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, 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.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

True Conversion - A Very Rare Thing

(Article for publication week of 6-20- AD 2013)

“Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:14).

In our text, our Lord Jesus Christ illustrates true conversion, that is salvation, by a strait, or difficult gate. In previous articles we have shown that conversion is urgent, necessary, and difficult. This week we will show that true conversion is a very rare thing. Our Lord plainly declares that there are “few” who find and enter into the strait gate. It is a very rare thing to find a person who is truly saved.

Contrary to what is popularly believed here in Simpson County, there are but a few who are genuinely converted. Now there are many who have a profession, and maybe belong to a church, but there are a very few who are truly converted. Many will discover too late that they were never really saved, and hear those awful words of our Lord, “depart from me, I never knew you”!

There are few saved! And this is the truth of the Bible throughout its sacred pages. Our Lord plainly said in Luke 12:32 that His flock is a little one. In Romans 11:5 we read that there is a ‘remnant” according to the election of grace.” Contrary to popular opinion, not everyone is saved. It is only a small minority of the human race who will be saved. The vast majority will spend eternity in the flames of hell.

Now, I can hear some universalist out there caviling, “what about the places in scripture that speak of “many” being saved. After all does it not say in Revelation 7:8 that the saved in heaven will be “a great multitude, which no man could number”? Yes! The scriptures declare that there will be many finally saved. The final number of the saved will be a vast host that no man can number. But this is true of all the saved from righteous Abel until the last heir of promise is called by effectual grace. However the saved in any particular generation, and any particular locality are generally as our Lord says in our text a “few.”

Dear reader, are you one of the few? Do you know for sure that you are truly saved? Have you entered into the narrow way by the strait gate of conversion? Are you ready to die and face God in judgment? These are serious questions friends. You are going to die. You are going to face God. You are going to spend eternity I either heaven or hell! Unless you are truly converted you will spend eternity where the “worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched”. Oh! What an awful day it will be for most of you when the Judge of all the earth declares “I never knew you”! Trust not for your salvation in an empty profession. Flee to the dear Saviour at once Who is willing and able to save your poor soul. May the blessed Holy Spirit draw you to Christ this very day.