Shelby G. Floyd





At the last day the names recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life will enter the Heavenly City!

“And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life” (Revelation 21:26-27 NKJV).


We note that some names will not be recorded in “the Book of Life of the Lamb,”

“All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8).

This is because they worshipped the Beast of the Sea and the Beast of the Earth instead of the God of heaven and earth! (Revelation 13:1; 11). Why would any sane person go to meet God with their name not recorded in “the Book of Life of the Lamb” (Revelation 13:8)?

Some Names Blotted Out

Some names recorded in the Book will be “blotted out!” Your name recorded in the Book of Life, can be blotted out. This should wake us up, for we do not want our names blotted out of the Book of Life.

Some names were blotted out of God’s Old Testament book of remembrance (Exodus 17:14; Psalms 9:5). Some names of the dead church at Sardis were blotted out (erased) of the Book of Life: “The one who overcomes will be clothed the same way, in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels” (Revelation 3:5 NASB).

Moses and the Children of Israel

Remember the story when Moses went up on Mount Sinai to receive the law. He was gone for quite some time and then he came down from the mountain with the tablets in his hand. Moses exploded because the people created a golden calf to worship! And they committed immorality (Exodus 32:6; 1 Corinthians 10:7). It is on this occasion that Moses said to the children of Israel that God would blot out of his book those that had sinned against him:

Exodus 32: 30-33
The next day Moses said to the people, “You have committed a great sin. But now I will go up to the LORD; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.”
So Moses went back to the LORD and said, “Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold. But now, please forgive their sin—but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written.”
The LORD replied to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book.”

Moses loved the children of Israel and asked God to forgive them. But God said I will blot out of my book those who have sinned against me. God did not blot out the name of Moses because he had not sinned against him.

The Wicked Not Listed With the Righteous

Time went on and King David in his Psalms asked God to blot out of the book of the living the wicked in order that their names might not appear along with the righteous. “May they be blotted out of the book of life and not be listed with the righteous” (Psalms 69:28 NIV). David was a man after God’s own heart. He committed great sin, but he was always repentant. And he usually went to God and asked for forgiveness. Most of the time he went before God to find out what he should do before he decided about a matter.

The wicked will not dwell in the congregation of the righteous in the eternal assembly. It is good that we will not be thrown in with the wicked! God is not going to keep the names of the wicked and the righteous together. He will separate them as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats (Matthew 25:31-32).

False Prophets Not Listed in the Records

When we survey the Old Testament history, we find there were false prophets. There were also the true prophets such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel and Ezekiel. Ezekiel declared in his prophecy that certain false prophets would not be in the writing of the house of Israel: “My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations. They will not belong to the council of my people or be listed in the records of the house of Israel, nor will they enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Sovereign LORD” (Ezekiel 13:9).

The Faithful Receive A Crown of Life

But we can have assurance of our salvation and eternal destiny. In the New Testament our Lord promised that if we will be faithful even to the point of death, he will give us a crown of life:

“Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10).

Therefore, whether our name is in or blotted out of The Book of Life depends upon each one of us. We are made in the image of God. And we have free will of choice. It is up to us to make the right choice. We are glad that God write things down accurately.


Somehow, we like people to write things down. A Doctor after showing me my vitals on a computer said, “It is still alright to write things down!” When we incur a debt, and we are asked to pay for it, we want written proof that we owe such along with the interest. It is permanent and there is less risk of mistakes. Therefore, we are encouraged when we read the Bible that God keeps a written record of his relationship with his creation.

The Songs of Slavery

It is interesting that many poets and songwriters noticed that God writes things down. In America during the days of slavery, the book of Revelation was a favorite book of the slaves. They would create poems and songs they would sing. While they were working in the fields they would sing their spiritual songs with much emotion. One song they would sing had these words:

My Lord sees all you do,
And my Lord hears all you say,
And my Lord keeps a-writin’ all the time.

God writes things down. He writes down what he sees and what he hears. Almighty God is aware of those mistreated and of those who mistreated them. It is all written down in his book of remembrance.

The Prophet Malachi

The prophet Malachi wrote in the last book of the Old Testament that God writes things down concerning those who fear him and honor his name:

“Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored his name. “They will be mine,” says the LORD Almighty, “in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him” (Malachi 3:16-17, NIV).

Malachi declares that God writes down the names of those who fear and honor his name in the scroll of remembrance. Those names represent his treasured possession at the last day. Therefore, God writes down his treasured possession is his people.

Omar Khayyam

The poet Omar Khayyam wrote these meaningful words about the fact that God always keeps a perfect record, and he writes this record down in his book of remembrance:

The moving finger writes,
And having writ moves on,
Nor all your piety and wit,
Can lure it back,
To cancel half a line.

God can cancel a line. Man cannot cancel a line except by changing our life to please the Lord! God writes things down and there will be no mistakes. The record will be clear and accurate. God’s memory is perfect! God writes things down in his book of remembrance to reassure us that his record is just, righteous and loving to those who fear his name. Above all, make sure your name is recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life!

Copyright © 2023 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved


Shelby G. Floyd, minister of the heartland Church of Christ, 1693 West Main Street, Greenwood, Indiana 46142



Shelby G. Floyd

The Book of Life

Is your name in the Book of Life? You might say, “What book are you talking about?” Well, Face Book, of course! A lot of us are on Face Book. It is a social network, and it is interesting. It is a good way to communicate with our friends and family, especially if they are separated by some distance. My first cousin says that Face Book is like the old-time telephone party line, where everyone could listen in to someone’s conversation and find out the latest gossip. Face Book is one book we can have our name in. But that is not the book that we speak of today. We ask is your name in the “Lamb’s Book of Life?”

The Book of Physical Life

Recently, I got out my original birth certificate. It is a fancy birth certificate, listing the day of my birth at St. Francis Hospital in Beech Grove, Indiana. On the back side of it, my footprints and my thumbprints are imprinted. It said my hair was red, how much I weighed at birth, and who my father and mother were. Some of you can remember when my hair was brown and now it is white with age—red, brown and white!

I read in my daily Bible readings this week the Psalms of David. And there was a reading that jumped out and was very meaningful to me. I want to share it with you:

Psalms 139: 13-16
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

It is that last verse which I emphasize. “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” When I look at my birth certificate, my name is in that book. But God knew how many days I would have upon this earth before I was even born. And he wrote them down in his book of the physical living. And that is amazing! And one of these days we are going to receive another certificate—our death certificate. And our names will be written in the book of those who have ceased to be on this earth. And so physically all of us who are alive today have our names recorded in the book of the physical living.

A Bunch of Everlastings

From 1965 through 1968 I preached for the Arlington church of Christ in Jacksonville, Florida. And while I was living there I visited a used bookstore. And I purchased this little green book that has water marks all over it and the title was blotted out. I took a magic marker and inscribed the title on it. The title is “A Bunch of Everlastings,” by F. W. Boreham. This book is made up of some of the favorite texts of preachers down through the centuries. I love this book and would not take anything for it. Most preachers prize their books as their most cherished possessions. The text I have chosen for our topic today was Dean Stanley’s favorite text, Revelation 21: 27!

Let me share with you the story in this book about Dean Stanley. There were two soldiers in England who boarded a train. They sat down by this gentleman and found out he was from the same town as Dean Stanley. Then they related a story to him about their visit to Westminster Abby, in London, England. As they were ready to visit the Abby it was closing for the day. As they were being turned away, Dean Stanley appeared and asked them if they could return on the next day. They were very disappointed and said that they had to leave the next day. Dean Stanley then took the keys from the regular tour guide and showed them throughout the famous building where all the notables of Great Britain were laid to rest. As they were leaving, he said, “But, after all you both may have a more enduring monument than this, for this will molder into dust and be forgotten, but if your names are written in the Lamb’s book of life, you will abide forever.”

He invited them to breakfast the next morning, paid their fares to their home, and again in bidding them goodbye he urged them to make sure that their names were written in the Lamb’s book of life. And then he added these words as they parted company, “If we never meet again on earth, we shall certainly meet in Heaven.”


That is a wonderful story. And I ask, “Is your name written in the Lamb’s book of life?” If it is not, make sure that your name is recorded in God’s book of life—the Lamb’s book of life! The expression, “the Lamb’s book of life” is found only one time in the New Testament. It is used near the end of the book of Revelation when John declared,

“Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Revelation 21:27).

In the context in which this passage is stated, John is discussing the new Jerusalem—heaven itself. And then he describes the people who will live in that celestial city. No one will enter the celestial home unless their name is found in the book—the Lamb’s book of life. And this is what makes heaven so outstanding, because those who go there are related to the Lamb of God who gave his precious blood that we might be free from sin: “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

And now we look at a related passage that does not use the exact expression the Lamb’s book of life, but it conveys the same idea in different wording: “All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world” (Revelation 13:8). Those whose names are written in the book of life will not worship the beast but will worship God in spirit and truth as we are commanded (John 4:24). When John said that the Lamb was slain from the creation of the world it means that in type, prophecy and promise, Christ was promised to be the Lamb of God that would be slain on the cross of Calvary. All the blood of bulls and goats was but a type of the blood of Christ shed on the cross at the fullness of times (Galatians 4:4-5).


After reading both of these passages of Scripture, we ask again, “Is your name written in the Lamb’s book of life?” If it is not, make it your priority to see that you have your name recorded in the registry of God’s book of life!

Copyright © 2023 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved


Shelby G. Floyd, Minister, Heartland Church of Christ, 1693 West Main Street, Greenwood, Indiana 46142



Shelby G. Floyd

It is good to see all of you today. We are thankful for our visitors. It is wonderful to worship God. On a first day of the week Jesus rose from the dead, appeared to his apostles, and now reigns at the right hand of God in heaven.

Today is the Lord’s Day, the first day of the week. The apostle John from the Isle of Patmos wrote, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day” (Revelation 1:10). I think we all are “in the spirit” by the way we sung those beautiful hymns.


Have you ever thought about the days in the week? Today is the first day of the week and Saturday was the seventh day of the week. And one of the first arguments that I present to you today is the seven-day week.

The children of Israel came out of Egypt and in about 50 days they came to Mount Sinai. God gave them his law and that law said, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:8,11). That is the day they came out of Egypt, out of slavery, and were marching to the promised land. And that is what we all are doing now. We are marching to the heavenly promised land! But we do not worship on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. We worship on Sunday, the first day of the week.

Where did the week come from? Why not a week of eight, or 10 days? It all goes back to the creation week. God created the heavens and the earth in six days and he rested on the seventh day. And so everywhere we have a seven-day week. And that makes me believe that the world was created in six regular 24-hour days. And that gave us the week as we know it. For 1500 years the Jewish people worshiped on Saturday – the Sabbath – the seventh day of the week.

In Acts two the church was established, and Christians worshipped on the first day of the week. Why was that the case? The first Christians were Jewish people, because 3000 worshipers in Jerusalem were converted on the day of Pentecost which is always on Sunday.

And so we believe one of the strongest arguments for the resurrection of Christ is the fact that 3000 people started worshiping on the first day of the week instead of the seventh day of the week. Why? Now if Christ had not been raised from the dead on the first in the week, we believe it would have been impossible to change the worship day from the seventh day to the first day of the week. The Sabbath day worship was deeply embedded in the history of Israel and the Jewish people. They would not have changed the day of worship unless there was a powerful reason for doing so. And that powerful reason was and is the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ! Continue reading “THE RESURRECTED CHRIST”



Shelby G. Floyd

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John” (Revelation 1:1 NKJV). This “Revelation of Jesus Christ” came to us through several steps. 

1. God gave the Revelation to Jesus Christ;
2. Jesus sent and signified it by his angel;
3. The angel gave it to his servant John; and,
4. John gave it to the servants of Christ. Continue reading “THE GLORIOUS SON OF MAN”



Shelby G. Floyd

Our time on this earth is tentative. No one knows the day they will die. But we do know by divine revelation that Jesus went to prepare a place for his people (John 14:1-4). He described it as a mansion with many rooms!

The Heavenly Home

This heavenly home is for those who are now in Christ and who live like Christ lived while he was on the earth. How did Christ live?

Jesus was always aware of what was going on around him. He took the time to reach out and help the poor and needy people he contacted.

The Beggar Wanted Crumbs

In the story of Lazarus, the rich man was lost and in torment, because he was mean and cruel to the beggar. All he asked for was the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. He was hungry, full of sores, and suffering. And all he wanted was what the little dogs would eat that fell from the table (Luke 16:21; Mark 7:27-28).

The rich man fared sumptuously at a banquet every day. Evidently he was a Pharisee. And they loved money (Luke 16:14-15). And God said no one can serve God and money (1 Timothy 6:9-10).

Death Is Certain

In the course of time the beggar Lazarus died. He was tenderly carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. And this is a place of spiritual bliss! Of course, later the rich man also died. His emphasis in life was outward and material. So it was in death—he was buried. He took care of the outward man sumptuously in his life and the emphasis now is on the outward man in death.

Lost In Hades

But in the afterlife he was in torments in Hades. This means that he was lost forever. He could not go over across the great gulf to be with Lazarus. And Lazarus could send no one across the great divide to help him. He who showed no mercy while living on the earth received no mercy in the afterlife.

Now the rich man is wonderfully interested in his five brothers who live back on the earth. He wants Lazarus to warn them so they will not go to “this place of torment!”

Abraham states that this cannot be done. At this time the law of Moses and the prophets was in effect. They have Moses and the prophets to guide them and that is all they need. They evidently do not believe Moses and the prophets. But Abraham says, “If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead” (Luke 16:31).

Christ And The Gospel

Today, we all have Christ, the gospel, and the teaching of the apostles. And that is enough. The faith has be once delivered (Jude 3). No one is coming back to warn us! So let us all “Trust and Obey!”

Therefore remember the words of Jesus when he said,

In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also (John 14:1-3).

This epitaph was found written upon a tombstone:
Remember, friend, as you pass by,
As you are now, so once was I.
As I am now, soon you shall be,
Prepare for death, and follow me.

Someone comedian wrote,

To follow you, I’m not content,
Until I know which way you went!

Copyright © 2023 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved


Shelby G. Floyd, Minister, Heartland Church of Christ, 1693 West Main Street, Greenwood, Indiana.




Shelby G. Floyd

Long ago when God’s people rebuilt the temple, the prophet Zechariah asked this question,

“The hands of Zerubbabel
Have laid the foundation of this temple;
His hands shall also finish it.
Then you will know
That the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you.
10 For who has despised the day of small things?
For these seven rejoice to see
The plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel.
They are the eyes of the Lord,
Which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth” (Zechariah 4: 9-10 NKJV). Continue reading “THE DAY OF SMALL BEGINNINGS”



Shelby G. Floyd


We rejoice in this good audience. Our topic is “The Conversion of a Government Official.” I have just read the book “So Help Me God” by Mike Pence. I am glad to live in Indiana, because Mike Pence was our governor and Vice President. He is a godly man who I believe does the right thing. Why do I mention this? Because our study today is about a government official – the Ethiopian eunuch.

Jesus Christ commanded us to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every person (Matthew 28:18-20). The gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16-17). The preaching of the gospel is considered foolish by some people. We believe it is the wisdom and power of God unto salvation.

The book of Acts is a book of conversions to Jesus Christ. To be saved one does not go to Genesis, Psalms, or the Prophets. But we go to the Acts of the Apostles which is a book of sinners converted to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Our lesson today is about the conversion of a distinguished citizen from Ethiopia. Ethiopia was located southeast of Egypt on the continent of Africa. Continue reading “A GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL CONVERTED”



Shelby G. Floyd

Jesus determined to go to Jerusalem to face the suffering, humiliation, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension back to his heavenly Father. The biblical writer Luke described it like this: “Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51 NKJV). Two verses later he described his proposed journey in similar words: “…His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:53). Continue reading “HE SET HIS FACE”




Shelby G. Floyd

So good to see all of you on this winter day. Our winter is going by quickly. January is almost gone and soon we will be in February and before we know it spring will be here. We have a good audience today and I thank you for coming out to worship and to hear the word of God.

Many times we hear people say when they have a trauma in their lives, “God why don’t you just speak to me and tell me what to do.” Well that is what I want to talk to you about today, because God has been speaking to mankind since the day he created Adam. This is indicated by the words found in the letter to the Hebrews:

“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:1-3 NKJV).


For 2500 years, Almighty God spoke to the patriarchs or the fathers who were the head of the family. The fathers were responsible for transmitting God’s instruction to the family. And today we need more fathers who will take charge of the family and instruct the children in the way that God would have them to live and to be in subjection to the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Lord God created Adam and Eve, breathed into their nostrils the breath of life and they became living souls. They were placed in a perfect place, with the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. It was paradise. God spoke to Adam and Eve and gave them instructions of what they were to do and not to do. Sadly, they disobeyed God’s instructions and were expelled from the beautiful garden of Eden. Now they are to live in a sin cursed world with many hardships. But God still loved mankind that he had created, and he spoke to the fathers of the families instructing them how to worship and to be pleasing to him in all their ways.

It is evident from a very early example that God had instructed man to offer up animal sacrifice in their worship to God. As we said, God spoke directly to man. At this time and forward for 2500 years there was not a book written with God’s instructions to man. God spoke to man face-to-face in a very direct way.

It was not long after they were expelled from the garden that Adam and Eve had two sons to enter their family—Cain and Abel. Adam was responsible to instruct his sons how to worship God. Therefore God either spoke to Adam directly or to Cain and Abel as full-grown men themselves. At the very beginning of time, we have an example of acceptable worship and also worship that was rejected. Able worshipped God as he was instructed while Cain became a rationalist and worshipped God according to his own dictates. And this is how the Bible describes their worship in relationship to God:

“Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.

So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it” (Genesis 4:4-7).

And so here in the opening chapters of the Bible we have an example of God speaking directly to man. And evidently from the example that we have just observed, God had commanded an animal sacrifice in worship to him. We discover a clue to the worship commanded, because when Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden they were naked and God clothed them with the skins of animals: “Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21). But where did they get these animal skins? Evidently they were commanded to offer up an animal sacrifice on the altar, and that is how they produced animal skins.

We know that this must be the case because the New Testament describes why God accepted Abel’s sacrifice and not the sacrifice of Cain. Therefore, according to the Bible, Abel offered up worship unto God “by faith.” We read that in the book of Hebrews: “By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks” (Hebrews 11:4). So Abel is speaking to us today and he was speaking to the people in the day that the book of Hebrews was written. So Abel offered up his worship “by faith!” But how do we obtain faith? The Bible says, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). Therefore, God spoke either to Adam or to Cain and Abel as to the kind of sacrifice they were to offer up in worship. Furthermore the Bible says that Abel offered up to God “gifts” in the plural. Therefore this means that not only did he offer up an animal sacrifice, but he also offered up “free will offerings” which were also acceptable. Abel was a keeper of the sheep and so he offered up an animal sacrifice as well as other gifts. Cain was a vegetable farmer. Therefore he simply offered up what came naturally to him. And he disregarded offering up what God had commanded. No doubt God would have accepted his vegetables as well if he had offered up an animal sacrifice by faith!.

What is the lesson that we learn from studying the beginning chapters of the Bible? The main lesson that we learned is that we cannot substitute something else for what God has commanded us to perform! And Cain is an everlasting example of trying to offer up something else as a substitute instead of offering up what God has commanded by faith!

Ten Generations

Therefore from this example we see that God spoke to the fathers from the very beginning. It started with Adam, and continued for the next 1656 years through the prophet Noah! This is called patriarchal rule – God rules through the fathers as the head of the family. This period of Patriarchy continued through 10 generations. They are listed:  Adam, Seth, Enosh, Cainan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah (Genesis 5:1-32). By the way Enoch was the seventh from Adam (Jude 14)! This illustrates how the Bible is always truthful and harmonizes in all of its statements. Another interesting note is that during these first 10 generations they lived an average of 858 years! Longevity of life was normal during this period of history. As the years go forward after this period we will see the life span of mankind is greatly shortened!

And it is interesting to note that about the eighth or the ninth generation these descendants of Adam could still have talked with Adam because Adam lived 930 years (Genesis 5:5)! They could have talked to their forefather Adam. They could have asked, “Adam, how was it back there in the garden of Eden?” “Oh, it was wonderful, until your grandmother messed up and God threw us out!” (laughter)! There is no doubt that these 10 generations passed down all of the information they had heard from the previous generations. But since there was not a book with all of that written down, we do not know anything about those first 10 generations until Moses gave the world the Pentateuch – the five books of the Old Testament. How did Moses know what to write about the first 2500 years? God revealed it to him, and he was inspired to preserve the historical record from the beginning of time (2 Timothy 3:15-17). Therefore during this long period of time, God spoke his word to the fathers as the head of the family. These fathers then were like a prophet, priest, and king to their family. Any father could go out and build an altar and offer up sacrifice to God. The Patriarchal fathers ruled the family!


As this period of patriarchy goes forward to the time of Noah, we discover that depravity prevailed over the earth because the wickedness of man was great. Even the intents and thoughts of the heart were continually evil. You would think that the people would be trying to live a godly life at a time when God spoke directly to the fathers of the family. But do you know that by the time of Noah, the 10th generation, the world had become very depraved and wicked! Therefore even when God was speaking directly to the fathers, it was in the heart of the people to do bad things. Therefore by the time we come to the godly man Noah, the word of God declares:

“Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (Genesis 6:5-8 NKJV).

Lamech Prophesied Noah Would Make the Toil From The Soil Better!

Noah’s father, Lamech, lived 182 years. He predicted and prophesied that his son Noah would be a blessing concerning the work and the toil of earning a living from the soil:

And he called his name Noah, saying, “This one will comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord has cursed” (Genesis 5:29).

It is my view that the flood cleansed the earth of its wickedness, but it also washed rich topsoil into all of the valleys of the earth. And this made raising food from the earth much easier and richer than it had been from the beginning after the earth was cursed! Therefore Lamech’s prophecy has been fulfilled and yet even today man is blessed in earning a living from the soil!

But God had a work and mission for Noah to do. During the days of Noah, God brought a great flood up on the whole earth. God spoke directly to Noah, and he prepared an ark as God had specified. After the flood had abated, God started mankind out afresh with the godly family of Noah. The apostle Peter in the New Testament describes the flood and how eight souls were saved through the flood water. And then he described how that water baptism as an antitype saves us today! He said that the people,

“who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. 21 There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:20-21).  

Out of all of these people who were living an average of 858 years, there was one man who was trying to do the right thing. And Noah found grace and favor in the eyes of the Lord. The amazing grace of God, how wonderful it is. And so the period of patriarchy continues for 10 more generations from Noah to Abraham: Noah, Shem, Arphaxad, Salah, Eber, Peleg, Reu, Serug, Nahor, Terah (Genesis 11:10-32). This period of time lasted for about 427 years. During this time, the lifespan of these ten generations was much shorter than the previous ten generations! The average lifespan of these ten fathers was 395 years.


Now, after the passing of ten generations from Noah to Abraham, we have God speaking to Abraham. Abraham lived down in a country called Persia. Today that country is called Iran. Today we have all kinds of trouble with Iran because it is the number one terrorist nation in the world! That is the country where Abraham was dwelling when God said, “Get out of your country and go to a land that I will show you.” Abraham did not quibble, quarrel, or question God. Abraham picked up all of his belongings, his family and he headed toward the land of Canaan—the Promised Land!

As they traveled to the promised land Abraham’s wife circumcised him and called him a bloody husband. Therefore God gave to him and his descendants the rite of circumcision. God placed a physical mark on all of Abraham’s children. It became the physical mark of the body of people called Israel.

Now the Lord had said to Abram:

“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:1-3).

We take notice from this promise to Abraham that eventually Abraham and his descendants will be,

  1. A great nation;
  2. Abraham will have a great name and be a blessing; and,
  3. Through Abraham’s descendants all the families of the earth shall be blessed! This is a promise of the spiritual blessings that come to all of us by Jesus Christ the ultimate descendent of Abraham! And,
  4. To Abraham and his descendants God also made a great land promise. The land of Canaan was promised to him and his descendants: “Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” And there he built an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him” (Genesis 12:7).

This promise was later repeated to Abraham after his nephew Lot separated from him:

And the Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: “Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are—northward, southward, eastward, and westward; 15 for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever. 16 And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered. 17 Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you” (Genesis 13:14-17).

We are still speaking about the time period called patriarchy. How did God speak to Abraham? He spoke face-to-face and mouth-to-mouth. During all of this time we have studied so far, there was not a book with all of God’s communications written down for man to study. We have called this kind of communication patriarchy – father rule! The average lifespan of these patriarchs was only about 153 years. Therefore we have this time period of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (Israel) and his 12 sons—the children of Israel.


This brings us to the time that Jacob and about 75 people came down into Egypt to join Joseph—the Prime minister of Egypt until Moses receives the Law from Sinai! There was not a Bible until Moses gave the law to Israel and also the first five books of the Bible called the Pentateuch. Therefore we have this time period of 430 years from Israel entering Egypt until the giving of the law on Mount Sinai. We are not left in doubt as to this time because Paul reveals the exact time in his letter to the Galatians:

“And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect” (Galatians 3:17).

And this brings us then to the next great time period—the giving of the law to Moses from the top of shaking Mount Sinai until the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ! Now through Moses God will communicate his will through a written document – the law of Moses. And this is where our leading character Moses was born and grew up to manhood. After many years of slavery, Moses is the man chosen by God to lead the children of Israel to the land of Canaan – the promised land. Moses and the children of Israel leave Egypt and in 50 days they end up at Mount Sinai. The country of Egypt is mentioned in the Bible more than any other country! It is at Mount Sinai that Moses receives the 10 Commandments from the omnipotent hand of God (Exodus 20:1-17; Deuteronomy 5:1-22). There was not a Bible until Moses gave the law to Israel and also the first five books of the Bible called the Pentateuch.

While Moses is up on Mount Sinai the children of Israel worship a golden calf which was a sin against God. Many are punished for their waywardness! Now they have become a great nation of people, perhaps two or three million. They are instructed to build a movable tent of worship called the tabernacle. They are numbered, organized, and ready to march to the promised land! During this time God speaks to the people through the law of Moses and the prophets. This period from Moses until our Lord Jesus Christ covers about 1500 years. After this long period of time the law of Moses, the prophets, and the Psalms were abrogated and nailed to the cross of Calvary. Paul tells us they were blotted out or wiped away at the cross:  “having wiped out the [a]handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross” (Colossians 2:14).


Now we remind you of what our text said when we started this discourse.

“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:1-3 Emphasis SGF).

Just before our Lord Jesus Christ ascended back to happen, he reminded his disciples that he had fulfilled all the words which were written in the law of Moses and the prophets and the Psalms! (Luke 24:44). And now he gives them their marching orders:

Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:46-47).

Be sure to listen to and heed all that our Lord Jesus Christ has said to us through his new covenant!

Copyright © 2023 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

Shelby G. Floyd delivered this sermon January 29, 2023 at the heartland Church of Christ, 1693 West Main Street, Greenwood, Indiana 46142

The Preeminence of Christ Over The Church


Shelby G. Floyd

In Colossians 1:18, the apostle Paul expressed the preeminence that Christ should have over His church when he said,

“And He is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead: that in all things He might have the preeminence.”

We must give Christ preeminence in all things and especially we must give Him first place of importance in the church.

Christ Is The Head Of The Church

When Paul said He is the head of the church, the word “head” means originator, source, leader and ruler. Christ is the head of the church in the sense that He brought the church into being. He is the originator of the church. Christ is the head of the church in the sense that He is the source of the life of the church.

Christ Is The Ruler Of The Church

Christ is the head of the church in the sense that He is the ruler of the church. He has all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). He has executive authority: He proposes. He has legislative authority: He disposes. He has judicial authority: He judges. So we must give preeminence to Christ as the head of the church, the originator of the church, and the source of all life in the church, the legislator, the executor and the judge of the church.

Christ Is The Preexisting Beginning

Concerning Christ Paul says, “Who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead.” The word “beginning” there does not mean that Christ had a beginning. He preexisted before the creation,

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him not even one thing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of mankind (John 1:1-4 NASB).

Christ Is The Firstborn From The Dead

Christ is the firstborn from the dead: “and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood” (Revelation 1:5). He was not the first to rise from the dead, but this means he holds the preeminence or highest rank over the church. God’s children should always give Jesus Christ first place in our lives, the church, and our worship.

Copyright © 2023 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved


Shelby G. Floyd, Minister, Heartland Church of Christ, 1693 West Main Street, Greenwood, Indiana 46142