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, 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.