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 25, 2014

The Most Optimistic Verse in the Bible

(Article for publication week of 5-29- AD 2014)
"No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6:44).
The first part of this verse is the most pessimistic verse in the Bible, for it presents man as God sees him. If we could see ourselves as God sees us it would deflate our egos, destroy our pride and "self esteem", and set us to bewailing our lost condition and to seeking Christ. No man, including you dear reader can come to Christ and be saved unless God has mercy upon you and draws you to the Son by the irresistible power of the Holy Spirit. If God leaves you as you are you will never repent of your sins and come to Christ, and you will be damned forever. Now you let that sink in, proud sinner.
But the second part of our text is the most optimistic verse in the Bible! God in His glorious mercy makes an exception for some sinners and draws them to Christ and saves them with an everlasting salvation. Dear reader, if you are presently saved, it is because God made an exception for you. God's grace is an exceptional thing! God passes by some sinners and leaves them in their sins and sends them on to eternal hell. But in His great mercy (for He is rich in mercy), He draws some sinners to Christ in Whom they find salvation.
The word "draw" in our text is most interesting and revealing. The word from which it is translated literally means "to drag." Now, that is exactly what God does when He saves a sinner according to His eternal purpose. He literally drags that sinner out of his sleep of spiritual death, and he drags that sinner to the Saviour to be saved. No man ever came to Christ of His own free will (our text plainly says so). Our text declares that an elect sinner is completely passive in his salvation. God is active, and the sinner is passive. God draws the objects of His mercy by His omnipotent power. God draws His people like we used to draw a bucket of water out of a well with a rope and windlass. There are some who vainly imagine that God "invites" sinners to come to Christ. Some imagine vainly that he "woos" sinners to Christ. That would be like going to the well and "inviting", or "wooing" the water to come to you at the top of the well. The water will never get out of the well by an invitation; no, it must be drawn out. It must be overcome by a power greater than the gravity holding it in the well. So, God draws by a power stronger than nature and rescues sinners from their desperate plight.
Now, again I say, this is the most optimistic text in the Bible for a poor sinner that sees his complete inability and helplessness to be free from sin and come to Christ. Sinner, you are not able to come to Christ, but God is able to draw you. He has drawn millions as helpless as yourself, and He has the power to draw you by His irresistible grace.
And this also an optimistic verse for those who preach the gospel. God will draw some of those to whom we are preaching. We do not expect that everybody to whom we preach will be saved. But we know God has promised that He will save His elect. And so we go forth and preach the gospel to every creature with the confidence that God will draw His people. As we call all men to repentance and faith, the Holy Spirit will call some effectually. I pray He will draw some of you.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Most Pessimistic Verse in the Bible

(Article for publication week of 5-22- AD 2014)

"No man can come to me except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6:44).

Our text this week completely destroys the myth of man's "free" will. Poor sinner, your will is not free, but in subjection to your fallen nature, the world, and the devil. Your will is not free, for you are dead in trespasses and sin (Ephesians 2:1). You cannot come to Christ and be saved at your own leisure, but you must be drawn by the effectual grace of God. Unless God has mercy upon you, and makes an exception for you and draws you to His Son for salvation, you will perish in your sins.

This is the most pessimistic text in the Bible, for it tells us that the one thing the sinner must do, he cannot do. Now you let that sink in. You cannot be saved without coming to Christ (John 6:35-40), but you have no power or ability to do the one thing needful. Our text this week leaves no place for creature comforts, or human ability. You are completely dependent upon a sovereign God Who does as He pleases in heaven and in earth to do everything necessary for your salvation.

This is also a pessimistic text for those whom God has called to preach. We are sent to preach the gospel to the whole world, and the whole world lieth in darkness. The characters to whom we are sent are totally depraved and dead in trespasses and in sins. No amount of human eloquence will persuade any man to repent of his sins and believe in Christ for salvation. Intellectual "apologetics" will never persuade the scoffers of this world. False prophets may use psychology and salesmanship and entertainment and emotionalism and tradition to get people to join the church or make a decision, but that is not coming to Christ and it is not salvation. True men of God must know that their task is an arduous one indeed. We are not sent to people with "hungry hearts", but to sinners with hearts as hard as flint. The sinner cannot give himself a new heart, and we cannot give him one. Unless the Holy Spirit works with quickening power in the souls of those to whom we preach, we shall have not a single convert.
But although our text is the most pessimistic verse in the Bible, it is at the same time the most optimistic verse in the Bible! This verse tells us that God Who is rich in mercy makes an exception for some sinners and draws them savingly to Himself. (My computer has underlined "savingly" to tell me it is incorrect, but my computer has not a soul not any spiritual understanding, so I am not going to change it, and I hope my editor will not, for "savingly" is a Biblical concept with which a regenerate soul is familiar!) Well did Fanny Crosby express the truth of my text in her hymn "Pass Me not O Gentle Saviour." The truth of that old hymn is that God is not obligated to call me out of darkness into His marvelous light. So I plead for mercy and beg God, "while on others Thou art calling, do not pass me by"! Praise God, He makes an exception for his chosen people and draws them to the Saviour so they come to Him most freely. I pray that God's exceptional grace will call some of my readers this week.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Him That Cometh to Christ

(Article for publication week of 5-15- AD 2014)

 "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).
We declared last week that coming to Christ is the same as believing in Christ (see verse 35). Coming to Christ is a principle act of saving faith, if not exactly synonymous with such faith. Now our Lord gives us a glorious promise from His Own Precious lips- He will never cast out one who believes in Him for salvation.
We see in this text two amazing truths concerning the poor sinner who comes to Christ in faith. First of all we see that the coming sinner comes because he is being drawn by efficacious grace. "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me." Sinners are unable to come to Christ by their own "free" will, for we read in John 6:44, "no man can come to me except the Father which sent me draw him." The word "draw" in John 6:44 literally means "to drag." This is the only way a sinner dead in sin can ever get to the Saviour is by the irresistible grace of God. No man can come to Christ unless and until the Holy Spirit quickens that sinner into spiritual life. But all those   that God  the Father gave to His Eternal and Coequal Son shall certainly be drawn by that invincible grace. It is impossible for one of God's elect who was chosen in Christ from before the foundation of the world  to miss saving faith. This is the reason that believers are saved, because they were predestinated to be saved. Dear reader if you are this moment believing in Christ for salvation you were chosen to salvation in the council hall of eternity. And the awful truth of God's Holy and Inspired Word is  that if you were not chosen to salvation, you will never be saved and you must spend eternity in the lake of fire. Dear readers, that awful truth ought to move you to fear God and cry out for mercy, for He has power to save and power to damn. He has mercy upon whom He will have mercy.
But then the second truth we see in our text is that Christ will not turn away one who comes to Him. It would be absurd for the Father to give you to Christ, and send the Holy Spirit into your heart with His quickening powers and draw you to Christ, and then for Christ to reject you! Salvation is the work of the Triune God Who is in perfect agreement with Himself as Father , Son, and Spirit. If you are coming to Christ, you are being drawn by the Holy Spirit and you are one of God's elect. So poor sinner, come to Christ and believe in Him, and you shall surely be accepted at the throne of grace, for you were accepted in Christ from before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4).
The Lord Jesus Christ is able and willing to save all that come to Him, and He will in no wise cast you out though you are vile and sinful. There is no sinner too sinful for Christ to save him. There is no sinner so stubborn that the Holy Spirit cannot make him willing in the day of God's power and draw him to Christ. So poor sinner, come to Christ to and be saved today. Joseph Hart expressed the truth of my text this way: "Come ye sinners, poor and needy, weak and wounded, sick and sore. Jesus ready stands to save you, full of pity, joined with power." Come to Christ and welcome!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Coming to Christ

(Article for publication week of 5-8- AD 2014)
"And Jesus said unto them, ' I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst" (John 6:35).
We have been considering the doctrine of saving faith in its principle acts. We spent several columns on receiving Christ as Lord and Saviour. Next to be considered is the act of coming to Christ. Our text this week in John 6:35 shows us that coming to Christ is one of the principle acts of faith, if not synonymous with faith.
First of all, I will point out that everything we have said about receiving Christ as Lord and Saviour is applicable to coming to Christ. That is, we come to Christ by faith as a Lord to rule over us, and as a Saviour to save us from our sins. We come to Christ in all his offices as Prophet, Priest and King. And we come to Him as the God Man Who is the only Mediator between God and man (I Timothy 2:5).
But there are some things that are peculiar to the act of coming to Christ that are especially precious. First of all, I want you to understand that coming to Christ is a spiritual activity. It has nothing to with man's natural abilities. A lame man can come to Christ as a poor sinner and be saved, for coming to Christ is an act of the soul, not an action of the human body. Coming to Christ has nothing to do with coming to the front of the church, or coming to the baptismal pool or font. Many people have done these things who have never come to Christ by faith. Coming to Christ is just that; it is coming to Him as the only Mediator between  God and man, for He is indeed the only Mediator. Saving faith is coming to Christ. It is not coming to a preacher or a so-called "priest". There are in reality no human priests, and every man who claims to be one is a fraud.
Coming to Christ is coming to Him by faith in our souls as a poor sinner who needs to be saved. We come to Christ in our affections as we see in Him the only hope of sinners such as ourselves. The sinner who truly comes to Christ, repents of his sins and believes in Christ for his whole and sole righteousness. As the hymn says, " just as I am without one plea, but that Thy blood was shed for me; and that Thou bidd'st me come to Thee, Oh Lamb of God I come."
Our text says something most wonderful about coming to Christ. Christ says that He is the bread of life and those who  come to Him will never hunger. It is obvious that our Lord is using a metaphor here. Christ is not saying that He is literally a piece of bread. No, He is saying as bread satisfies our hungry bodies, so He satisfies our hungry souls. The poor sinner who believes in Christ for salvation finds in Him that which satisfies the deep longings in His soul. And only Christ can satisfy a hungry soul. You see dear readers, believing in Christ satisfies the desires of a heaven born soul. The child of God who is born from above has longings and desires that he never had as natural man. Faith in Christ, which is likened to coming to Christ satisfies the regenerate soul as nothing else can. Poor sinner, come to Christ and feed upon Him. Coming to Him you shall never hunger, and believing on Him you shall never thirst.