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, February 22, 2015

Unholy Forever

(Article for publication week of 2-26- AD 2015)
"He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy , let him be holy still" (Revelation 22:11).
 Our text this week is a source of comfort to the saved, and a solemn warning to the unsaved. However we die, we will be fixed in that state forever. The Saved will be righteous and holy forever. There will be no danger of us falling from our glorious state. And the unsaved will be forever fixed in their unrighteous and unholy state. There will be no possibility of repentance or regeneration after this life. As you die my friend, so you will be fixed forever.
We cannot imagine how awful hell is. It is a place of everlasting fire (Mark 9:44). It is a place of perpetual darkness (Jude 13). It is a place where you will be chained up (Jude 6). It is a place where God will punish you forever (Luke 12:47-48). It is a place where you will face God forever as your Judge, Arresting Officer, and Executioner (Deuteronomy 32:41). But one of the most dreadful things about hell is that the sinner will remain a sinner  forever, without any hope of repentance, regeneration, reformation, or a saving change. The unjust and filthy must be so for eternity.
My dear lost friend can you fathom how awful it will be to be forever fixed in your sinful condition?! Think of it; the drunkard must remain a drunkard forever with a thirst for his liquor, but there will be no liquor stores in hell. The wretched fornicator will be consumed with his lusts forever, but unable to fulfill his base desires. The lover of this world will forever be such, yet the "fashion of this world" (I Corinthians 7:31) shall have passed away. Poor deluded worldling, in hell you will have your unholy love of the world, but no world to love! Poor Mr Money-love must go into eternity with his love for money, yet no money to make in hell!
Now dear reader, here is the awful Truth of God's word; God is going to send everybody to hell who will not be holy. There is nothing else a Thrice Holy God can do with unholy people, but send them to hell forever. You who are unsaved, you have said to God (by your actions and attitude, if not by actual words), "God, leave me alone, I don't want to be holy. I love my sin, and I don't want to be holy as You are holy. I love the world and all it has to offer. I love my religion, but I don't want holiness." And so, my friend if this is what you want God is finally going to say to you, "all right, if that's the way you want it, go ahead and have it your way- FOREVER." God is going to shut you up in darkness and everlasting fire and chain you to your unholy self forever. God is finally going to say to the unsaved, "go ahead and be unjust and unholy forever." This dear Reader will be your eternal portion unless you take seriously God's command to be holy (I Peter 1:15), and start pursuing holiness (Hebrews 12:14).

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Pursuit of Holiness

(Article for publication week of 2-19- AD 2015)

 "Follow peace with all men, and holiness without which no man shall see the Lord" (Hebrews 12:14).

 The word translated "follow" in our text this week means "pursue." We are told the only way that we will see God (that is see Him in heaven and in peace) is if we pursue holiness. To follow after, or pursue holiness, is to be striving diligently, and in dead earnest to be holy as God Himself is holy (I Peter 1:15-16). The same word that is translated "follow" here in our text is translated "press after" in Philippians 3:14 where Paul said he was pressing toward the mark of the prize of the high calling in Christ. It is the idea of running a race as we are called unto in verse one of Hebrews 12. So you see, my dear Reader, you must be chasing after holiness like a Walker hound after a deer. The pursuit of holiness is far greater than a mere casual interest. You must make it the work of your life if you want to see God and enter into His heaven.
The Deist, Thomas Jefferson wrote in the preamble to the Declaration of Independence that all men are endowed by their Creator with "certain unalienable rights", including the "pursuit of happiness." ( Many students of America's Founding Documents have said that what Jefferson meant by "pursuit of happiness" is the right to own property, but that is another subject.) But you see dear Reader, you may see God in heaven without earthly happiness, but you will never enter into heaven without holiness. You better take out after holiness instead of happiness.
A certain pseudo-Christian who is a popular nation-wide radio personality, often exhorts his listeners to pursue "great piles of cash", but friend, you may enter into heaven without any money, but you will not enter into heaven without holiness. You had better take out after holiness instead of "great piles of cash." The fact is the scriptures tell us that those who are poor in this world's goods are often the richest in faith (James 2:5). Our Lord has warned us that the rich shall hardly enter into heaven (Mathew 19:23). And our Lord Himself was a poor Man when He tabernacled on this earth. If you are poor then you are in good company, if you are saved by grace. The point is, it is eternally better to be without any money or property than to be without holiness, for you are not saved unless you are holy, and constantly in pursuit of holiness.
Dear reader, are you in pursuit of holiness? Be honest now. Be honest with yourself and with God. Your eternal destiny is hinged upon whether you are in pursuit of holiness. I urge you to make it your life's work to follow after holiness. Pursue perfect holiness in body , soul, and spirit (I Thessalonians 5:23). Separate yourself from everything that is opposed to God and His ways. Cry out to Christ to make you holy as every spiritual blessing is in Him (Ephesians 1:4, I Corinthians 1:30). Beg the Holy Spirit to work in you that which is well pleasing to God. Beg the Lord to work in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). Take out after holiness as if eternity depended upon it, for it most certainly does. You will never see God without holiness, so pursue it with all your being.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

No Holiness, No Heaven

(Article for publication week of 2-12-2015 AD)
"Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: (Hebrews 12:14).
Dear reader, please heed with all seriousness our text - "without holiness", you will not see God in Glory. The way that leads to God, is the holy way. A man is not saved apart from holiness. You may see God without any money, but you will never see God without holiness. You may see God without health, but you will not see God without holiness. You may see God without any earthly friends, but you will never see God without holiness. Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord.
Let us hear the faithful preacher, Arthur Pink regarding holiness. "To 'follow' holiness is to live like persons who are devoted to God- to His glory, to His claims upon us, to His cause in the world. It is to make it evident that we belong to Him. It is to separate ourselves from all that is opposed to Him. It is to mortify the flesh, with its affections and lusts. It is to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit. (2 Corinthians 7:1). It is a life task from which there is no discharge while we remain in the body."
I think that we can see from the text the close connection with following peace with all men and following holiness. The experts in the Greek grammar tell us that that the second clause is in the singular, indicating that holiness is the thing without which we cannot see God. However, the close connection between  following peace with all men and following holiness indicates that the  former is a vital part of our sanctification. In these two expressions we see our duty to God and to our fellow man, as seen also in the Two Tables of the Law, to first love God with all our being, and the Second to Love our neighbour as ourselves. Christians are exhorted to love their enemies and pray for those who persecute us and use us spitefully. We are to be at peace with all men as much as lieth within us (Romans 12:18). The servant of the Lord is forbidden to strive (II Timothy 2:24). So, I think we can see here that following peace with all men, including our enemies is fundamental to also following after holiness.
Now I have a word of cheer for the poor, downcast children of God who have quit their former hopes of their own righteousness and are trusting in Christ for imputed righteousness. Such calls to holiness as we issue are a two edged sword; with one side we warn the careless world-ling and the antinomian church member that you will never see God without  following holiness. With the other side we comfort the true children of God that our text does not say that you can save yourself by your own personal holiness. We can no more save ourselves by our own holiness that we can by our own righteousness. But the text plainly says you must "follow" holiness, that is you must be in pursuit of it. This is a description of the longings and desires of the heaven-born soul who longs to be holy as God is holy- who longs to be conformed to the image of Christ- who longs to be rid of this sin nature forever. This describes the child of God who is mortifying sin and all the while mourning within at how powerful it still is within his sorry self! The true saint knows that he has not attained unto holiness, but he is ever in pursuit of it. Brother Rolfe Barnard, who was instrumental in my own conversion had , I think one of the best comments I have ever heard on Hebrews 12:14. He said, " you may never catch up with holiness, but you better take out after it!" AMEN!


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Holiness Required

(Article for publication week of 2-5-2014 AD)
"But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, 'Be ye holy; for I am holy' " (I Peter 1:15-16).
Our text describes a Christian as a person who has been called effectually and efficaciously by the Holy Spirit out of the darkness of the world into the marvelous light of the Lord Jesus Christ (see also I Peter 2:9). To be saved is to have been called by God with an holy calling (II Timothy 1:9). By this effectual call, God implants within His elect a holy nature. The believer in Christ has been made a partaker of the divine nature in regeneration (see II Peter 1:4). Now those who have been granted the gift of spiritual life are commanded by the God Who hath saved them to be like Himself, that is holy.
We need to emphasize at this point in our series on sanctification (a.k.a. holiness) that justification must precede sanctification. Note well,  our text this week is a command to those who already have spiritual life. Those who have been regenerated and effectually called are commanded to live a holy life. You cannot save yourself by living a holy life. What you who are unsaved need is spiritual life. You need the Holy Spirit to grant you repentance and gift you with faith that you may believe in Christ to the saving of your poor soul. The only way you may in some measure obey my text is if you are first justified freely by God's grace. You see justification and sanctification will always be found in the same characters, but justification is the foundation for sanctification. Justification and sanctification may never be separated, but they must be distinguished.
God commands His children to imitate Himself. In Ephesians 5:1 Christians are commanded to be "followers" of God. The word translated "followers" in that verse literally means "imitators." We are commanded to imitate or mimic God Who is holy. Now dear reader (who professes to be saved), this is a command that you had better take in dead earnest. The fact is you are not saved unless you are obeying my text and being holy as God is holy. Holiness is not optional, but indispensable, for the only ones who will ever see God in peace are those who are holy. We read in Matthew 5:8, "blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God." The truth of this text is that ONLY the pure in heart shall see God. Again, only holy people will ever see God in peace. The unsaved must face God forever as Judge and Executioner, but they will not see God in peace. My lost friend, you will not be able to get away from God. You will be eternally terrified by Him in hell (Psalm 139:8). The saved will be eternally fixed with a holy nature, and the unsaved will be left eternally in their unholy nature (Revelation 22:11). 
No man will ever be as holy as God, but a saved man will be in dead earnest in obeying God's command to be holy. God in His grace has communicated His holiness to us, and He continues to work in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure. In coming articles we shall show you how the believer in Christ has a position of holiness by vital union with Christ (I Corinthians 1:30), and how the believer is able to be holy as God works in him both desire and ability (Philippians 2:13). Dear Reader, I hope and pray you will take my text seriously and endeavour to obey God's command to be holy, for He requires holiness.