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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.

Saddest Verses In The Bible


Jerry
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

First of all, I wanted to say hi. Been a couple of years since I dropped by. Hopefully some of you may remember me. No promises I will stay this time - I just wanted to see how things were going here first.

My topic has to do with passages/verses that are sad in the Bible - not passages that make you sad, but ones that seem so sad because of what certain characters have done.

For example:

Genesis 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

This verse states that her husband Adam was with her when her conversation with the devil was going on. Everytime I read that phrase, I wince spiritually. Was wondering what other passages/verses may have a similar effect on you as you read and meditate on them.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Welcome back Jerry. I hope all is well.

Revelation 6:15-16
15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:

I feel so sad for the people going through the tribulation, knowing from where the wrath comes and still unwilling to repent and come to Christ.

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A friend of mine thought this was one of the saddest verses in th bible:

Judges 16:20 And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him.

Not only thst the Lord had departed, but Samson didn't realise.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Thanks for the welcome back. Things are going better for me now, sorting some things out.

Another passage that comes to mind:

Luke 22:61-62 And the Lord turned and looked upon Peter... And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.

The Lord was nearby when Peter denied Him, and Peter saw the Lord looking at him right after he denied Him. Praise the Lord that Peter's story (and the Lord's work in Peter) does not end there.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Thanks for the welcome back. Things are going better for me now, sorting some things out.

Another passage that comes to mind:

Luke 22:61-62 And the Lord turned and looked upon Peter... And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.

The Lord was nearby when Peter denied Him, and Peter saw the Lord looking at him right after he denied Him. Praise the Lord that Peter's story (and the Lord's work in Peter) does not end there.


I thought of that one too. That is powerful!
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Another thing about peter, that can be useful to us;

When he was with Christ, he was willing to die for Him (drew his sword against a multitude), but when Jesus was taken, and Peter left alone, he denied.

Something can be said for the presence of the Lord, and for us finding strength in His presence.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

And when we start following Christ from afar.

Mt 26:58 But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest's palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end.

Likely we will do the same as he did.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Hi all,
For me the saddest words in the Bible are found in Matthew 7:22-23.

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Talk about not having a clue. Someone mentioned Samson didn't realize the Lord had departed him, and I agree, how sad. But these people seem to go their whole life thinking they are doing the work of the Lord and don't find out until death. By that time it is too late. This isn't just one character, but the Bible states "many". These two verses really make me "wince spiritually" when I read them or ponder them. I actually have them written on a note card and taped inside my soul winner's Bible so I can look at them before I go out. They not only make me wince but motivate me. I think about people like Ghandi and maybe even Mother Theresa. I know she was catholic and did many good works in the name of the Lord, but, in her writings later in life, she questioned whether God even existed. I don't know her heart so I can't say just because she was Catholic she wasn't saved. But if she wasn't, how very very sad. It makes me want to tear up just thinking of the many so blinded by their religion that they don't truly know God and don't have His Holy Spirit endwelling in them that they will not find out until death. The saddest words, "I never knew you."

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Luke 22 KJB
44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

45 And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow,

How many followers of Christ are sleeping today when they should be:

40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.

To me there's so much saddness within those verses. Jesus knew in ways we can't begin to comprehend what was ahead of Him. Not only the pain His physical body would have to endure. Also the pain that I can't describe when He bore my sins along with everyone else who would believe in Him.

Yet, the few who were with Him went to sleep instead of following a simple request for what appears to be a relatively short period of time. I can't begin to imagine the depth of the sadness He must have felt when He woke them up.

Is He looking upon us today with sadness, too?

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  • Advanced Member

A friend of mine thought this was one of the saddest verses in th bible:

Judges 16:20 And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him.

Not only thst the Lord had departed, but Samson didn't realise.


That is a very sad and very striking verse.

Some I can think of:

Matt 19:22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

Acts 26:28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
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This is one of the saddest verses to me.

Luke 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

The other is similar...


John 6:67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Luke 8:35-37 Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. 36 They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed. 37 Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again.

Here's a man possessed by a legion of devils living in the tombs of this area. Crazy out of his mind and so out of control that even chains can't hold him. This man the people did not cast out, yet the man who healed him and made him sane (Jesus) is asked to leave because the people feared Him greatly.

Did you ever notice that as soon as people find out you are a Christian the majority get uncomfortable in your presence and usually want to get away from you as quickly as possible? Yet these same people can be all day around others that are drinking, smoking, swearing, telling bad jokes, etc. and not be phased in the least. They've accepted the devils in their midst and see no need to cast them out, but the man who can save them from these devils must leave.

How sad to be living in the country of the Gadarenes.

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    • Razor

      “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).”
      ― Mark Twain
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    • Razor

      “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).”
      ― Mark Twain
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    • Bro. West  »  Pastor Scott Markle

      Advanced revelation, then...prophecy IS advanced revelation in the context of the apostles.
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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

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      A HAND MAID OF LOW ESTATE USED HERE ON EARTH
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      TO FATHER OUR CHILDREN WHO NOW ARE ALL DEAD
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      BUT OF THE FIRST BORN WHICH SAVED ME FROM HELL
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      MY PAPS ARE NOT HOLY SO TRUST ME NOT
                                               2
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      MY PAPS ARE NOT HOLY SO TRUST ME NOT
                                              3
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      MY FLESH SAW CORRUPTION MY BONES THEY DID ROT
      MY PAPS ARE NOT HOLY, SO TRUST ME NOT
                                                  4
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                                               5
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      WITH BLASPHEMOUS PRAISE, DAMMATION AND SHAME
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      6
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      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
       
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