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, September 20, 2015

The Blessing of Dying in Christ

(Article for publication week of 9-24- AD 2015)

"And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them" (Revelation 14:13).
Although death is an enemy of man (I Corinthians 15:26), the death of a Christian is said in our text to be a blessed thing. Believers may view the monster Death and smile, for he has lost his sting (I Corinthians 15:55-57).
First of all, the children of God are blessed for they die in the Lord. They are in saving union with the Lord Jesus Christ because God the Father chose them in His Son by eternal and sovereign election before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4).They are in Christ vitally and experimentally by regeneration (II Corinthians 5:17). We have assurance that we are in Christ by faith, and nothing can separate us from His eternal love (Romans 8:38-39). Death itself cannot separate a child of God from His Surety and Head.
Secondly, it is a blessing to die in Christ because Christ has already abolished death judicially ( II Timothy 1:10). Christ has redeemed us from the dreaded curse (Galatians 3:13). Death has no lasting claim upon those who are redeemed by the Saviour of sinners. Our Lord's death satisfied Divine Justice forever so that by imputation our sorry record was made right in God's court. Not only that but the active obedience of Christ is imputed to us so that God considers us has having kept the law ourselves. It is a blessing to die in Christ because we are at peace with God through the justifying Righteousness of His Eternal and Co-equal Son. Christ has abolished death judicially and when the appointed time comes He will put the enemy out of business for good (I Corinthians 15:26 previously cited).
Thirdly, the believer is blessed when he dies in the Lord because Christ will be with him when he crosses the river of death. He has promised "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee" (Hebrews 13:5). He has promised us "when thou passest through the waters I will be with thee; and through the waters they shall not overflow thee" (Isaiah 43:2). Let us not fear to go anywhere as long as Christ is with us. His grace is sufficient for all things, including the moment of death.
Fourthly, it is a blessing to die in the Lord because at the moment of death a believer is immediately in the presence of Christ in paradise. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (II Corinthians 5:8). This is the great desire of the Lord's people, to be with Him Who loved us and gave Himself for us. We see Him now by faith, but when we lay this body down our happy spirits shall fly away to be with Him. The moment we close our eyes in death on earth, we will open them to behold the God- Man! Our bodies shall sleep in the dust, but our souls shall neither die nor sleep but go directly to heaven where the spirits of just men made perfect are already (Hebrews 12:23).
Fifthly, those who die in the Lord are blessed because their bodies shall be raised again (Philippians 3:20-21; I Corinthians 15:52; John 6:39; I Thessalonians 4:13-18). When the Lord is pleased to come again at the end of the world He shall raise up all the bodies of those for whom He died. (He will also raise up the unsaved, but that is for another article sometime.) The resurrection will be a glorious display of the omniscience of God. Think about it; God knows the whereabouts of the remains of all the millions who have been saved by grace and died in Him. Our great God knows all things. What a glorious God! The resurrection will also be a glorious display of His omnipotence. The same Power that created the universe will raise up the remains of our dead bodies. Blessed indeed are those who die in the Lord!

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