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 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.

No comments: