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 25, 2015

Christians and the Confederate Flag

(Article for publication 10-29- AD 2015)

 "Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people" (Isaiah 62:10).
First let us set in context our verse. The context is opening the gates and preparing the highway for the Latter Day Glory of the Church. God's ministers are to hold not their peace, and preach and pray until the Lord shall make His Church a praise in all the earth. They are to remove every stone which hinders the entry of saved sinners into the kingdom. They are to hold up the standard that all may see Christ and His glorious kingdom. The standard that we are to lift up is the word of God. It is the only infallible standard on earth. Having shown you briefly something of the sense of our text, I now wish to hold up the standard of God's word as it pertains to the Confederate Flag, a standard also that needs to be lifted up.
I will confess to you that I am somewhat reticent to write upon this subject. My reticence is not for lack of zeal for my subject. My only reluctance in taking this as my subject is that I would prefer to be writing on the Person and Work of Christ, the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, the electing love of the Father and related themes. The Narrow Way is a gospel column, not a political column, and we hope to always keep that before our readers. However, we have not shied away from writing on political subjects as they relate to the gospel and we have felt compelled to shed forth Biblical light upon subjects related to the commonwealth. The fact is that everything is to be considered in the light of the Word of God. There is no part of life that is isolated from the scriptures. We are to bring every thought captive to the word of God (II Corinthians 10:5). Some liberal preachers and preacherettes  have lambasted the Confederate Flag, and the Mississippi Flag, and one scalawag politician in this state has renounced our flag, very piously saying he is opposed to our flag because of his "religious" convictions. We have to question what this man's religious convictions are. We also solemnly remind him and all of you that you can be as religious as all get out and be as lost as a goose. The fact is that Christ will send multitudes of "religious" people to hell (Matthew 7:21-23). Now, I am not suggesting that everyone who is opposed to our Flag is lost, nor am I suggesting that everyone who loves it is saved- not hardly. What I am declaring is that a "religious conviction" that is based on anything other than "thus saith the scriptures" is not worth a hoot in hell. If people claim they are opposed to our Flag for religious reasons, they need to be ready to tell us what their religion is and whether or not they hold to the scriptures as the infallible word of God. And I am declaring that there is not anything in scripture that is opposed to Our Flag, either by direct command, general principle, or necessary consequence.
Now first of all, let us consider that the Flag itself is a thing indifferent, that is, there is no right or wrong about it per se. Secondly, let me renounce as plainly as I can the practice of flying flags in the meeting house of the Church. The Church is comprised of elect sinners from every nation. The True Church of Christ is not limited to any nation. Let no one suppose because they are "patriotic" that they are a Christian. There are multitudes of "flag waving" republicans and democrats that are going to bust hell wide open because they do not know the Lord Jesus Christ. There are multitudes who have pledged "allegiance" to the flag of the United States who have never pledged allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ. (I told you this is a gospel column, and no matter what our subject is we are always demanding that you lay down your arms of rebellion and surrender to the Lordship of God's Eternal Son.) Well, I am sure some of you are wondering, if the Flag is a thing indifferent in and of itself, why take time to write on it or come to its defence? Well , we are running out of space, so the main message will have to wait until next week. But let me say in closing that since the liberals in church and state have renounced the Confederate Flag and the Mississippi Flag, and with much declared "piety", it is incumbent that conservative Bible believers cast out the stones and lift up the standard so that the real issues may be understood. So finally, let me say that our State Flag should continue to fly first of all because of honour to our Fathers and our Mothers. Secondly, our Flag should continue to fly because it represents opposition to tyranny, a Biblical precept. More next week, Deo Volente.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Death of the Righteous

(Article for publication week of 10-22- AD 2015)

"Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!" (Numbers 23:10).
Our message this week is a solemn one indeed, for our text contains truth spoken by  an unsaved man. The words of our text were spoken by the false prophet, Balaam. Balaam was a man who knew much about God, but did not know God. He was a man who understood much truth, yet never received the truth to the saving of his soul. He was a man who preached much truth, as in our text, yet he remained a graceless character. The case of Balaam is a frightening one indeed, and there are many of you that I fear are in the same case. When you first read about Balaam in Numbers chapters 23-25, much of what he says sounds like a true believer. But when we go to the New Testament, all the evidence is that he was lost. I encourage you to go and read these scriptures: Numbers 31:8-16; 2 Peter 2:11-16; Jude 11; and Revelation 2:14. We see by these scriptures that Balaam was not saved. What a tragedy! Balaam understood that the death of the righteous is greatly to be desired, and yet he died unrighteous and has been in hell now for over 3,000 years (as far as we can tell) and won't ever get out (except long enough to stand before the judgment throne of God, and then back down to the lake of fire for eternity). Now dear readers, be warned that knowing about God will not save your soul; you must know God by experience (John 17:3). Knowing the truth will not save you; you must receive the truth, and love it, and walk in it (2 Thessalonians 2:10), if you will be saved. Preaching the truth will not save you, unless you get to know Him Who is truth.
Let us now consider the death of the righteous, and pray that you will die that death, and not die as Balaam, in an unrighteous state. First, we remind you of how delightful the death of the righteous is. The death of the righteous is not the end, but the beginning of a glorious eternity. When the righteous die, they go immediately to be with Christ where He is, in Heaven (2 Corinthians 5:8). When the righteous die, it is with the promise of the resurrection of their bodies (Philippians 3:20-21). No wonder Balaam exclaimed, "let me die the death of the righteous"!
But here is where Balaam missed it: if you will die the death of the righteous, you must be righteous. There is nothing but righteousness in the new heavens and the new earth (2 Peter 3:13), and unrighteous people cannot enter in (Revelation 22:11). Now dear reader do you understand that your righteousness is filthy rags in the sight of God? If you will enter into heaven at last, you must have a perfect righteousness. The only way that you may have that righteousness is by imputation. Those who are saved by Christ have His righteousness imputed to them (2 Corinthians 5:21). Dear reader have you received this robe of righteousness by faith alone? If not, then you are not righteous, and you will not die the death of the righteous.
Secondly, if you will die the death of the righteous, you must live the life of the righteous. The scriptures declare over and over,  from Genesis to Revelation that God sanctifies all those whom He justifies, and they will live a holy life. If you imagine that you can live a careless, worldly life and go to heaven when you die, you are greatly deceived my friend. It is only those who walk in the Narrow Way that will have eternal life (Matthew 7:13-14). If you are in the Broad Way, you will be destroyed by the Judge of all the earth. I ask you my friend, are you in the Narrow Way that leads to life? If you are not justified by the imputed righteousness of Christ, and sanctified by the Holy Spirit, you will spend eternity where the fire is not quenched and the worm dieth not! I pray the Lord may have mercy upon some of you that you may die the death of the righteous, and not as Balaam who came close to the Kingdom of God, but never got in!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

No Heaven Without Holiness

(Article for publication week of 10-15- AD 2015)

"Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:" (Hebrews 12:14).
For over two months now we have been writing on the Death of a Christian, the Intermediate State, The Resurrection of the Body, and the Heaven that awaits the believer who dies in the Lord. We have primarily been addressing Christians, and labouring for their comfort. But now I have a word for you, my unconverted readers. I have a solemn warning for you that unless you are saved by grace, you will not enter into heaven. I have been comforting the saints that when they die, they will die in the Lord and be blessed. But I give now a solemn warning that not everyone who dies goes to heaven. It is written in the word (Revelation 14:13), "blessed are the dead which die in the Lord." But it is equally true that "cursed are the dead which die out of Christ." There is a happy Intermediate State for those who die in the Lord, for to be absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord (II Corinthians 5:8). But there will be an Intermediate State for you who are unsaved as well. You will lift up your eyes in Hell when your soul is absent from the body (Luke 16:23)! There will be a resurrection for you my unsaved Reader. It will be the resurrection of the unjust (Acts 24:15). You will be raised to God's everlasting contempt (Daniel 12:2) and be given a body capable of suffering everlasting and conscious punishment in the lake which burns forever with fire and brimstone forever and ever. My text this week plainly declares that you will not see God in heaven and immortal glory unless you are in pursuit of holiness. No holiness-- no heaven! Now you better heed this awful warning; nothing, nor no one that is defiled shall enter into heaven. Unless God makes you a holy person, it will be said of you as it was of Judas Iscariot- "it had been better for that man had he never been born!"
I pray the Lord may use this article to shake some of you to your senses and set you to seeking Christ. How many times I have stood in the funeral home when someone has died with no evidence they were saved. Invariably someone will say, "he (or she) is better off!" What I want to say is, "or you sure of that?" But, I am hated enough as it is and I dread to lose any of the few friends I still may have I suppose, so I just keep silent. Neighbour if your loved one died without holiness, they are not better off! They are infinitely worse off! I can do nothing regarding those already in hell, but I can warn you my dear reader; unless you are following holiness you will miss heaven and be cast into hell where the fire is not quenched and the worm dieth not!
My text is a warning to you who are universalist in your mindset. Not everyone who dies goes to heaven. How many ways can I say it? How many times can I repeat it? Only those who enter into the Narrow Way that leads to life by the gate of conversion shall live in heaven (Matthew 7:13-14). Only those who are saved by grace and given a new nature shall enter into heaven. Our Blessed Lord has warned, "not everyone that saith unto me 'Lord, Lord' shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 7:21)".
Perhaps there is one of my readers who is alarmed by this week's message and you are now crying out, "what is holiness? How may I be holy? What is it to follow holiness?" Let us a hear a voice from the past regarding this eternally important issue. "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 mortify the flesh, with its affections and lusts. It is to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit (II Corinthians 7:1). It is a life task from which there is no discharge while we remain in the body." ( A.W. Pink). Dear Reader, do these words of this faithful preacher from the past describe you? If not, you will not enter into God's heaven. You will be cast into outer darkness where there is weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth forever! There is somebody reading this week that needs to come see me so I can tell you how to be saved and start following holiness. May the Lord open your heart today and draw you to the Saviour.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Lord's Prayer

(Article for publication week of 10-8- AD 2015)

"Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which Thou hast given me: for Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world" (John 17:24).
Our text is found in the Real Lord's Prayer. The prayer the Lord taught us to pray in Matthew 6:9-13 should actually be called "the Disciple's Prayer", or "The Model Prayer." What we call "The Lord's Prayer" is not a prescribed prayer, per se, but rather an outline of prayer to help us in our prayer life. It is a prayer for us to pray, not a prayer that our Lord Himself needed to pray, or ever did pray. We know this because of one expression- "forgive us our debts" ( or sins, i.e. Luke 11:4). Our Lord Jesus Christ never had to ask for forgiveness of sin, for He was without sin, and could not sin (Hebrews 7:26). The 17th chapter of John is truly "The Lord's Prayer," for here we have the Eternal Son praying to the Eternal Father. Our text is proof of what we call the Doctrine of the Trinity, for here we see the Second Person of the Trinity praying to the First Person of the Trinity. Our Great God is One in Three, and Three in One (I John 5:7) and we see that plainly in this text. John 17 is a death blow to both Arianism and Modalism.
The seventeenth chapter of John is our Lord's High Priestly prayer for His people. Our Great High Priest continues to intercede for all those for whom He died (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25). After he died for our sins, He was laid in the grave, but He arose the third Day, and after He had shown Himself alive after many infallible proofs, He ascended back to the right hand of His Father where he continues to plead our cause in the high court of heaven. The Levitical priesthood has been abrogated and there will never be any more need for it. The Lord Jesus Christ is the only Person in the universe who is a priest. Any man (or woman) who claims to be a priest is an imposter and should be rejected. There is only one Mediator between God and man, the God-Man, the Lord Jesus Christ (I Timothy 2:5). It will thrill your soul (if you are born again) to go and read the 17th chapter of John, and see what wonderful things our Great High Priest prayed for His people.
Now, our text here in John 17:24 tells us one of the glorious things that Christ prayed for His people-- that we may be with Him! Oh! I can hardly contain myself as I write these words! We shall be with Christ when this life is over! That my friends is what heaven and the glory world is all about. As one of the Puritans put it, hell would be heaven if Christ were there! We shall be with Christ to behold His glory. We see that glory now by faith, but the day is coming when faith shall be changed to sight and all those who love the Lord Jesus Christ shall see Him in all His glory. That glory is the same glory as that of the Father, for Christ is indeed one with His Father (John 17:5; 1:14), and is of the same essence as the Father. To see Christ will be to see God, for Christ is both God and Man (John 14:9). (See also II Corinthians 4:6). All the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily in the Lord Jesus Christ(Colossians 2:9). So when we are glorified we shall see God as our Lord promised in Matthew 5:8. Dear Reader, do you long to see the Lord Jesus Christ? If you are a child of God I know you do.
Rest assured that God the Father always hears the prayers of His Eternal Son (John 11;42). You can be sure that this is one prayer that will be answered. Not one that God the Father gave to His Son in eternal election shall fail to be with Christ. Christ will not lose any for whom He died. All those whose names were written in the Lamb's Book of Life before the foundation of the world shall surely be with Christ, eternally beholding His glory.