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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.

Another Ifb College Succumbs...


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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

The auto correct does that with most things like that.

 

I haven't looked at the link yet, why did this school turn to the SBC; were IFBs unwilling to help or what? Or is this school just deciding to take a turn towards the SBC and away from IFB?

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

A couple members have posted before about prOBlems with IFBs funding things and continuing in funding things. If we (IFBs in general) are failing to support our own, there is something wrong with that.

 

I know the IFB plant near our home had their funding and support pulled so they had to close their doors and move on.

 

It's sad to see our churches and institutions being lost, either through neglect or their slip sliding away. 

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

The auto correct does that with most things like that.

 

I haven't looked at the link yet, why did this school turn to the SBC; were IFBs unwilling to help or what? Or is this school just deciding to take a turn towards the SBC and away from IFB?

 

I never attended the school but know many who have. For years now they have abandoned their roots. They started accepting CCM, then CCM rock and even female preachers. This is just the latest.

 

http://indefenseofthegospel.blogspot.com/search/label/Northland%20Int%27l%20University

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I never attended the school but know many who have. For years now they have abandoned their roots. They started accepting CCM, then CCM rock and even female preachers. This is just the latest.

 

http://indefenseofthegospel.blogspot.com/search/label/Northland%20Int%27l%20University

 

I figured such was the case, but I didn't want to say so without knowing it to be true.

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Sometimes I think we worry too much about 'formal training' and seminary and little pieces of paper on the wall. At one time preachers trained under their preachers and in study of the word and practice. There was little or no 'formal' training, save perhaps with other, more matre believers in more personal surroundings. Why do we think we can't do that these days? Oh my, can't be a pastor unless we understand the meanings and implications of soteriology and exegesis and all the 'isms' out there. So much man-made chopping up and compartmentalizing of the simple word of God. Yes, I agree we are to rightly divide the word of God, but not into little pieces, each with a name and category. Somehow Paul knew about rightly dividing without benefit of a Christian college.

 

I say shut 'em all down, take up either the small, church-run institutes and individual training. They are all becoming businesses, and they all so badly depend on money to the point that they have to run liie a business, which means, give the consumer what they want to get their money.

 

And don't get me started on school-designated "camps"!

 

But, that's just my opinion.

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Sometimes I think we worry too much about 'formal training' and seminary and little pieces of paper on the wall. At one time preachers trained under their preachers and in study of the word and practice. There was little or no 'formal' training, save perhaps with other, more matre believers in more personal surroundings. Why do we think we can't do that these days? Oh my, can't be a pastor unless we understand the meanings and implications of soteriology and exegesis and all the 'isms' out there.

 

I understand the meaning of soteriology and exegesis... does that mean I can be a pastor?   :ROFL: 

 

I say shut 'em all down, take up either the small, church-run institutes and individual training. 

 

Agreed. There's a place for colleges, but a lot of times it just seems to take the young men out of the churches and areas where they're badly needed.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I have yet to see and have never been shown where a TRUE IFB church has gone under financially. If the preaching is right and the finances are handled in a God honoring way then God himself will take care of His own.

 

 

Did the church in question support missions?

 

Did the church in question sing hymns?

 

Did the church members in question pay tithes?

 

Did the church use the KJV bible?

 

Did the church PREACH the word of God?

 

Did the church go out witnessing?

 

And most importantly, is Christ at the head of the church in question?

 

If you follow this little outline for your church, I promise it will not fail !!

 

I do realize that we're talking about a college here but most colleges like this stem from a church at some point.

Please note that the outline above is not guarnteed for any agency other than the church.

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I have yet to see and have never been shown where a TRUE IFB church has gone under financially. If the preaching is right and the finances are handled in a God honoring way then God himself will take care of His own.

 

 

Did the church in question support missions?

 

Did the church in question sing hymns?

 

Did the church members in question pay tithes?

 

Did the church use the KJV bible?

 

Did the church PREACH the word of God?

 

Did the church go out witnessing?

 

And most importantly, is Christ at the head of the church in question?

 

If you follow this little outline for your church, I promise it will not fail !!

 

I do realize that we're talking about a college here but most colleges like this stem from a church at some point.

Please note that the outline above is not guarnteed for any agency other than the church.

In some ways, I suppose it depends upon how one defines 'going under'. Do you mean shutting down completely? Losing a building?  

 

In our own place, here's what has been the issues:

 

I began as pastor in our church with about 25-30 members. We live in a small, stagnant community with zero growth, and those who DO move in tend to be on welfare/unemployment/disability. As members have grown older, (those who historically had money to support financially), they have mostly moved away, with some others passing on. Most who have come in have been the aforementioned welfare/disability folks. Thus, money has gone away for the most part, and we lost our building. Have we gone under? No, we just rent a smaller, less-expensive place, and have fewer people.

 

Of course, with the limited space, we have no ability for a Sunday School for youth, so the families with youth have left to go places with 'programs' for the kids.

 

Do I preach the Bible? Absolutely. Do we sing hymns? Absolutely. Do we support missions? We can barely support ourselves, so no, not right now, but we did in the past until it was either support them or our own work. But you discount the will of people who, despite anything else, place the wants of the family over the importance of the teaching. See, I prioritize the preaching of the word-we sing little, have no specials-we sing a few hymns and I preach the word of God. But people are entertainment-minded, or want what they want. Not long back we lost an elderly couple who have been a active part of the church for about 4 years, because the wife didnt like that I referred to tongues as "babbling tongues", in reference to what is often called tongues today. That was it, the only reason. never brought it up, never asked why I believe that, and apparently rejected my teaching on it. So now they go to a pentecostal church pastored by a guy who fell to sexual sin and was removed from his place as pastor of an AOG church-why? because they have family there and he doesn't denigrate false tongues.

 

So, why do sometimes GOOD churches fall? Because churches are made up of people and they don't always want to hear all the truth. Even believers want to have their ears scratched at times. This is why some of the most "successful" IFB churches tend to have carnival-like atmospheres, run tons of programs and promotions and the like: because otherwise they would lose most of the people to churches that do just that.

 

So I will preach the word and make that my priority, and if everyone leaves, they leave-but we won't continue if it means becoming a circus to keep them.

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And yet, we see Assemblies of God and mormons and JW's all thrive and grow. What's that mean? It takes us back to the post asking the question of whether or not success is a sign of God's blessing.

 

How was Jeremiah judged? According to 'success', or faithfulness? He had no OBvious sucess-no one heeded his words. yet he was faithful, and it is necessary first and foremost that a steward be faithful. We don't see Daniel with a building full of followers, yet he was faithful, thus a success.  

 

So, by the world's standards, the pentecostal church in the next town with the rock band and the full offering plates is more successful than my little IBF church that sings hymns and concentrates on the word of God, KJV, yet brings in almost nothing and rents a public building for $40 per month. But which is successful?

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Ukulelemike,

 

By going under I did mean shut the doors. If you've downsized to live within your means that's no prOBlem. I would like to ask something of you to challenge you and your church for 6 months. First of all begin with prayer. Pray for a solid month before starting this challenge.

 

Starting when you want to (the beginning of a month is easier to keep up with it) make a decision to give 20% of the churches income to a missionary in another country. (There's no biblical basis for the ammount I gave it's just a #)  BIMI.org is a good place to start.

 

Take a count of the income over the past month. Six months after giving to a missionary consistantly, take a count again and see if you don't bring in the same or more per month and all your church bills paid.

 

Take a month if you want to and preach on stewardship, tithing, and missions. Have a missionary come in and speak one Sunday or Wednesday. If people can see where their money is being put to then giving comes easier.

 

Pay tithes, give to missions, go witnessing. Try it for 6 months and if it doesn't work then quit. I will guarntee that you cannot out give God!!

 

Malachi 3:10-11 Prove God herewith.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Matthew 7:13

 

The three here was old churches that once had the power of God in them. In one they told the Pastor to leave. He came to our church and sat on the pew. My Pastor tried to get him to preach some but he wouldn't. He would cry and cry when the Lord's Holy Ghost was moving around in people's heart. His heart was so very broke, on top of that the devil used those people to make him doubt. It took about 4 or 5 months but he came around and started working for the Lord again. Now his old church they went on for a few years kept falling away until the building was closed. They didn't move to a smaller church it was over. 

 

I visited a church that was down to 9 on Sunday morning and 7 that night. Somehow God was able to keep that church open! How on earth did they pay the bills????? The devil sent 3 young men on meth to rOB the members one service at gun point and God was still able to keep it open. When I went it was the 5th Sunday night singing, it was a good service. 

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Ukulelemike,

 

By going under I did mean shut the doors. If you've downsized to live within your means that's no prOBlem. I would like to ask something of you to challenge you and your church for 6 months. First of all begin with prayer. Pray for a solid month before starting this challenge.

 

Starting when you want to (the beginning of a month is easier to keep up with it) make a decision to give 20% of the churches income to a missionary in another country. (There's no biblical basis for the ammount I gave it's just a #)  BIMI.org is a good place to start.

 

Take a count of the income over the past month. Six months after giving to a missionary consistantly, take a count again and see if you don't bring in the same or more per month and all your church bills paid.

 

Take a month if you want to and preach on stewardship, tithing, and missions. Have a missionary come in and speak one Sunday or Wednesday. If people can see where their money is being put to then giving comes easier.

 

Pay tithes, give to missions, go witnessing. Try it for 6 months and if it doesn't work then quit. I will guarntee that you cannot out give God!!

 

Malachi 3:10-11 Prove God herewith.

I will consider your proposal.

 

Mind you, this is where we came from-it was loss of people and money with them, (as it seemed all our givers left, most just moving, a few seeking places with more kid stuff). They left until we had to cut to pay the bills. Currently, only a couple give, except my wife and I and my parents, who don't even go to the church, and then we might get between $10, to a max of maybe $80, but the 10 is more consistent, and that only during pay periods. Not consistent.  And it seems the more we challenge, the less that is given, so we just don't anymore. One who used to give stopped because we didn't do things the way he wanted. he's a nice guy but the basic, 'give to the needy and the poor and to whoever asks without regard to biblical direction on how to give." type.

 

However, perhaps its time for a new push. We will pray about it.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Sometimes I think we worry too much about 'formal training' and seminary and little pieces of paper on the wall. At one time preachers trained under their preachers and in study of the word and practice. There was little or no 'formal' training, save perhaps with other, more matre believers in more personal surroundings. Why do we think we can't do that these days? Oh my, can't be a pastor unless we understand the meanings and implications of soteriology and exegesis and all the 'isms' out there. So much man-made chopping up and compartmentalizing of the simple word of God. Yes, I agree we are to rightly divide the word of God, but not into little pieces, each with a name and category. Somehow Paul knew about rightly dividing without benefit of a Christian college.

 

I say shut 'em all down, take up either the small, church-run institutes and individual training. They are all becoming businesses, and they all so badly depend on money to the point that they have to run liie a business, which means, give the consumer what they want to get their money.

 

And don't get me started on school-designated "camps"!

 

But, that's just my opinion.

Amen  brother Mike ' being in agreement I've had these same thoughts for years, I was educated by pastors and ordained by God in the youth ministry.

keeping it simple I followed Gods will put upon my heart and he did the rest.

God bless 

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

When I came to this church they financially in bad straights.
They were not generous.
It has always been my policy to give decent gifts to visiting preacher's, AND have them stay in nice rooms while they are with us.
They supported one missionary a little bit, now we support 3 for 4 times the amount each that they did for one before. ( was 1 x $25; now 3 x $100). And wanting to do more.
When the church here had the 20th anniversary, we had a week long meeting, brought over the founding pastor and the previous pastor and an evangelist, put them all in nice apartments for the week, bought the pastors/wives a nice gift and gave them a monetary gift, gave the evangelist a substantial monetary gift - and after spending all that cash our bank balance was unchanged........

Now we have the means to pay, but they didn't before we began to be generous.
(Not meant to be a criticism Mike, just a real life example).

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I have been praying for Pastor Mikes Church and the things that have happen their in the last year and ask that all brothers and sisters will continue to pray as well, May God greatly bless your faithfulness you've had throughout these trails brother Mike.

Still praying

God bless 

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I have been praying for Pastor Mikes Church and the things that have happen their in the last year and ask that all brothers and sisters will continue to pray as well, May God greatly bless your faithfulness you've had throughout these trails brother Mike.

Still praying

God bless 

Thanks, brother-your kindness is appreciated. I have always heard it said that you never learn to really trust God until the church is in the red. Guess I'm learning some great trust lessons!

 

I know sometimes I sound like I'm complaining-I'm not. I am where the Lord put me and glad to be so. The Lord never promises us finacial or numerical success-He just calls us to be faithful where we are. And I'm certainly not perfect-there are areas where I have pulled back, where its time to get back to work again. But God is faithful in all. 

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