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    • By Jim_Alaska in Jim_Alaska's Sermons & Devotionals
         14
      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.

'Move beyond fear': Planned Quran burning is religious stupidity


CPR
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NOBody will go to hell for disagreeing with Jerry. Only those who refuse to be born again in Christ and follow Him by OBeying His Word will go to hell.


This is a bit overdue, but I apologize for my comment. It was rude and childish and did nothing to add to the discussion. I wrote it in a moment of frustration when I shouldn't have posted anything at all. I'm sorry, Jerry and John. Edited by CPR
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This is a bit overdue, but I apologize for my comment. It was rude and childish and did nothing to add to the discussion. I wrote it in a moment of frustration when I shouldn't have posted anything at all. I'm sorry, Jerry and John.


Forgiven.
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This is a bit overdue, but I apologize for my comment. It was rude and childish and did nothing to add to the discussion. I wrote it in a moment of frustration when I shouldn't have posted anything at all. I'm sorry, Jerry and John.


Thank you, we're good.
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NOBody will go to hell for disagreeing with Jerry
Does Jerry agree? (Sorry Jerry, only joking.)

Here in England where there are many overseas students and there are Christians who work among the students who say that many of the Muslims are more open to the gospel than others. A friend who works among the students in Bordeaux, France, says the same. If stunts like burning the Quran are practiced, they may not be so open.

Do you have many overseas students in the US? If so, remember that they may be the leaders of their country one day. It would be more help to the gospel to try to reach them than using silly stunts that may alienate them to the gospel. Edited by Invicta
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Does Jerry agree? (Sorry Jerry, only joking.)

Here in England where there are many overseas students and there are Christians who work among the students who say that many of the Muslims are more open to the gospel than others. A friend who works among the students in Bordeaux, France, says the same. If stunts like burning the Quran are practiced, they may not be so open.

Do you have many overseas students in the US? If so, remember that they may be the leaders of their country one day. It would be more help to the gospel to try to reach them than using silly stunts that may alienate them to the gospel.

And another good post! You're on a roll, Invicta! :icon_mrgreen::thumb:
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Does Jerry agree? (Sorry Jerry, only joking.)

Here in England where there are many overseas students and there are Christians who work among the students who say that many of the Muslims are more open to the gospel than others. A friend who works among the students in Bordeaux, France, says the same. If stunts like burning the Quran are practiced, they may not be so open.

Do you have many overseas students in the US? If so, remember that they may be the leaders of their country one day. It would be more help to the gospel to try to reach them than using silly stunts that may alienate them to the gospel.





The thing is, many times its quite amazing at what will alienate a person towards you and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When Jesus was on this earth many got alienates towards Him for simply speaking His Fathers truth.
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I have no prOBlem with burning the koran, Book of Mormon, anything that represents a false religion. I personnaly wouldn't do it but I don't have a prOBlem with it. However, this guy didn't have a lick of common sense. Didn't this guy know that this event would cause a firestorm if it hit the media? We all know the msm hates true Christianity. We all know that they would spin it to reflect badly on us. I'm aware of the hypocrasy. The Muslims kill Christians and no one talks about it. Christ is mocked on TV, in literature, music, art, you name it and it's freedom of speech and expression. Why do they get away with it? Because we don't cut heads off. The bottom line is Americans are afraid. They scared to death of Islam. Let's appease the crazies and maybe they will leave us alone. Well, I got news for ya, they ain't gonna leave us alone. They are looking for ANY excuse to act out violence on us. Now with all that said, I think Jones should have asked himself, Will this win souls to Christ? Do you think this event will win a Muslim to Christ? I can think of alot better ways to being a witness to Muslims than burning their koran. I agree with what someone said, if you want to burn it, do it in your fireplace. I'm so tired of hearing Islam being the "religion of peace" when it is anything but. Christ is the Prince of Peace period. As followers in Christ, in this dark age we need to think before we act. I know one thing. If Islam takes over this country, all the Christian haters will wish we were back in control!

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From what I gather there were several churches, pastors, groups and such that burned or destroyed korans on 911 but the media only focused upon this one particular pastor.

He advertised his plans, and has sold many "Islam is of the Devil" t-shirts via his website (which was taken down for a while - don't know if it's back up). I'm thinking that's why the media picked up on him.
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He advertised his plans, and has sold many "Islam is of the Devil" t-shirts via his website (which was taken down for a while - don't know if it's back up). I'm thinking that's why the media picked up on him.


Many others have written books about the wickedness of Isalm and sell items with "anti-Islam" themes. Many advertise on the internet (some elsewhere also).

No doubt the things you mention were reasons the media targetted him, but it was prOBably also because he's not a part of a larger denomination or association, he pastors a small church and he's not overly articulate.

Of course, by ignoring the others with similar things going on, the media was more effectively able to try and isolate this pastor and make him look like a lone nut. Had the media mentioned all those with similar plans and such they would have run the risk of showing just how many others across America hold similar views.
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Many others have written books about the wickedness of Isalm and sell items with "anti-Islam" themes. Many advertise on the internet (some elsewhere also).

No doubt the things you mention were reasons the media targetted him, but it was prOBably also because he's not a part of a larger denomination or association, he pastors a small church and he's not overly articulate.

Of course, by ignoring the others with similar things going on, the media was more effectively able to try and isolate this pastor and make him look like a lone nut. Had the media mentioned all those with similar plans and such they would have run the risk of showing just how many others across America hold similar views.


Yes, its easier to go after the little one. I feel sure the Muslims are making a mark in the win column. They've made a Christian look like the bad guy.
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Yes, its easier to go after the little one. I feel sure the Muslims are making a mark in the win column. They've made a Christian look like the bad guy.


Really though, should we care about their "win column"? I would guess that those who keep a win column are as misguided about that as they are about other things. In this case, Pastor Jones was misguided and his zeal was very misdirected.
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Yes, it actually does matter about Muslims claiming "wins". Each time they claim a "win" that increases their boldness, increases recruitment and encourages further pressing. Islam teaches that when they have their enemies on the run or when they detect a weakness, to press on until the enemy is destroyed or surrenderes to Islam.

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Just about 8 miles from here in Canterbury, there is the University of Kent. Many of the students are from Muslim countries. There are quite a few Christians who work with them, and other non Christians, some of which have never heard of Christianity. There are also believers working on the streets, some with chalk boards, some just with bibles, some befriending students and inviting them to their homes and churches and others just handing out tracts. Many of those reached are muslims.

There are many other anti Christian organisations, the head of which is the RC church, the head of which, the papal Antichrist, is visiting our country at this very time.

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Just about 8 miles from here in Canterbury, there is the University of Kent. Many of the students are from Muslim countries. There are quite a few Christians who work with them, and other non Christians, some of which have never heard of Christianity. There are also believers working on the streets, some with chalk boards, some just with bibles, some befriending students and inviting them to their homes and churches and others just handing out tracts. Many of those reached are muslims.

There are many other anti Christian organisations, the head of which is the RC church, the head of which, the papal Antichrist, is visiting our country at this very time.


I imagine no one is burning Qurans in the street and I imagine that would not be very effective either.
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I imagine no one is burning Qurans in the street and I imagine that would not be very effective either.


The stated purpose for the burning of the korans was not to evangelize but to let Muslims know that if they are going to keep hurting "us" then "we" are going to hurt them in a manner they can understand.

I've dealt with many Muslims directly, and I've never burned a koran.

I've dealt with many Catholics directly too, and I've never burned one of their books either.

I have been blessed to have been used of the Lord to lead several Catholics to Christ and to see them come out from that false religion.
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The stated purpose for the burning of the korans was not to evangelize but to let Muslims know that if they are going to keep hurting "us" then "we" are going to hurt them in a manner they can understand.

I've dealt with many Muslims directly, and I've never burned a koran.

I've dealt with many Catholics directly too, and I've never burned one of their books either.

I have been blessed to have been used of the Lord to lead several Catholics to Christ and to see them come out from that false religion.


That is a direct contradiction of this verse. "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance [is] mine; I will repay, saith the Lord." Romans 12:19. As Christians we are not to take revenge or to answer a wrong with another wrong but to "turn the other cheek". Edited by CPR
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That is a direct contradiction of this verse. "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance [is] mine; I will repay, saith the Lord." Romans 12:19. As Christians we are not to take revenge or to answer a wrong with another wrong but to "turn the other cheek".


I'm the wrong one to tell. Tell the one who came up with this.
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