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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.

Happy Memorial Day


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  • Lady Administrators

Exciting plans, anyone? I am planning on relaxing, but my son wants to go to some of the memorial services, so may go to one or two. Tomorrow (Sunday), there is a service at the VietNam wall in our town. We will likely go to that.

A friend of mine lost her son in Iraq in 2004 - just days after he arrived. He was with his unit when they were ambushed. His shooting enabled everyone in that vehicle to survive - except him. He had such a wonderful testimony. He knew God wanted him where he was, and was ready to die if need be. They filmed the funeral (the one in Iraq - the family had one here in US, too). It was really something.

His dad wrote a book about his son, about his salvation and his death - which was truly heroic. It has gotten into the hands of so many of the military! BJU did a dramatization about his life and traveled the country for a year performing it. We were thrilled when a church in the area had them come in - it was a chance to see his mom again (they moved from the area years ago) and the presentation was so powerful!

I babysat him and his siblings some when they were younger. His sister and her hubby and boys help us in our nursing home. Tomorrow she will be passing out the books to the soldiers and others who come to the memorial service. Please pray for that.

And to Jonathan and all the rest of our fallen heroes; to those who serve today: Thank you for your service. You have been unfairly vilified by many, you have faced horrendous enemies, you willingly put your life in danger - from the beginnings of our country to now. And I thank you. I honor your service and sacrifice for our country. God bless you.

"My Thanks is Not Enough" http://www.brooksmonk.com/videos

Patriotic_soldier2.jpg

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
Exciting plans, anyone? I am planning on relaxing, but my son wants to go to some of the memorial services, so may go to one or two. Tomorrow (Sunday), there is a service at the VietNam wall in our town. We will likely go to that.

A friend of mine lost her son in Iraq in 2004 - just days after he arrived. He was with his unit when they were ambushed. His shooting enabled everyone in that vehicle to survive - except him. He had such a wonderful testimony. He knew God wanted him where he was, and was ready to die if need be. They filmed the funeral (the one in Iraq - the family had one here in US, too). It was really something.

His dad wrote a book about his son, about his salvation and his death - which was truly heroic. It has gotten into the hands of so many of the military! BJU did a dramatization about his life and traveled the country for a year performing it. We were thrilled when a church in the area had them come in - it was a chance to see his mom again (they moved from the area years ago) and the presentation was so powerful!

I babysat him and his siblings some when they were younger. His sister and her hubby and boys help us in our nursing home. Tomorrow she will be passing out the books to the soldiers and others who come to the memorial service. Please pray for that.

And to Jonathan and all the rest of our fallen heroes; to those who serve today: Thank you for your service. You have been unfairly vilified by many, you have faced horrendous enemies, you willingly put your life in danger - from the beginnings of our country to now. And I thank you. I honor your service and sacrifice for our country. God bless you.

"My Thanks is Not Enough" http://www.brooksmonk.com/videos

Patriotic_soldier2.jpg



A repeat of this. :smile Thanks - LuAnne for sharing this testimony. YES! Thank you for sacrificing your precious lives ALL across the globe so that WE Americans - and others around the world - can enjoy our freedoms as outlined in the "Declaration of Independence" - and "Constitution of the USA" so bravely established by our Founding Fathers of this Great Nation. Beginning with "The Preamble" - "We the people of the United States of America...

To Jonathan and all other fallen heroes of this great land - Hallelujah! My thanks and prayers are with your family's everyday! Again - no words can describe. I hope and pray that things went well for your friend and your family - HC.

Also, if OLB members can please keep in prayer - my closest friend (Shelley and her husband) whose only son (Christopher) will be shipping off to training and Afghanistan in 3 days. He is a USMC - going to the Middle East for the 3rd time. He is PROUD to serve this nation! Thank you. :)

This weekend?

My family went to a picnic at my second oldest brother's house yesterday. Some of our relatives were in from New Jersey. I enjoyed showing them my hometown - as we walked along the Lake Erie shoreline.

Church today was spectacular as we recognized our soldiers in the AM service. Our PM service every year is a memorial to those who has passed on - or gone home to be with the Lord Jesus.

An early day tomorrow for us. God bless everyone! Keep safe and HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND!!

In Christ Jesus ~

Molly
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

The Lord?s Prayer In Hell
by Col. Leo Thorsness

??deliver us from evil?? (Matthew 6:13)


On April 30, 1967, LeoThorsness was shot down over North Vietnam. He was held and tortured for six years. Today's devotional comes from Col. Thorsness' memoirs, Surviving Hell : A POW's Journey.


The first Sunday at the Hanoi Hilton, someone said, "Let's have church service." Good idea, we all agreed. One POW volunteered to lead the service and we started gathering in the other end of the long, rectangular cell. No sooner had we gathered than an English-speaking Vietnamese officer who worked as an interrogator burst into the cell with a dozen armed guards. Ned Shuman, our Senior Ranking Officer, went to the officer and said there would not be a problem, we were just going to have a short church service. The response was unyielding: we were not allowed to gather into groups larger than three persons and absolutely could not have a church service.

During the next few days we all grumbled that we should not have backed down in our intention to have a church service and ought to do it the coming Sunday. Toward the end of the week, Ned stepped forward and said, "Are we really committed to having church Sunday?"

There was a murmuring of the assent throughout the cell. Ned said, "No, I want to know person by person if you are really committed to holding church."

We all knew the implications of our answer. If we went ahead with the plan, some would pay the price -- starting with Ned himself because he was the SRO. He went around the cell pointing to each of us individually.

"Leo, are you committed?"

"Yes."

When the 42nd man said ?yes,? it was unanimous. We had 100% commitment to hold church the next Sunday. At that instant, Ned knew he would end up in the torture cells. It was different from previous Sunday. We now had a goal and we were committed. We only needed to develop a plan.

Sunday morning came and we knew they would be watching us again. Once more, we gathered in the far end of the cell. As soon as we moved together, the interrogator and guards burst through the door. Ned stepped forward and said there wouldn't be a problem, we were just going to hold a quiet, 10-minute church service and then we would spread back out in the cell. As expected, they grabbed him and hauled him off for torture.

Our plan unfolded. The second ranking man, the new SRO, stood, walked to the center of the cell and in a clear, firm voice said, "Gentlemen," our signal to stand, "the Lord's Prayer." We got perhaps halfway through the prayer when the guards grabbed the SRO and hauled him out the door.

As planned, the number three SRO stood, walked to the center of the cell and said, "Gentlemen, the Lord's Prayer." We had gotten about to "Thy kingdom come" before the guards grabbed him. Immediately, the number four SRO stood, "Gentlemen, the Lord's Prayer."

I have never heard five or six words from the Lord's Prayer recited so loudly or so reverently. The interrogator was shouting, "Stop, stop!" but we drowned him out. The guards were now hitting POWs with gun butts and the cell was in chaos.

The number five ranking officer was way back in the corner and took his time moving toward the center of the cell. (I was number seven, and not particularly anxious for him to hurry.) But just before he got to the center of the area, the cell became pin-drop quiet.

In Vietnamese, the interrogator spat out something to the guards. They grabbed the number five SRO and they all left, locking the cell door behind them. The number six SRO began, "Gentlemen, the Lord's Prayer." This time we finished it.

Five courageous officers were tortured, but I think they believed it was worth it. From that Sunday on until we came home, we held a church service. We won. They lost. Forty-two men in prison pajamas followed Ned?s lead. I know I will never see a better example of pure, raw leadership or will ever pray with a better sense of the meaning of those words.

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  • Lady Administrators

I read stories of the men at Hanoi Hilton and just weep.

We went to the Memorial service on Sunday. It was a good service. My friend and her hubby and kids came, as did another couple of folks from our church. We were able to hand out a good number of the books, all of which had a miliatry tract placed inside. Boy Scout troops took some and promised to share them with the other boys. The JROTC from another town was there, and my son was able to give a few to them, with the promise to share it with others in JROTC. Only one man that I know of refused a book, and that is probably because he'd either been given one before or seen it - and didn't like the spiritual tone of it. He was not friendly, and watched us handing them out with a very sour look on his face. Everyone else was happy to take one and promised to share it with others.

For the actual day, I stayed home and relaxed. My hubby golfed in the morning, and both my guys played ball the rest of the day. It's actually the only day in the year that they can both play ball - sometimes on July 4, but not this year, since it's on a Saturday.

Molly - will be praying for Christopher. Give Shelley this site: http://www.militarymoms.net/ It's a site for moms whose kids have been or are being deployed. Lots of encouragement. I don't like the songs that play on the opening page most of the time, but they can be tolerated long enough to get to another page...and, of course, she may like the song! :Green

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