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, November 29, 2015

Are You in the Narrow Way?

 (Article for publication week of 12-3- AD 2015)

"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it" (Matthew 7:13-14).

This week we call you back to the main theme of these weekly articles- pointing sinners to the gate of salvation by which we enter into the road that leads to heaven and eternal life. We do not confine ourselves to evangelistic themes in this column. We write much on the way saved people are supposed to live, and we often address matters of concern in church, family and commonwealth. But our main purpose is to call sinners to repentance and show you the way of salvation that is in Christ Alone. We share the sentiment of the periodical "The Free Grace Broadcaster", edited by our dear friend and brother in Christ, Elder Jeff Pollard, which is to "humble the pride of man, and exalt the glory of Christ." Matthew 7:13-14 is the foundation of our weekly columns, for in this text we have illustrated for us the doctrines of true perseverance and holiness (the only way to heaven), and true conversion, illustrated by the strait (i.e. difficult) gate.
We are thankful for this opportunity to publish the gospel to our friends, relatives and neighbours through our local paper. Quite frequently some of our readers will tell us they read the Narrow Way and appreciate the articles, and my question is always, "well, are you in the narrow way?" Some affirm they are, but if you push for details, they are quite speechless. Others say they "hope" they are. My prayer for each of you is that you may press through the difficult gate into the narrow way and be saved. I have invited some of you to my home so I can tell you how to be saved. And of course you are all welcome to come hear me preach so I can tell you more of these things. But the fact is most of you are not in the narrow way that leads to heaven, you are in the broad way that leads to hell.
Now this is the truth of my text- the vast majority of people, including most Simpson Countians are on the high road to hell. Some of you are close to the gate, but you never have entered in. Some of you have settled down in the City of Morality, and you are quite at ease. God lets you sleep well at night; you have plenty of money in the bank; you have a nice family; you have a respectable name; some of you even attend church, or even belong to the church; but yet you remain unconverted. Some of you made a "decision" when you were in junior high, and you were a "good" boy for a little while, but you soon went back to the world. When you were in high school and college you were a drunk and a fornicator and a general hell raiser, all the while your name was on the "church roll." But then you got a good job, settled down , got married and had children. You got back in church and even got active. When somebody asks you if you are saved you respond quite confidently in the affirmative, but deep down inside where nobody goes but you and God, you feel terribly uneasy. If you are pressed for details about when you were saved, you will reply, "well, I got saved when I was twelve years old back at the old 'home church', but I strayed away and didn't live for the Lord for a long time, but then I did like the prodigal son and came back to the Lord and  now I am serving Him. I can see the faces of scores of you out there that are in this boat. YOU ARE NOT SAVED! You never got through the gate of conversion. You know nothing of Holy Ghost conviction, nor of genuine repentance, nor of saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is just a name to you of Someone that you do not know, and my friend, if you do not know Christ by experience, you are not saved, for eternal life is to know Christ, not just to know about Him (John 17:3). I can hear some of you protesting, "Brother Floyd, you are just trying to scare me and make me doubt my salvation." Well, that is a fact for most of you have no salvation to doubt. And I do hope the Holy Spirit will teach you to fear Him Who is able to destroy you both soul and body in hell! Friends and neighbours, are you in the narrow way?

Sunday, November 22, 2015

In Everything Give Thanks

(Article for publication week of 11-26-2015 AD)

"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" (I Thessalonians 5:18).
Dear reader, do you ever think much about what is the Lord's will for you?  Well, you may know God's will for you without any mystical revelation or dream, for the Holy Scriptures tell us what is the will of God for each of us. Our text tells us it is God's will for you and I to be giving Him thanks in everything. Truly, everyone of us have much for which to be thankful.
First of all, I will point out that thanksgiving presupposes God. Thanksgiving presupposes there is a God to Whom we should be thankful. We do not have to prove the existence of God for every man knows there is a God. The image of God is stamped upon us, and we are inwardly aware that He is there through the conscience He has put in us. His signature is upon all His creation, and everywhere we look He is there. Each of us knows innately that we were created by God and we owe Him our worship and thanksgiving.
Secondly, let us observe that thanksgiving is a happy duty. If you want to be happy, I would urge you to make it your daily and continual business to be always thanking God. Giving thanks will dispel gloom and despair. It has been my observation and personal experience that those who have true joy and peace are those who recognise that "every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with Whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning" (James 1:17). I guarantee you it will lift your spirits tremendously to simply count your blessings and thank our Great God for every one of them. When we start counting our blessings we always find they are more numerous than we can count, and as we  "praise God from Whom all blessings flow", we think of more and more for which to thank Him.
Thirdly, note well that we are to be thanking God in everything. If you are a believer, the first thing for which  you will generally be thanking God is your salvation. You will be thanking God for loving you with an everlasting love. You will be thanking Christ for His glorious atoning death that put away your sins. You will be thanking God the Father for raising HIs Eternal Son from the grave and seating Him at His Own right hand where He intercedes for us. You will be thanking the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Holy Trinity for regenerating, converting and sanctifying you. But then you will be thanking God for all your natural blessings as well. The believer is well aware that every piece of food and every drop of water is from His Great God.
But some true and tried saint may ask, "how can I give thanks in everything? I know I am blessed above measure, as you have reminded me, but you don't know about all my troubles and sorrows. How can I give thanks in my sufferings?" Well, first of all I will remind you of God's supreme promise in Romans 8:28 to work all things for your eternal good. Secondly, I will present for your consideration that you can thank God it is no worse than it is. And thirdly, I will remind you that it will be better. No matter how bad it gets in this life, that is as bad as it will ever be for a believer. But no matter how good it gets for an unsaved man, that is as good as it will ever be. Therefore, in everything, give thanks.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Still Not Saved

(Article for publication week of 11-19-2015)

"The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved" (Jeremiah 8:20).
What an awful condition- not saved! My text exposes at least two categories of my readers. First there are many of you who are not saved, but you think you are. You have had your wounds slightly healed. You made a little profession, or walked an aisle or did something religious, but you have had no saving change worked in you by the Holy Spirit, nor do you have any experimental knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Though you are quite comfortable and at peace, you have a false peace and are after all, unsaved. Then there are a few of you who know you are not saved. You have sat under the gospel; you have read the Narrow Way; you have talked of the things of the Lord with your believing friends and relatives; yet you are unsaved. What an awful thing to be unsaved! You are under the power of darkness and outside the kingdom of Christ. If you die today you will be cast down to hell!
Now my dear unsaved reader, I pose a question for you. Why are you not saved? Why do you remain on the road to eternal perdition? Well, it is not because you have not been warned. If this is the first time you have ever read the Narrow Way, you have already read enough to be warned of the wrath to come. Some of you have been reading the Narrow Way a long time and you have been warned over and over. There are a few of you who have sat under a faithful ministry (for there are still a few faithful ministers here and there even in this benighted day)and you have been warned of your dangerous situation many times. Most of you cannot say you are unsaved because you have not heard of Christ and His saving power. Nor are you unsaved because of any unwillingness in Christ to save you. The dear Saviour has sweetly proclaimed, "him that cometh to me I will in  no wise cast out," and "come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." Christ is willing to save all who will repent and come to Him by faith. Nor are you unsaved because your case is too hard for the Saviour. He is mighty to save and has saved, and still saves the vilest of the vile. Nor are you unsaved because God's people have not prayed for you. There is some unsaved child out there whose parents wet their pillow with tears for you every night. There are many of you out there that I pray for regularly. The fact is my dear unsaved reader, you are not saved, BECAUSE YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE SAVED! You are not saved because you love your sins more than Christ. You are not saved because you are unwilling to renounce your righteousness and receive the imputed righteousness of Christ by faith. You are unsaved because you do not want to be holy. You are unsaved because you love the world and the things of the world and you are unwilling to part with the world. When God casts you down into the everlasting fires of hell where the fire is not quenched and the worm dies not, it will be your own fault! All the blame will lie at your unsaved feet because you have refused Christ and His tender mercies.
Now I have another question for you- will you ever be saved? All I can tell you is that it looks mighty bad for some of you. You had rather hold on to false profession than admit you have been deceiving yourself and the Church all these years. The scriptures do not give us much reason to hope for those who like Felix are waiting for a more convenient day. The scriptures do not give us much reason to hope for those who like Agrippa are "almost persuaded." If you have wasted all the favours already shown to you, why do you suppose that more gospel labour will profit you? Some of you were raised in a Christian home and you have left home unsaved and by your actions have publicly declared against your parents and the Saviour they love. Why do you think you will ever be saved? Well, only the Lord knoweth infallibly if you will ever be saved, but I urge you now to fall on your knees and repent of your sins and cry out to the Saviour and beg Him to save you. He might do it.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Christians and the Confederate Flag - Part 3

(Article for publication week of 11-12- AD 2015)

"Honour thy father and thy mother:  that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee" (Exodus 20:12).
Last week we showed that Christians ought to support and fly the Mississippi Flag and the Confederate Flag which is emblazoned upon its ensign, because our Flag represents resistance to tyranny. Tyranny is a wicked sin. It is a violation of the fifth commandment. "The fifth commandment requires the preserving the honour, and performing the duties belonging to everyone in their several places and relations, as superiors, inferiors, or equals" (Spurgeon's Catechism, Q. and A. #53). The Westminster Larger Catechism elaborates showing us that the fifth commandment includes the honour of lawful authority of parents, church officers and magistrates. The same commandment requires that those in the position of a superior are to use their authority lawfully as commanded by God. When civil rulers become tyrants, and usurp the law, they are to be resisted. See these scriptures: Daniel 3:18; Daniel 6:10; 2 Kings 11:1-21; Acts 5:29. Good Samuel Rutherford worked these things out theologically in a book entitled "Lex Rex"; i.e. "The Law is King." Such works as this had a great impact upon the founding of America. The original thirteen States acted upon the principle that resistance to tyranny is obedience to God when they seceded from Great Britain. Our Southern Fathers acted upon these same principles when they seceded from the tyrannical government in Washington, D.C. and formed the Confederate States of America. That federal government is a thousand times more tyrannical and intrusive than it was in 1860, proving that the South was indeed right. So this is the first reason we should support our old Flag, because it represent opposition to tyranny. By flying our Flag we are telling the wicked government in Washington, D.C. that we oppose your tyrannical edicts like "legalising" baby murder and sodomy.
But the second reason we should support our flag is for the honour of our ancestors. Our Southern Forefathers were honourable people. Note well, that this is a very general statement about the people of the Confederates States of America. I am not suggesting that all our forefathers were Christians-- far from it. What I am saying is that the South was led by Christians. Politically the South was led by Jefferson Davis, a devout Christian. Militarily, the South was led by men like Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, two of the most devout Christians that have ever been saved by grace. The South was a bastion of orthodox Christianity, as opposed to the North that was increasingly being influenced by liberalism, "higher criticism," and Unitarianism. During the War the churches and ministers of the South were active in preaching the gospel and promoting piety among the troops. The Lord blessed their labours by sending down a true revival in which upwards of 50,000 Confederate soldiers professed to have found peace and joy in believing in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Great Revival has been well documented in books like "Christ in the Camp" by Pastor J.W. Jones, one of the Baptist preachers who laboured among the Confederate Soldiers. If you will take time to read books like the late Honourable Bob Evans's "The Sixteenth Mississippi Regiment", you will see how the people of the South were a people greatly influenced by the truth of scripture. The South still is known as the "Bible Belt" because of the influence of our forefathers.
Men like my great-great grandfather, Elisha Edwards deserve to be honoured. He is representative to a great degree of the average Confederate soldier. Grandpa Edwards was not a plantation owner, and as far as we know owned no slaves. He was a small farmer like the vast majority of the Confederate soldiers. He joined the Lowery Rifles when he was sixteen years old. He took a mini ball in the stomach at Shiloh, but the Lord spared his life and he went on to fight for the South until the very end. Most of you have ancestors like my great-great-grandfather. They deserve to be honoured because they fought to defend their homeland from a foreign invader. I say to take down our old flag is nothing less than a violation of the fifth commandment that requires us to honour our Fathers and our Mothers. Let us not be guilty of dishonouring our forefathers who left us a great legacy.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Christians and the Confederate Flag - Part 2

(Article for publication week of 11-5- AD 2015)

"...Lift up a standard for the people" (Isaiah 62:10b).
A few weeks ago I heard a report on the radio that a group of preachers and preacherettes had assembled in front of the Governor's mansion to pray. And for what were they praying? Was it for the salvation of the lost? Was it for the latter day glory of the Church? Was it for a great spiritual awakening? Was it for genuine revival? No! They had more urgent matters about which to pray. They met to pray that the Mississippi Flag would come down! As I continued listening to the report I realised why these preachers and preachettes considered the lowering of the Mississippi Flag a more urgent matter of prayer than the conversion of sinners. This motley crew was comprised of Unitarians who deny the Deity of Christ, Episcopalians who have endorsed sodomy, Romanists who know not the gospel, and various other  liberals who only have a "social gospel" which is not the gospel. As I stated in last week's article, one of the reasons that I have felt compelled to write in defence of the Confederate Flag and our State Flag is that many of these liberal preachers and preacherettes have opposed the Flag for professed "religious" reasons. (I am not suggesting that everyone who has opposed our flag is a theological liberal, but I am making a point that many of the ringleaders of the new effort are.) Those who wrap their opposition to our Flag in religious garb should be willing to tell us what their religion is and what scriptures support their position. Your unworthy writer is prepared to give you who are Christians scriptural reasons to support the Mississippi Flag and the Confederate Battle Flag emblazoned in its ensign.
First, Christians should support our Flag for what it represents. The Flag of Mississippi and the Confederate Battle Flag represent opposition to tyranny, a Biblical and Christian Principle. One day we will undertake a series of articles on this subject, but for now the reader is urged to read these passages: Daniel 3:13-18; 6:10-23; II Kings  11: 4-16; Acts 5:29. Believers in the Old Testament and in the New and all down through the history of the Church have understood that resistance to tyranny is obedience unto God. The early Christians refused to call Caeser  "lord" and were fed to the lions. Martin Luther and the Reformers believed they ought to obey God rather than man and began the Reformation. The Founders of America stood on this Biblical foundation. The original thirteen colonies seceded from England because they held to this Biblical principle. And our Southern Fathers seceded from the federal union into which they had voluntarily entered on the very same Biblical Principles held by the Founders of America.
When the Red Republicans (that is what they were called in that day and all you good republicans need to know that your party was founded by people who had Marxist beliefs and wanted a strong central government; Donald Kennedy and Al Benson have written a well documented book , "Red Republicans and Lincoln's Marxists" in which they show the influence of the German Socialists, who were run out of Germany in 1848, on the founding of the Republican Party; the Republican Party has not gotten far from its original Socialist agenda as is evidenced by the reverence that Republicans still give to Lincoln, and by their singing the Unitarian hymn, "the Battle Hymn of the Republic"), seized control of the national government in 1860, our Southern Forefathers who had borne a great train of abuses saw the handwriting on the wall and thirteen of the Southern and Border States tried to peacefully withdraw from the union. The Red Republicans, led by the wily politician and corporate attorney, Abraham Lincoln, then invaded our homeland. After four years of valiant defence of the homeland our Fathers finally admitted defeat (temporarily). Might does not make right, and the Northern Victory over the South only proves that the Providence of our Sovereign God is a great Mystery. The defeat of the South no more "proves" that the North was right any more than the feeding of the Christians to the lions proves that the Roman Empire was right. The tragic result of the Northern Defeat of the South is that we no longer have a Constitutional Republic, but a tyrannical empire. Although our Fathers finally succumbed to superior manpower and money it does not mean that their Cause was not right.
The South, and the whole country has been under a despotic government since 1865. The Federal Government of the United States since the fall of the South and the old Constitution has been increasingly tyrannical under both major parties. The recent ungodly and illegal edict of the Supreme Court in nullifying State Laws defining marriage is a case in point. Now I hope all of you who profess to be Christians will hear me. When we fly our State Flag we are declaring to the Supreme Court and to every other tyrant that we resist your illegal edicts. The reason the Supreme Court is able to issue such ungodly edicts and get away with it is because the Northern Tyrants destroyed the Old Constitution that strictly limited the power of the federal government.
Mississippi should keep her Flag flying as a righteous symbol of opposition to tyrannical acts of this government like the recent ruling on sodomite "marriage" and the infamous Roe vs. Wade which "legalised" baby killing by nullifying State laws. We may not be able at this point to resist the tyrannical federal government as our Fathers did, but we can at least let them know we oppose them and call them the wicked tyrants they are by flying our Old Flag.