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    • By Jim_Alaska in Jim_Alaska's Sermons & Devotionals
         33
      Closed Communion
      James Foley
       
      I Corinthians 11:17-34: "Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come."

      INTRODUCTION

      Historic Baptists, true Baptists, have believed in and still believe in closed communion. Baptists impose upon themselves the same restrictions that they impose on others concerning the Lord’s Supper. Baptists have always insisted that it is the Lord’s Table, not theirs; and He alone has the right to say who shall sit at His table. No amount of so called brotherly love, or ecumenical spirit, should cause us to invite to His table those who have not complied with the requirements laid down plainly in His inspired Word. With respect to Bible doctrines we must always use the scripture as our guide and practice. For Baptists, two of the most important doctrines are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. These are the only two doctrines we recognize as Church Ordinances. The Bible is very clear in teaching how these doctrines are to be practiced and by whom.

      We only have two ordinances that we must never compromise or we risk our very existence, they are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper.

      The moment we deviate from the precise method God has prescribed we have started down the slippery slope of error. True Baptists have held fast to the original doctrine of The Lord’s Supper from the time of Christ and the Apostles.

      Unfortunately, in this day of what the Bible describes as the age of luke warmness, Baptists are becoming careless in regard to strictly following the pattern laid out for us in Scripture. Many of our Bible colleges are graduating otherwise sincere, Godly and dedicated pastors and teachers who have not been taught the very strict, biblical requirements that surround the Lord’s Supper. Any Bible college that neglects to teach its students the differences surrounding Closed Communion, Close Communion and Open Communion is not simply short changing its students; it is also not equipping their students to carry on sound Bible traditions. The result is men of God and churches that fall into error. And as we will see, this is serious error.

      Should we as Baptists ignore the restrictions made by our Lord and Master? NO! When we hold to the restrictions placed upon the Lord’s Supper by our Master, we are defending the "faith which was once delivered to the saints" Jude 3.

      The Lord’s Supper is rigidly restricted and I will show this in the following facts:

      IT IS RESTRICTED AS TO PLACE

      A. I Corinthians 11:18 says, "When ye come together in the church." This does not mean the church building; they had none. In other words, when the church assembles. The supper is to be observed by the church, in church capacity. Again this does not mean the church house. Ekklesia, the Greek word for church, means assembly. "When ye come together in the church," is when the church assembles.

      B. When we say church we mean an assembly of properly baptized believers. Acts 2:41-42: "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."

      The church is made up of saved people who are baptized by immersion. In the Bible, belief precedes baptism. That’s the Bible way.

      Acts 8:12-13, "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done."

      When we say properly baptized, we mean immersed. No unbeliever should take the Lord’s supper, and no non-immersed believer should take the supper. Those who are sprinkled are not baptized and cannot receive the supper. The Greek word for baptize is baptizo, and it always means to immerse.

      "In every case where communion is referred to, or where it may possibly have been administered, the believers had been baptized Acts 2:42; 8:12; 8:38; 10:47; 6:14-15; 18:8; 20:7. Baptism comes before communion, just as repentance and faith precede baptism".

      C. The Lord’s Supper is for baptized believers in church capacity: "When ye come together in the church," again not a building, but the assembly of the properly baptized believers.

      D. The fact that the Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, to be observed in church capacity, is pointed out by the fact that it is for those who have been immersed and added to the fellowship of the church.

      E. The Lord’s Supper is never spoken of in connection with individuals. When it is referred to, it is only referred to in reference to baptized believers in local church capacity I Cor. 11:20-26).

      I want to quote Dr. W.W. Hamilton,

      "The individual administration of the ordinance has no Bible warrant and is a relic of Romanism. The Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, and anything which goes beyond or comes short of this fails for want of scriptural example or command".

      “The practice of taking a little communion kit to hospitals, nursing homes, etc. is unscriptural and does not follow the scriptural example.”

      IT IS RESTRICTED TO A UNITED CHURCH

      A. The Bible in I Cor. 11:18 is very strong in condemning divisions around the Lord’s table. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
      19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
      20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.

      There were no less than four divisions in the Corinthian church.
      I Cor. 1:12: "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ."

      Because of these divisions, it was impossible for them to scripturally eat the Lord’s Supper. Division in the local church is reason to hold off observing the Lord’s Supper. But there are also other reasons to forego taking the Lord’s Supper. If there is gross sin in the membership we do not take it. Here is scriptural evidence for this: 1Co 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:
      8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
      10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

      B. At this point, I want to ask these questions: Are there not doctrinal divisions among the many denominations? Is it not our doctrinal differences that cause us to be separate religious bodies?

      IT IS RESTRICTED BY DOCTRINE

      A. Those in the early church at Jerusalem who partook "continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine" Acts 2:42. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

      B. Those that do not hold to apostolic truth are not to partake. This means there is to be discipline in the local body. How can you discipline those who do not belong to the local body? You can’t. The clear command of scripture is to withdraw fellowship from those who are not doctrinally sound.

      II Thes 3:6: "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us."
      Rom. 16:17: "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
      To commune together means to have the same doctrine.
      II Thes. 2:15: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."
      II John 10-11: "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

      C. Some Baptists in our day have watered down this doctrine by practicing what they call “Close Communion.” By this they mean that they believe that members of another Baptist church may take communion with us because they are of the same beliefs. Once again, this is unscriptural.

      The welcome to the Lord's Table should not be extended beyond the discipline of the local church. When we take the Lord’s Supper there is supposed to be no gross sin among us and no divisions among us. We have no idea of the spiritual condition of another church’s members. If there is sin or division in the case of this other church’s members, we have no way of knowing it. We cannot discipline them because they are not members of our church. This is why we practice “Closed” communion, meaning it is restricted solely to our church membership. 
      So then, in closing I would like to reiterate the three different ideas concerning the Lord’s Supper and who is to take it. 
      Closed Communion = Only members of a single local church. 
      Close Communion = Members of like faith and order may partake. 
      Open Communion = If you claim to be a Christian, or simply attending the service, you may partake. 
      It is no small thing to attempt to change that which was implemented by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 
      Mt. 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 
      Many of our Baptist churches have a real need to consider the gravity of the act of observing The Lord’s Supper. It is not a light thing that is to be taken casually or without regard to the spiritual condition of ourselves or our church.
      1Co. 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

       28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

       29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

       30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

The Benefits of Government-run Healthcare


PreacherE
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

That's what I'm saying...people get all over me LOL because sometimes I take the side of the doctors who want to "pull the plug" but if the doctors are no longer being paid, then....what should happen?

If health care is not a basic human right, then we have no right to demand that doctors and hospitals perform it for free.


Doctors providing this care make plenty of money off patients with "Cadillac" insurance plans. They can afford the prOBono for one baby...two babies...

But Jerry's compassion point trumps all. Compassion is one of those traits the Lord Jesus had which we all seek to emulate. The Great Physician healed many and fed many not asking something in return but in preparation to give His life for all. Some doctors have great compassion others need to exercise it just one time. Governments need to exercise compassion too and realize there is no greater compassion than Jesus Christ.
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Doctors providing this care make plenty of money off patients with "Cadillac" insurance plans. They can afford the prOBono for one baby...two babies...

But Jerry's compassion point trumps all. Compassion is one of those traits the Lord Jesus had which we all seek to emulate. The Great Physician healed many and fed many not asking something in return but in preparation to give His life for all. Some doctors have great compassion others need to exercise it just one time. Governments need to exercise compassion too and realize there is no greater compassion than Jesus Christ.


Dave, I fear that many of us Christians are becoming hard hearted, & lust for material gain has taken over. Traits like common sense and compassion seemed to have passed away.
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Compassion isn't the issue I'm discussing here but that's okay. :-)

And by the way around my area hospitals are closing down OB wings because they had no money to keep them up, because of all the welfare people that the hospital was forced to deliver the babies without pay. So then they closed hospital wings, which made the other hospitals in the area turn overcrowded, which in turn hurts the care of the next moms having kids.

Somebody has to pay for health care. Its NEVER free. Compassion doesn't make money grow on trees.

Anyway nOBody noticed my thought above...when does the soul leave the body? Who decides when someone is dead? You can keep a body "alive" for quite some time...and they do...for organ donors...after they are dead.

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Anyway nOBody noticed my thought above...when does the soul leave the body? Who decides when someone is dead? You can keep a body "alive" for quite some time...and they do...for organ donors...after they are dead.


I would say that once a person is what we would consider brain dead (i.e. there is no activity at all) then that person may very well be what we would consider Biblically dead. I don't know of any Bible verse to back up that claim, but that's merely how I feel about that. It's possible that I may be wrong and if someone can show otherwise from the Word of God then I'll gladly change my stance on the matter.
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I would say that once a person is what we would consider brain dead (i.e. there is no activity at all) then that person may very well be what we would consider Biblically dead. I don't know of any Bible verse to back up that claim, but that's merely how I feel about that. It's possible that I may be wrong and if someone can show otherwise from the Word of God then I'll gladly change my stance on the matter.


As I stated, I know of at least 2 where the doctors said they were brain dead according to their machines, yet they were not. I wonder, how many other they said where brain dead, and they pulled the plug, but they were not? That is if they would have given more time, these would have been up and walking once again.
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Your compassion at the expense of forcing me to pay for it until I have no money to pay my own medical bills for my own family is NOT A SOLUTION!


Exactly....

And here's a scenerio....is it at all possible to wean off the ventilator and pray that God will let the baby begin to breathe on its own?

13 years ago my mom was in a car accident and lived on life support for about 2 weeks. She was alive but highly drugged up and then had several surgeries...and finally died. Anyway after two weeks her medical bills (paid for by insurance, not taxpayers) were $750,000.

Fast forward to today...can you imagine the bill of two months on life support??? Is that really a fundamental human right? No really...is it?
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With all sincerity and compassion I say this, everyone has a story of heartache and disappointment in this earthly life........

Mine is having watched my mother and father trying to keep my terminally ill sister (since birth) alive. My dad worked three jOBs to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills. They sacrificed everything to keep her alive. The community held fundraisers to help out. In the end, I watched my sister take her last breath at the age of 16, while she was laying in my father's lap going blind and writhing in pain from her illness as she looked into his face crying she did not want to die. I never once heard my father complain about the sacrifice and I never once heard my father say it was some other person's (or even the government) responsibility to take care of his family's bills, NEVER ONCE. It wasn't fun and it wasn't pretty, but outside the Lord Jesus Christ my father is my example of love in action.

Folks, there are just times when intervening in extraordinary and desperate ways to keep a person alive (outside of God's natural order) is not warranted and is futile. While I do believe it is reasonable for a parent to do everything within their power to keep their child alive, I do not believe that responsibility should be thrust upon others, depriving those others of the means to take care of their own families.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

With all sincerity and compassion I say this, everyone has a story of heartache and disappointment in this earthly life........

Mine is having watched my mother and father trying to keep my terminally ill sister (since birth) alive. My dad worked three jOBs to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills. They sacrificed everything to keep her alive. The community held fundraisers to help out. In the end, I watched my sister take her last breath at the age of 16, while she was laying in my father's lap going blind and writhing in pain from her illness as she looked into his face crying she did not want to die. I never once heard my father complain about the sacrifice and I never once heard my father say it was some other person's (or even the government) responsibility to take care of his family's bills, NEVER ONCE. It wasn't fun and it wasn't pretty, but outside the Lord Jesus Christ my father is my example of love in action.

Folks, there are just times when intervening in extraordinary and desperate ways to keep a person alive (outside of God's natural order) is not warranted and is futile. While I do believe it is reasonable for a parent to do everything within their power to keep their child alive, I do not believe that responsibility should be thrust upon others, depriving those others of the means to take care of their own families.


Your right, that responsibility should not be thrust on anyone, But we as children of God ought to freely take it upon our self to help them because of the compassion within our hearts. But we fear we will have to give up to much, money and material possession, of which we cannot carry with us to heaven.
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Jerry, While your piety is exemplary and mine is meager; I must still say I'm not afraid of giving up anything except for the means in which God has given to me to take care of my own family. Please do not include me in the "we" when responding to my quote and saying that "we fear we will have to give up to much, money and material possession....." I've never been afraid to sacrifice to help others, especially those less fortunate. My wife and I have taken into our home countless "down and out" people, former prisoners and others (entertaining angels unawares I believe). We have given materially and of our time to others in various needy ways to the point I may have been negligent in planning for our future (Social Security here we come).

I will never be convinced that it is God's will or way to so completely deplete that which he has given to us in giving to others to the point I then do not take care of my own family.

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Your right, that responsibility should not be thrust on anyone, But we as children of God ought to freely take it upon our self to help them because of the compassion within our hearts. But we fear we will have to give up to much, money and material possession, of which we cannot carry with us to heaven.


This actually doesn't have much to do with the topic...I haven't withheld money from anyone and we are actually quite sacrificial givers as a family...so I don't think my political belief (each man takes care of themselves as far as possible) has anything to do with how generous I am as a person, with my money.
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

You're all correct to some degree or another. The topic is of course the shortfall of Government run health care while the tragedy is two parents left to find whatever means they can to save their child from being terminated.

Today's community for support and additional funds is here on the internet. We are that community and how the Holy Spirit would move each one of us to respond is between us and the Holy Spirit.

Those of us who may have experienced similar tragedy will respond one way or another.

1 John 3:17

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The thing that made me the most upset about the article is that they did let her labor too long and should have taken the baby a long time before...I think the hospital did mess up the childbirth....

In the "olden" days though the baby would have died several times by now...which is why I'm like...where do the rights begin and end?

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Whoa, whoa, whoa....new article: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,584341,00.html?test=latestnews

They are calling BOTH situations "euthenasia"....how is THAT?! How is injecting a person with heroin the same as removing mechanical life support? That's a slam on anyone who's ever had to make the decision to "pull the plug".....

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

When you give them an overdoes with intentions of killing them. That is murder, right? That seems to be the case with that article.

"One year later, while out on bail, Inglis successfully administered the heroin overdose and killed her "

But with that said, if someone is terminally ill, or badly injured, and in need of pain medication, if the does needed to control pain happens to kill them, that is not murder, just a side effect of keeping them out of pain.

I've heard of families who had a loved one dying of cancer, and being told we cannot give them any more pain medication, larger dose, for it might make them die.

I firmly believe when one is dying from a terminal disease and or bad injury, we need to try our best to keep the pain under control, if death is a side effect of keeping them comfortable them that risk has to be taken.

I've always thought these 2 things.

1. I would hate to know I'm standing by the death bed of a loved one while they are laying in bed suffering from pain when the doctors has pain medications that can make the more comfortable.

2. It would be terrible to be laying on your death bed with family gathered around you and your suffering from sever pain but yet they will not give your enough to make you comfortable from fear it will kill you.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I think it would be terrible for your body to be trying to die (if you are saved) and the machines won't let you just go in peace....


I have to err on the side of life, for only God knows the other side of the story, to err on the side of death could very well be murder. Plus the fact, even with modern equipment, doctors don't know everything I've seen doctors make the wrong call.

And I sure would not want the government making such decisions.
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      “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).”
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    • Bro. West  »  Pastor Scott Markle

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    • Bro. West

      Seeing it is Christ----mas time and I was answering question on Luke 2:33 concerning Jesus, Mary and Joseph . I thought it would be fitting to display a poem i wrote concerning the matter.
      SCRIPTURAL MARY

      I WALK NOT ON WATER NOR CHANGE IT TO WINE
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      I, AM A DAUGHTER OF ABRAHAM SINNER BY BIRTH
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      MY PAPS ARE NOT HOLY SO TRUST ME NOT
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      HER BLACK ROBE PRIEST FILL THEIR LIPS WITH MY NAME
      WITH BLASPHEMOUS PRAISE, DAMMATION AND SHAME
      THERE ARE NO NAIL PRINTS IN MY HANDS, MY BODY DID NOT ARISE
      NOR, AM A DEMON OF FATIMA FLOATING IN THE SKY
      THERE IS NO DEITY IN MY VEINS FOR ADAM CAME FROM SOD
      FOR I, AM, MOTHER OF THE SON OF MAN NOT THE MOTHER OF GOD
      MY FLESH SAW CORRUPTION MY BONES THEY DID ROT
      MY PAPS ARE NOT HOLY, SO TRUST ME NOT
      6
      FOR MY SOUL WAS PURCHASED BY GOD UPON THE CROSS
      FOR MY SINS HE DID SUFFER AN UNMEASURABLE COST
      I WILL NOT STEAL HIS GLORY WHO ROSE FROM THE DEAD
      ENDURING SPIT AND THORNS PLACED ON HIS HEAD
      YET, IF YOU WISH TO HONOR ME THEN GIVE ME NONE AT ALL
      BUT TRUST THE LAMB WHO STOOL IN PILATE’S HALL
      CALL NOT ON THIS REDEEMED WOMAN IN YOUR TIME OF FEAR
      FOR I WILL NOT GIVE ANSWER NEITHER WILL I HEAR
      AND WHEN THE BOOKS ARE OPEN AT THE GREAT WHITE THRONE
      I AMEN YOUR DAMNATION THAT TRUST NOT HIM ALONE
      MY FLESH SAW CORRUPTION MY BONES THEY DID ROT
      MY PAPS ARE NOT HOLY, O’ SINNER TRUST ME NOT

                       WRITTEN BY BRO. WEST
       
      · 0 replies
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