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, May 19, 2013

The Urgency of Conversion

(Article for publication week of 5-22- AD 2013)

"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life and few there be that find it" (Matthew 7:13-14).

In this passage the Lord Jesus Christ illustrates true conversion by the simile of a "strait", or difficult gate. There must be an entering into salvation by the gate of conversion. This entering into salvation is a spiritual, not a physical act. Christ is the gate of salvation, and you must consciously enter into salvation by believing in Him and turning from your sins, or you will be lost forever.

Our text tells us that true conversion, salvation is a most urgent thing. It is urgent that you dear reader, get out of the broad way, and enter into the narrow way by the strait gate of conversion, because if you remain as you are you will be destroyed. The broad way, in which every unconverted person is leads to destruction. God will destroy the impenitent, unbelieving sinner’s soul and body in hell. Hell is a place of conscious, and eternal punishment. God is thrice holy, just, and immutable. His justice is inflexible and He is bound and determined to punish sin. He will punish the sinner, or He will punish the sinner's Substitute. How can you sit there unmoved and unconcerned when you are headed for hell? Hell is a place of fire hotter than Nebuchadnezzar's fiery furnace. Hell is a place where the sinner is bound in everlasting chains. Hell is a place of darkness, blacker than the darkness of Egypt. Hell is a place where the sinner is hopelessly enslaved by his sins forever. Hell is a place where you cannot get away from God, and you must face Him forever as your Judge and Executioner. God only has two places to put people- heaven or hell, and unless you are saved by the justifying work of Christ, God will have no choice but to shut you up in hell forever. The only way God could not send an unsaved sinner to hell would be if He quit being God, and you can mark it down, God won't quit being God. Dear Friend, unless you enter into salvation by the gate of conversion illustrated in our text by the strait gate, God is going to eternally destroy you in hell.

And if you will continue reading in the following verse you will see that conversion is an urgent manner for there is a great day of final judgment coming. In that day (verse 22) multitudes will be exposed for the false professors they always were. There are many who profess the name of Christ who have never been genuinely converted. There are many who have entered into church membership but never entered in the strait gate. There are many who have walked the aisle, and shook a preacher's hand, but they are in the broad way. And there are some of you reading this who are another kind of hypocrite, the kind who despises the professed people of God thinking yourself better than those Christians, and you will also meet your doom, and hear the awful words of Christ, "depart from me, I never knew you”!

Dear reader, will you heed my warning and be converted? Or will you be like Felix and wait for a more convenient day? As far as we know that old sinner never had a convenient day, and he has been in hell for two thousand years now, and won't ever get out, except long enough to appear before the final judgment to get a condemned body to be punished forever, and then back down to hell for eternity. Neighbour, you have a convenient day right now. Turn from your sins and turn to Christ now. It is eternally urgent.

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