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, October 26, 2014

A Woman's Calling

(Article for publication week of 10-30- AD 2014)

"The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed" (Titus 2:3-5).
For the past several weeks we have been writing on Great Faith as seen in the Roman Centurion in Matthew 8: 5-13 and Luke 7:1-10. This prompted us to make a practical point that a believer can honour the Lord in any lawful calling, and then we showed that a lawful calling is that which God has commanded by specific command or approbation, that which is in accord with God's moral law, and that which is glorifying to God and useful to our fellow man. This week we are compelled to write on one of the most needful, yet most neglected subjects in the scriptures, that is a woman's calling.
The scriptures plainly declare that a woman's calling is to be a wife and mother. She is to be a "keeper at home." We had a preacher who is proficient in New Testament Greek preach in our church a while back and he told us that in the Greek what this actually means is that a woman is to be a keeper at home! Women are not called to be construction workers,  doctors, lawyers, preachers, soldiers, engineers, nor politicians, nor anything except what my text says, to be keepers at home. Dear reader, if you try to argue with this you are not arguing with me, you are trying to argue against God Who has plainly said in His Inspired Infallible Word that women are to be keepers at home. But it is an argument in futility, for God will not be argued with.
Our communities and the whole country is coming apart at the seams, mainly because the family is coming apart at the seams. One of the main reasons for the disintegration of the family is the forsaking of the home by the women. I am old enough to remember when the Universal Plant opened up at Weathersby and the women of this county began to go into the workforce in droves. The very next year the suits for divorce in the Chancery Court doubled statistically. If you don't believe me, go to the courthouse and check the records.
The Biblical calling of being a keeper at home is the highest calling a woman can pursue. The woman who leaves her God ordained domain is not taking a step up, but a step down. God ordained this in the creation when He made Woman to be a suitable helper to Man (Genesis 2:18). God commanded man to be fruitful and multiply and take dominion of the earth. For this he must needs have a suitable helper. God has ordained Woman to bear children and for children to be raised up in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord. The bringing forth of God's elect into the world is the first and chief reason for the marriage state. Dear ladies, you will never have a higher calling than that.
The happiest and most contented women that I know are those who understand and obey my text to be keepers at home. The woman who is a "daughter of Sarah" (I Peter 3:6), and is a suitable helper to her husband in his earthly calling, and a mother of children and a faithful keeper at home will do more positive and long range good for the kingdom of Christ than we will ever know in this life. "The Day will declare it."

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Lawful Calling

(Article for publication week of 10-23- AD 2014)
"And a certain centurion's servant, who was dear unto him, was sick , and ready to die.....When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed Him, 'I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel" (Luke 7:1,10).
We come now to consider another practical point from the centurion, who the Lord said was of "great faith." We showed you in the previous two articles that the military is a lawful calling (for a man, not a woman), and that a Christian can serve the Lord and be of "great faith" in any lawful calling. This week, I want to consider from the scriptures, what is a "lawful" calling.
First of all, by a "lawful calling", I mean not any and every profession that may be allowed by the laws of the State, but rather I mean lawful as God has commanded (by explicit command or approbation)in His word. That is, I mean by a lawful calling a trade, occupation or business that is in accord with the moral law of God  given in the Ten Commandments. This is the sense of the Westminster Larger Catechism question and answer 141 where we are taught one of the duties required by the eighth commandment is a "lawful calling." It is obvious that if a man is not engaged in a lawful calling, he is likely to try to provide for himself and his dependents by stealing. The procuring of wealth by any unlawful means is a violation of the eighth commandment and amounts to theft.
So, we need to consider what is a lawful calling. We may learn what is a lawful calling first of all by some things specifically commanded by God. For example, we read in Genesis 2, that there was not a "a man to till the ground," and so God created Adam and commanded him to dress and keep the Garden of Eden. So we see that farming is a lawful calling as it was specifically commanded by God. Then in the same chapter of Genesis, God commanded Adam to classify the animal kingdom. God commanded Adam to be a zoologist, that is a scientist. When the Eternal Son of God became Incarnate as the Son of Man, He followed the trade of a carpenter. I think we see here God's blessing on the building trades in a most wonderful manner by having His Son be a carpenter until such time as He should begin His preaching ministry. God has plainly blessed and commanded manual labour in I Thessalonians 4:11. But then the Eternal Son of God, who was made flesh, when He began to be about thirty years of age began His earthly ministry of preaching. Someone has astutely observed that God only had one begotten (eternally) Son, and He made Him a preacher. Thus we see God's high  estimation of preaching. Those who have a low view of the gospel ministry are not looking at things as God does, or they would have a high estimation of preaching. These are a few things the scriptures plainly say are lawful by God's specific command.
Then we see some things that we know are lawful by God's approbation. We have noted one in our text we have been studying in Luke 7:1-10, that is the calling of a soldier. Our Lord did not command the centurion to try to get out of the Roman army. John the Baptist told the soldiers who were converted under his preaching, "do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages," but he did not exhort them to get out of the army.
Pursuing a lawful calling is a serious consideration. It is a sin to be idle, for God has plainly said that any who will not work should not eat (II Thessalonians 3:10). I think we can see in the examples we have given that the principles of God's Law require us to pursue a calling that is glorifying unto Him and useful to our fellow man.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

A Practical Lesson from Great Faith

(Article for publication week of 10-16- AD 2014)

"For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, 'Go', and he goeth; and to another, 'Come', and he cometh; and to my servant, 'Do this', and he doeth it. When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned Him about, and said unto the people that followed Him, 'I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel' " (Luke 7:8-9).
We have been considering for several weeks now the subject of "great faith" from our passage here in Luke 7:1-10, and its parallel in Matthew 8:5-13. We noted first the humble spirit found in the centurion and his absolute confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ. We further noted this great faith was found in a surprising character; it was surprising first for it was found in a gentile "dog" (the name the Jews called our forefathers), and it was surprising secondly for it was found in a soldier. We also used this lesson to show that our Lord never condemned men serving in the military, nor does He ever require us to become pacifists to be His followers. The military is a lawful calling (for a man, not a woman), but is a spiritually dangerous calling for it subjects a man to many dangerous temptations. One of the Puritans, Richard Baxter said that keeping a bar is a lawful calling, but a dangerous one (spiritually). So a man needs to be careful and prayerful about joining the military (especially the U.S. military which is being used as mercenaries in unjust, undeclared, unconstitutional wars to promote the New World Order).
But , I repeat that the military is a lawful calling and many Christians have been faithful soldiers, like Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson and J.E.B. Stuart, and tens of thousands of our Southern Forefathers who joined the Confederate Army to resist the Yankee invasion of our Homeland. In fact one of the greatest Revivals God has ever sent down from heaven was in the Confederate Armies as recorded by Pastor J. William Jones in his book, "Christ in the Camp."
So, now I make an important and critical point from the Roman Centurion whom Christ called "great faith." The point is this: you do not have to be a preacher to serve the Lord. The Lord called His Own disciples, who were preachers and apostles, "little faith" , but he called this Gentile Soldier, "Great Faith." You can serve the Lord and be of Great Faith in any lawful calling. Dear ladies, you can be of great faith and serve the Lord in your calling as a Wife and Mother (Titus (2:4-5; I Timothy 5:14, e.g.). In fact, there is no higher calling than that of Wife and Mother, and I pity and scorn the feminists she- devils who deny it and try to enter into a man's calling. I thank God for women like my own dear wife who gave up a lucrative career as a physician to devote herself to her high calling of wifehood and motherhood.
I repeat, the Lord did not command the Roman Centurion to get out of the Roman army, nor did John the Baptist (read Luke 3:14), not do any of the inspired scriptures in either Testament. The scriptural injunction to each of is "let every man abide in the calling wherein he is called" (I Corinthians 7:20). If you are in a lawful calling when God saves you, remain in that calling and be faithful to God and man until the Lord directs your path another way. As old Brethren used to pray (some few still do), "Lord choose our changes." Every lawful calling is a place where God uses His people. Being a carpenter or farmer or homemaker is just as useful and honouring unto the Lord as being a public preacher of the word. Let us all be faithful where the Lord has put us (if in a lawful calling).

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Great Faith in a Surprising Place

(Article for publication week of 10-9-2014 AD)
"When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to them that followed, 'verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel' " (Matthew 8: 10). We have been considering the Roman centurion as an example of "great faith." The whole account is found in Matthew 8:5-13, and Luke also records this incident in Luke 7:1-10. We noted in the two previous articles of the Narrow Way that this man's faith was marked by humility and complete confidence and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. We also noted that this faith was found in an unlikely and surprising  character, a Gentile.
Now, let us note well that this faith is also surprising in that it is found in a soldier. Our Lord found greater faith in this Gentile Roman than He did in the Israel of His day, including (apparently) His Own disciples. This was  surprising, but equally surprising that it would be found in a professional military man. Saving faith is always a rare thing (Matthew 7:13-14), but it is especially rare in the military. Soldiers are more noted for their drunkenness, profanity, gambling and whore-mongering than for faith in Christ and a holy life. There are of course notable exceptions, like Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson who were men noted for piety and led their men in the worship of Christ as well as in battle. Another notable exception would be Oliver Cromwell who led the Parliamentarian Army in the English Civil War. The Roman Centurion is an example of God's sovereign grace that often surprises us. God sometimes saves the most unlikely characters (in our eyes at least).
Our lesson is a good place to point out that our Lord never commanded us to be pacifists. If it were a sin to be a soldier, this would have been a good place for our Lord to rebuke the centurion and command him to resign his commission. By our Lord's silence concerning the man's earthly station, He gives His approbation of men serving in the military. Not only was our Lord silent regarding the man being a soldier, but He commended him for his faith which was "great." Another example of a military man who was saved by grace and became a Christian was Cornelius in Acts 10. Peter baptised him, but did not command him to seek to get out of the Roman army. Many other scriptures (in both Testaments) and examples of Godly men who were warriors could be cited, along with the text before us show us that the scriptures do not require pacifism.
But, I must also point out that while the military may be a lawful calling, it is a dangerous one. I mean it is dangerous spiritually, for the military life exposes a man to many temptations. Our Lord taught us to pray for deliverance from temptation, not to run headlong into it. It is one thing to join the army when your home is invaded as our Southern Forefathers did, but it is quite another to join the army as a mercenary to fight in unjust, unconstitutional, undeclared wars on other continents. When I have been asked , I have advised and urged the young men with whom I have been associated to stay out of the military. And I will continue so to do. Being in the military is a spiritually dangerous life (though lawful) in the best of situations. But the fact is that the US military has not been engaged in a lawful war (at least) since the Second World War. That was the last war that was constitutionally declared and the politicians who were and are active and passive in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans and innocent civilians abroad will give an account at the Day of Judgment to receive in their bodies the just recompense of their reward. I hope the congressman from this district is reading.