context of Paul’s defense of free grace from charges of antinomianism. In Romans 3:21- 5:21, Paul proves wonderfully that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ Alone, concluding with the glorious declaration that “where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” Then Chapter 6 opens with “shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” The answer is,”God forbid”! Paul’s whole point in chapter 6 is that being saved by grace frees a man from the “dominion of sin.” He is not under the dominion of sin because he is freely justified by imputed righteousness, and he is being sanctified by the Holy Spirit indwelling him. A believer is not under the law for his justification, so he is not under the condemnation of the law. The happy result of this is that he is no longer under the dominion of sin. A believer is “not under law” in these two senses: 1) he is not under the law as a covenant of works to be saved by it; and 2) he is not under the condemnation of the law, because Christ has answered all the just claims of the law for the believer.

Our Lord Himself has forever answered every lawless one in Matthew 5:17 when He said, ‘think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” The Apostle Paul dealt a deathblow to antinomianism in Romans 3:31, when he was inspired to write, “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.”

I call upon all my readers, both professors of religion, and non- professors to repent of all your lawlessness in action and attitude and flee to Christ, the Only Saviour of the lawless. May the Lord spare you before it is too late.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Believer's Love of the Law of God

(Article for publication week of 9-5-AD 2013)

"O how I love Thy law! It is my meditation all the the day" (Psalm 119:97).

The Psalmist expresses the delight of every true believer. The believer in Christ can never be an antinomian, but can truly say he loves the law of God. This is the heart's delight of believers under both Covenants for we find the Apostle Paul expressing the same love for the law of God in Romas 7:22 where he says, "for I delight in the law of God after the inward man."

A Christian does not love God's law because of any hope of saving himself by his own keeping of it. A thousand times no! A saved person knows he is always coming short of what God's law requires, and he knows that his very best is tainted by sin, and he knows that God's law requires perfect and perpetual obedience, and this he is not able to perform. If it were left to us to save ourselves by keeping the Ten Commandments we would be damned and doomed forever. But even though a converted man knows he cannot save himself by law keeping, he still loves the law of God and it is his rule of life. Thank the Lord we are not under the law's condemnation, nor are we under the law for our justification (Romans 6:14).

A believer loves the laws of God first of all because he sees the perfections of a Thrice Holy God in His moral law. As we read in Romans 7: 12 "the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just , and good."

The believer understands the law of God was given by God as reflection of His Own Holy Character. The Ten Commandments tell us what God requires as far as our duty to Himself, and our fellow man.

Secondly, a believer loves the law of God for by it he knows what is sin. We read in I John 3:4, "sin is the transgression of the law." A believer knows he may not make up his own standard, or accept the world's standards, but he must abide by God's holy standard. Sin is not the transgression of any man's pet peeves, nor the transgression of what is socially acceptable, nor the trnagression of what is politically correct, but it is the transgression of the moral law of God. Those who reject God's law end up calling evil good, and good evil as we see in our nation, and sadly in the professing church.

Thirdly, the believer loves the law of God because it was written in his heart in regeneration (Jeremiah 31:33; Hebrews 8:10). When a a poor sinner is born from above (John3: 1-8), he is a different person. He begins to hate what he once loved, and begins to love what he once hated. Regeneration, the new birth makes a person a new creature who loves God and His Laws and His Ways. Thus the believer is saved from the dominion of sin and now desires to obey God. Though sin still remains in a believer (Roman 7:20), it is not the controlling power of his life and he does not live in sin (I John 3:9).

Fourthly, the believer loves the law of God because he knows he is in right relation to it. By the obedience of Christ, the believer in Christ is constituted by God in right relation to His Holy Law (Romans 5:19). Our Lord Jesus Christ kept the law of God perfectly, and His obedience is accounted for righteousness to all who believe in Christ (Romans 4). Not only that, but Christ paid the penalty for all of the believer's law- breaking. Every sin that a believer has ever committed, and all the sin a believer ever will commit was charged to Christ and He paid the price on Calvary's cross. Therefore, the believer is in right relation to the law of God.

So you see, a saved person will not be lawless, but he will love the law of God, and be meditating upon it. God bless you all my dear readers.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Final Doom of the Lawless

(Article for publication week of 8-29- AD 2013)

“And then will I profess unto them, ‘I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity’ “ (Matthew 7:23).

We have been writing the last few weeks on the danger of false profession and had begun to discover some of the root problems with false profession as shown by the words of our Lord in Matthew 7:21-23. In this passage our Lord declares that multitudes will discover to their everlasting anguish that they were lost church members and finally be sent to hell. Multitudes have a profession of Christ, but they are not possessed by Christ.

We had previously observed that these false professors never doubted their salvation and never examined themselves if they had the genuine article. We had also pointed out that they did not the will of God. They were disobedient and reprobate Titus 1:16).

Next to be noticed is that they were “workers of iniquity.” The Greek word translated “iniquity” here means “lawless.” If there is one word to describe professed Christians and preachers here in Simpson County, this is it- “lawless.” The professed church here in our area, and from what I hear throughout our land is, by and large, lawless. The majority of professed Christians completely disregard the law of God. How often do hear professed Christians and even ministers proclaim, ”we are not under the law, we are under grace”! Romans 6:14 is one of the most misunderstood, and most abused scriptures in all of God’s word. Multitudes are misusing it to their final and eternal ruin. I am reminded of a man who was a member of a church I once pastored. The report came to me that he had been getting drunk, and I went to see him to try to restore him. When I pointed out the seriousness of his sin, and the fact that this was behavior unbecoming to a professed follower of Christ, he protested, “you are trying to put me under the law, but I am under grace”! He completely misunderstood Romans 6:14, and what it means to be under grace, and not under law. I hope all you antinomians who think that Romans 6:14 gives you license to live in sin will go and read that verse and what goes before and follows after. It is true that believers in Christ are not under the law for their justification. It is also true that the believer is not under the condemnation of the law. But the happy consequence of this is that the believer in Christ is not under the dominion of sin. Those who justify their careless living by misquoting Romans 6:14, and insist they can live any way they choose will hear the words of Christ, “depart from me, you lawless ones”!

The Apostle Paul makes it clear in Romans 3:31 that faith in Christ does not make void the law, but rather establishes the law. Our Lord plainly stated in Matthew 5:17 that he came to fulfill the law, not destroy it. The believer in Christ does not look to the law of God for his justification, but he looks to it as a reflection of the perfect character of God. It is his rule of life, and thus can say “O Lord! How I love Thy law”, and “I delight in the law of God after the inward man.” The believer in Christ knows he cannot be saved by keeping the law, yet he wants to please God and knows that God has revealed His will to us by the moral law, that is the Ten Commandments. By the moral law of God, the believer knows what is sin (I John 3:4), and is always repenting of his sins and looking to Christ Who saved him from his sins, by keeping the law to a jot and a tittle.

Lord willing, we will continue the subject next week.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Pseudo-Christianity Exposed

(Article for publication week of 8- 22- AD 2013)

“Not everyone that saith unto me ‘Lord, Lord’ shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say unto me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works?’ And then will I profess unto them, ‘ I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity’ “(Matthew 7: 21-23).

The “day” to which our text refers is, of course the Great Day of Judgment. Dear reader, do you not know that “it is appointed unto man once to die, but after this, the judgment? Every one of us must appear before the Great Tribunal of God to give an account of the deeds done in the body. In that day it will be revealed who was truly saved and who was not, and there will be no appeal of that verdict. Multitudes on that Day will hear the awful words of Christ, “depart from Me”!

We had previously shown two root problems with false Christians. First, they were shocked to find out they were lost after all. They never questioned their salvation. Then secondly, they were not trusting in Christ Alone, but their own good works (so-called).

But now the third thing I will point out to you that was wrong with these false converts who never questioned their salvation (although they should have), is that they did not the will of God. Our Lord plainly says here that the only folks who will enter into heaven are those who do God’s will. Now don’t put the paper down yet. The scriptures plainly declare that a sinner is justified by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ Alone. A sinner cannot save himself by his good works (Ephesians 2:8-9). We have already pointed out that one of the root problems with these lost church members was that they trusted in their works instead of in Christ Alone. Our best obedience dares not appear before God’s throne (Isaac Watts), yet the evidence of being saved is obedience to Christ. Christ became the author of eternal salvation to all those who obey Him (Hebrews 5:9). God will take vengeance in flaming fire on those who “obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (II Thessalonians 1:8). Obedience will not save a poor sinner, but a saved sinner will obey Christ. All those that God justifies, He also sanctifies. All those that God saves he gives a new nature in regeneration. God writes His law in a saved man’s heart, and works in him both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). Christ’s sheep will certainly follow Him (John 10: 27). A Christian will be sincerely and consistently obedient to Christ, though very imperfectly.

Now dear reader, examine yourself. Are you doing the will of God? Are you sincerely and consistently obeying Christ? Are you following the Shepherd? Now, before some poor sensitive saint falls into despair, let me quickly encourage you that Christ’s sheep often stumble, but Christ picks them up and carries them when they cannot walk. Christ’s sheep sometimes wander off; but the great Shepherd goes and gets them and brings them back to follow Him. I pray the Lord will use this short message to awaken the lost and encourage the saved.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Another Call for Self Examination

(Article for publication week of 8-15- AD 2013)

“Not every one that saith unto me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say unto me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?’ And then will I profess unto them,’ I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.’ “

Last week we began to get to the root of the problem with false profession, praying earnestly that the Lord may awaken some of you from your false profession. Many of you who are reading the Narrow Way have nothing more than a dead, formal profession and on the Day of Judgment you are bound to hear the Lord say unto you, “depart from me”- FOREVER.

The first thing we noted about the pseudo Christians in our text was that they were completely surprised that they were in reality unsaved and lost in their sins. They really were astounded that the Lord was not impressed with them. They were so cocky, they never questioned whether they had the real thing or not. Whereas, a true Christian often feels the plague of his heart and is made to cry, ‘O! wretched man that I am!” False professors are self satisfied, but true saints say “amen” to Job when he said, “I abhor myself in dust and ashes.”

Now, the second thing I will point out to you is that these false professors were not trusting in Christ alone for their salvation. When Christ placed them on his left hand for their final judgment, they began to plead their own works as the reason Christ should let them into His heaven. They began to tell the Lord all the wonderful things they had done in His name. Notice what they did NOT say. They did NOT say, “Lord we trusted in you and your work alone for salvation. Lord, we read in your word where it said, “being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in YOU ALONE.” We believed you when you said, him that cometh to ME I will in wide cast out.” Though, as we shall see in another article, these hypocrites were works mongers, their works could not save them, and the Lord was not impressed with all their good works (so-called).

Now, dear readers, what are you trusting in to save you in that Great Day? I tell you again that your only hope is Christ and His imputed righteousness. You may be a prestigious church member, or you may be a wretched dope head; you may be dead in profession, or you may be dead in scandalous sins. Either way, without Christ you’re a dead duck. Friend, if you come to the Day of Judgment without Christ, you will be lost forever, and spend eternity in hell. But the scriptures promise us that though we are vile and wretched, Christ is mighty to save. Romans 10: 11 promises us that “whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed.” Dear reader, repent of you sins right now. If you have been a lost church member, repent of your sin of hypocrisy and come to Christ as a poor sinner and throw yourself on His mercy. He is able and willing and ready to save, and He may spare you before it is too late. Your only hope is in the Lord Jesus Christ who lived and died, and was buried, and was raised the third day and now sits at the right hand of God interceding for all those for whom He died. Flee to the Saviour of sinners now.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

A Call for Self-Examination

(Article for publication week of 8-8- AD 2013)

“Not everyone that saith unto me, ‘Lord, Lord’, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say unto me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? And in Thy name have cast out devils? And in Thy Name done many wonderful works?” And then will I profess unto them, ‘ I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity.’ “

Dear reader, will Christ say these awful words to you at the Day of Judgment? Will Christ say unto you, ‘depart from me, I never knew you'? You had better examine yourself and be sure you are right with God, lest ye spend eternity where the fire is not quenched and the worm dieth not! If you have been a false professor and a lost church member, it is not too late for you (as far as I know- the Lord knoweth infallibly) to repent and come to Christ and be genuinely saved.

I have been writing on this text for several weeks now and warning you all of false profession, which is a reality, according to our Lord. Today we shall begin to examine the root problems with false profession, and urge each of you to examine yourselves by the word of God. Shake off all carnal security and be honest with God, yourself and the Church.

The first thing we notice about the false professors of which our Lord speaks is their surprise that the Lord would not have them and welcome them into His heaven. This is one of the main problems with pseudo Christians- they never have any doubts about their salvation. They are so cocky, they think there is no way they could be lost. After all, they accepted Jesus, joined the Church and do all kinds of religious things. Why many of them are even preachers of the gospel! At the final Judgment they are just absolutely astounded that Christ would not have them.

Now, please do not go off on any tangent here. I am not suggesting that true Christians cannot have a good assurance of their standing in grace. As a matter of fact, the scriptures urge us to “make our calling and election sure” (II Peter 1:10), and the Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle John to write I John so believers could know they are saved (I John 5:13). But what I am warning against is the cocky attitude of many professed Christians who just “know” they are saved, but have no tangible, Biblical reason to know it. On the other hand, there are many true saints who are often filled with doubts and fears about themselves and are like one old boy who said, “Lord, I believe, help Thou my unbelief”(Mark 9:24)! True believers agree with the hymn writer, Isaac Watts, who wrote, “If my soul were sent to hell, Thou righteous law approves it well.”

Dear reader, don’t be so cocky. Come to grips with the fact that you may be in the gall of bitterness and the bonds of iniquity. If you have made a false profession, repent today and beg Christ to have mercy upon you. And finally, I want to warn all you who have never professed Christ, to shake off your carnal security also, for the Saviour warns that He will deny all those who deny Him. May the Lord have mercy upon you and save you.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

False Profession Exposed

(Article for publication week of 8-1- AD 2013)

“'Not everyone that saith unto me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say unto me in that day, ‘ Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? And in Thy name have cast out devils? And in Thy name done many wonderful works?’ And then will I profess unto them, ‘ I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.’"

We are blessed to live in a part of the world where there is still some outward respect for Christianity, and where many people profess the name of Christ. Compared with most other places in the world, the people in our area are still well mannered and polite, generally. Many of the sales clerks give you your change with a smile and say, “have a blessed day.” Probably the majority of the folks here in Simpson county and surrounding areas are connected to the church. All the football teams here pray to the “man upstairs” to help them the knock the devil out of the opposing team on Friday nights. Most everybody in these parts is very religious.

But the reality is that many, perhaps most are religiously lost and will finally hear the awful words of Christ, “depart from Me’, and be doomed and damned forever. Our text here in Matthew 7 that we have been looking at applies to many of you. You are religious, but lost. I am laboring to awaken you out of your deadly sleep!

But most of you will dismiss me as crank and a fool and go on into eternity with a false profession and spend eternity where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. Friend, I want to ask you a question. Would it not be better to be exposed now as a hypocrite and truly repent, than to wait until the day of Judgment when there is no time left to repent? Every one of us ought to take this in dead earnest and search our souls and examine our profession by the word of God and beg God that if we have not been truly saved to save us today.

I cannot emphasize this too strongly. Profession of Christ does not equal possession of Christ. Just because you have some kind of a profession does not mean you are saved. Just because you belong to the church does not mean you are saved. Just because you have been baptized or sprinkled does not mean that you are saved. This is what my text plainly says.

Now, I know it would be painful and embarrassing and humiliating for you to have to come before the church and admit you had been fooling them and yourself. I know from experience because I had to do that when the Lord truly converted me after I had been a lost church member for twenty years. But friend, who do you fear most, men or Christ? You had better fear Christ for He is your final Judge. It would be infinitely better to admit you are lost and seek Christ than to be cast out by Christ forever. May the Holy Spirit awaken many and reveal unto you your true condition.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Professing Christians Warned

(Article for publication week of 7-18- AD 2013)

"Not every one that sayeth unto me, "Lord, Lord' shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say unto me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? And in Thy name done many wonderful works?" And then will I profess unto them, 'I never knew you' depart from me ye that work iniquity' " (Matthew 7:21-23).

As dear old R.F. Gates said when preaching on this text, 'if I could read this text without getting disturbed, I would be disturbed!" Indeed, it is a most disturbing text, for our Lord warns us that many who profess to be saved are simply fooling themselves and others. At the final judgment MANY will hear the awful words from Christ, "depart from me" forever. There are many of you reading this who will find out too late that you never had anything but an empty profession. There are many of you who are nothing more than nominal professors, but you do not know Christ, and He does not know you. There are many of you who are preachers who are lost yourselves and though you prophesy in the name of Christ, you will end up in hell forever.

One thing that I must point out from this text is that we have here a plain, clear, and irrefutable declaration of the Deity of Christ. I never want to miss an opportunity to preach the Deity of Christ, for it is constantly being attacked by Satan. See here- the Lord says HE will be on the judgment throne at the last day. He will send lost sinners to hell. No one but God can or may stand in final judgment. No one but God can or will send lost sinners to hell. (See Genesis 18:25, John 5:22, and Matthew 25:31-46.) Those of you who deny or doubt the Deity of Christ will have a rude awakening as all lost men will. Christ proclaims that He is God by telling us we must stand before HIM at the final judgment.

Now the thing that is so disturbing about this text is that many (note well MANY will be doomed to hell forever) who acknowledge the Lordship of Christ are not really saved. There are multitudes right here in Simpson County who say they believe in Christ who are not saved. There are some of you who claim to believe the Bible who are lost. There are some of you would fight for creationism who are lost. There are some of you who believe much truth, but yet you have never been genuinely converted. You have never entered into salvation by the strait gate of Matthew 7:13-14. You are not in the narrow way that leads to life, but the broad way of nominal profession.

Then there are many of you who are works mongers and think you are doing much service to God and man. You go on "mission trips" perhaps to feed the hungry, or provide medical care to the poor. There are some of you who are active in social activism or perhaps political activism, or "community service". You think God is impressed by all your "wonderful works", but you have neither part nor lot with Christ. You are in the "gall of bitterness, and the bond of iniquity."

There are many of you who belong to a respectable Church. Perhaps you teach "Sunday school". Perhaps you are a deacon , or a preacher. You have a respectable place in the eyes of men. But your heart is far from God. You will hear your awful doom, "depart from me", FOREVER.

There are many of you who were coaxed to "walk the aisle", or sign a decision card, or "go forward" when the "invitation" was given. You made a decision or a profession, but you have not been born again. You are a stranger to Christ and His saving grace.

Now I want to say a word to you who are irreligious before I close. There are probably some of you so stupid as to think that my warnings against false profession has nothing to do with you. Perhaps some are even thinking, "Floyd is sure right. There are so many hypocrites in the Church. I don't even profess Christ, and I am better than some of them." Friend, there is not a word of encouragement in this text for you. If the hypocrite must be doomed and damned forever, where does that leave you who will not even acknowledge Christ?!! You who will not profess and acknowledge and follow Christ will also hear those terrible words, "DEPART FROM ME"!

May the Holy Spirit awaken many this very hour. To professors and non-professors alike I cry, "examine yourselves whether indeed you be in the faith." Now is the day of salvation. Tomorrow may be too late.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Beware of False Prophets

(Article for publication week of 7-11-2013 AD)

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matthew 7:15).

In our recent study of true conversion from Matthew 7:13-14, and Luke 13:24, we saw that one of the hindrances to true conversion is that there are multitudes of false prophets who lead men astray. Notice in our text this week that as soon as our Lord pointed us to the gate of conversion, He then warns us of false prophets. Right there at the gate of conversion are false preachers who hinder men from entering into salvation. False prophets tell men they may get to heaven without entering into salvation by the gate of true and thorough and sound conversion.

If you value your never-dying soul, it behooves you to know the difference in a true man of God, and a false prophet. There are many imposters lying in wait to deceive people. There are multitudes of blind leaders of the blind headed for the ditch, and bringing multitudes of deceived followers down to hell with them.

False prophets are often very nice people. They have the appearance of a sheep, but they are as dangerous as a wild wolf. In fact, they are more dangerous than wolves, for a wolf can only destroy your body, but a false preacher can destroy your soul. False prophets may be found in all sorts of places, Of course we know they are found among the cults and liberal “churches’, but be sure they may also be found in places professedly conservative and sound.

A man that preaches a social “gospel” is not a true man of God. A man who preaches politics is not a true man of God. (However a true man of God is not afraid to take a stand on political issues. I am just making a point that a man may advocate for sound policy in government and be as lost as a goose. I weep and tremble and fear for the souls of multitudes of “conservatives” who have little evidence of being saved. There are many of you who think that joining a mainline church and the Republican Party will get you to heaven, but you will be sorely disappointed when you come to die. And I have no hope whatsoever for liberals and socialists.) Most everybody who marches and advocates for the so-called “down-trodden masses” are lost men on their way to hell, and bringing multitudes of false converts with them. In fact there are many whose bodies are in the grave and their souls are in hell are still leading men into hell with them, for they as the righteous dead continue to speak though they be dead. They continue to speak through their blasphemous writings and recordings and through popular acclaim.

Here is the acid test of a man’s ministry. Does he declare that you are lost in your sins without any hope of saving yourself? Does he declare that Christ is the only way to be saved and that faith in Him Alone is the way to be saved? Does he faithfully call upon you to repent? Does he preach justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ Alone? Does he preach the necessity of the new birth? Does he preach sanctification as well as justification? Does he faithfully point men to the strait gate of conversion? Any man who does not preach these things is a false prophet and will bring you down to hell with himself. “Beware of false prophets!”

Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Agony of True Conversion

(Article for publication week of 7-4- AD 2013)

“Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able” (Luke 13:24).

For the past several weeks we have been considering true Biblical conversion from our Lord’s metaphor of a “strait”, that is a difficult gate in Matthew 7:13-14. We have shown that true Biblical conversion is necessary, urgent, difficult and rare. Today we turn to a parallel text in Luke 13:24 where the same truth is again illustrated by this strait gate. Though true conversion be difficult, our Lord urges us to strive to enter in.

The very first thing I show you from this text is that it is utter insanity for a man to be unconcerned and careless about the eternal state of his soul. There are some of you who are so wrapped up in yourself and worldly pleasure that you never give a thought to where you will spend eternity. Unless you start striving to be converted you are going to die and go to hell. You may be cut down before this day is over and face God. All your worldly pleasure will end and you will be in the flames of hell forever with no hope of ever getting out.

And I know of some who have heard just enough of the gospel of sovereign grace to endanger themselves. Like my Daddy told me one time when I was trying to do a wiring project with no electrical training. Daddy told me, “Son you know just enough to get killed”! I took his advice and quit meddling with things to complicated for me. So there are some who are “jackleg” theologians who think they know something about the Bible and go on to hell with a little knowledge. Like fooling with electricity, some of you know just enough about the scriptures to be a “know -it- all” and go on to hell. There are some of you who know about the doctrine of election, but yet have never entered into salvation by the gate of conversion. I want to say unto you the scriptures nowhere tell us to just “hope” we might be one of the elect. No! Our text says to strive to enter into salvation. II Peter 1:10 command us to make our calling and election sure. Be sure the Bible does teach the doctrine of election, but the only way you may know you are elect is by entering into the narrow way by the strait gate.

Then, there are quite a few of you who vainly imagine you are saved because you made a little decision, so-called. You “decided for Christ”, or “accepted Christ”. The Bible nowhere uses that kind of terminology for conversion. You know nothing of Holy Ghost conviction. You have never been granted repentance. You have never been stripped of your self- righteousness. You have never been humbled by the Lord teaching you what a wretch you are. You are still full of arrogance, pride and self-esteem. You walked an aisle perhaps, and gave the preacher your hand, but you have never been born again. You have a false assurance and have never been truly converted. There was no striving in your experience, because you thought getting saved was easy.

Now, I want you to notice with me that the Greek word translated “strive” in our text is the word from which we get our English word “agony”, or in its verb form, “agonise.” You see true conversion is always accompanied by agony of soul. As the awakened sinner strives to enter into salvation, he is brought into great distress and agony of soul, so that he is made to cry, “Oh! Wretched man that I am!” You see, a man has to get lost before he can be saved. Lost sinners are the only kind of people God saves. May the Holy Spirit show you your lost condition and draw you to the Saviour of sinners.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Two Crutches for the Spiritually Lame

(Article for publication week of 6-27- AD 2013)

“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).

Oh! What a glorious text! These wonderful words of Christ are some of the sweetest in all of scripture. Let no one despair of being saved as long as these words are on record. This promise of the dear Saviour tells us how a poor lost, spiritually lame sinner can get to Christ to be saved. Here are two crutches for the spiritually lame to come to Christ.

The first crutch is the glorious truth of efficacious grace. “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me”, promises the Lord Jesus Christ. Indeed no one can come to Christ by his own power and strength (John 6:44). Unless the Lord draws a sinner to Himself, that sinner will never come to Christ to be saved. In our text this week, Christ declares the glorious truth of free and sovereign grace. God has an elect people that he gave to His coequal and eternal Son from all eternity. Don’t you see it? “All the Father giveth me.” Christ preaches the glorious truth of unconditional election here, for He has an elect people that the Father chose in Him from before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4).

But then our Lord says that all the elect of God shall surely come to Him. That is, they will be drawn by the irresistible power of the Holy Spirit to quit the hateful ways of sin and come to the Lord Jesus Christ. Every last one that the Father chose in His Son to be saved will come to Christ without fail. Note well the emphatic words of our Lord- shall come to me. Though an elect sinner may be so hardened in his sins that his secret resolve is to refuse to have anything to do with the gospel, when it pleases the Lord to draw that one to Himself, that sinner will come to Christ most freely and willingly. (See Psalm 110:3.) God is able to save the vilest rebel on earth when He is please so to do.

But here is another crutch for the spiritually lame- “him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” Poor sinner, do you feel yourself to be so wretched and vile that you fear the Lord would cast you away forever? Well, hear the blessed promise of Christ. “I will in no wise cast out.” There is nowhere in the scriptural record of any who came to Christ as a poor helpless sinner that he refused to save. No one has ever come to Christ begging for mercy that He turned away. Christ is able and willing and ready to save the most wretched sinner on earth when he repents of his sins and believes in Him.

Poor sinners, believe the precious promise of Christ. Come to Him Who has vowed He will turn none away who comes to Him. Come to Christ in faith and you will discover that you are one that was given to Christ by the Eternal Father before the foundation of the world. You have nothing to lose but your sins. Come to him just as you are, a poor lost sinner, and He can and will save your poor soul.