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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.

Children And The Rapture


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While talking to a brother the other day he asked my opinion of what happens to any children when the Rapture comes. He has very young children. Of course he was alluding to the idea that children that are considered “under the age of accountability” are somehow immune to judgment.

 

I gave him my reasoning on the subject, but don’t think he was totally convinced. I thought this would be a good subject for discussion on this forum. So I am throwing this out for other peoples ideas on this subject. I know what I believe on it and thought it would be an interesting subject for discussion.

 

So basically the question is what happens to any children when the Rapture comes, or if they die before a certain age.

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Genesis 8:21
And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.

 

This verse tells me that conscious and purposeful sin in the heart doesn't start until a person is "a youth". No specific age given...just "youth"; which means, a young person.

 

I believe that any child who hasn't reached the point of knowing that they are consciously and purposely sinning...will go to heaven if they die or the rapture occurs.

 

It's hard for me to put that in words that can't be picked apart... :nuts: ...so I hope I at least got the point across.

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King David was certain his son was waiting for him with the Lord. Anyone who pulls scripture out of context and gleefully twists it to proclaim with self righteous piety that God sends infants to hell has never met my Savior, has never personally experienced His love and has never loved children of their own.

 

There you go, Jim. You seem like a good, gentle Godly man, and I'm pretty sure you and I agree on this subject, so I just wanted to help you and your thread by throwing gasoline on the fire :boxing: .

 

I'm feelin' kinda frisky tonight. Must be Momma's homemade, country fried steak.

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Scripture doesn't directly say so we can only speculate.

 

Is everyone in heaven (or hell) going to be the age they were when they died (or were raptured) for all eternity?

 

Some use the idea that children get an automatic pass to heaven if they die young or if the rapture comes as reasoning for why it's no big deal witnessing to children. (yes, there are many prOBlems with that outside the immediate context)

 

Some have actually killed their own children believing they were making sure they went to heaven.

 

Then again, many (even Christians) believe if their children die they become angels.

 

King David may have been referring to seeing his son in heaven, or he may have been referring to the fact he would one day follow him in death. I've heard good sermons preached on both these.

 

What about children who would reach whatever their age of accountability is during the tribulation? Why would they be raptured?

 

Does the idea children will be raptured present an argument that there is more than one way to heaven?

 

If children four and five years old are getting saved, and sometimes younger, does that mean only those 2 and younger will be raptured or go to heaven upon death?

 

There are many different questions but for the most part, Scripture is silent on the matter.

 

I'm content to trust God with the children and eventual eternal destiny without knowing any details.

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Since Jesus Himself said centuries after David's death that Lazarus died and was carried to Abraham's bosom, it is my belief that David could not have been talking about Heaven when he said "I shall go to see him." 

Christ had not yet died and decended into the Earth to set the captives free from the chains of death.  David could only have been speaking of death when he spoke of going to see his son.

As to where the children go?  I believe some perish, and some don't.

Psalms 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.

Some are identified as "wicked" as soon as they are born. 

Something to think about.

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I believe that most of us would agree that the central passage of God's own Holy Word concerning the doctrine of the rapture would be 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 -

 

"But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words."

 

This portion of God's Word clearly indicates that the resurrection of the rapture will occur for those who are dead "in Christ."  As such, the contextual flow of thought in this portion of God's Word also seems to indicate that the rapture will be experienced by those "in Christ" who are yet alive and remaining at that time.

 

So then I must ask -- Is it Biblically accurate to declare that children first enter this world already "in Christ," and that they remain so until some point of spiritual understanding (commonly referenced as the age or moment of accountability) wherein they become accountable before God for their sinfully and selfishly rebellious character and conduct and become condemned therein under God's all-holy wrath?

 

If the answer to the above question is given as "yes," then I would ask a further question -- Is it Biblically accurate to declare that all children begin with a spiritual possession of "in Christness," that they then lose their "in Christness" at the moment of their spiritual accountability, and that they must then be saved through heart-faith in Christ in order to return unto a spiritual condition of "in Christness"?

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First, I admit that this is a hard topic; I see and understand both sides. I also agree that scripture is silent as to a definite answer.

 

I see and understand SFIC's view (though I believe the baby and David went to Abraham's bosom...not heaven). As SFIC pointed out, the Bible does say "the wicked are estranged from the womb..."

 

Yet, the Bible also says...

 

Deuteronomy 1:39
Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it.

 

The children had no knowledge of good and evil; therefore, they weren't held accountable for the sin that caused those (who came out of Egypt) to die in the wilderness. It was "unbelief" that caused them not to enter the promised land. So, the children weren't guilty of not believing God...they didn't know to do good (believe) or evil (unbelief).

 

As to Bro. Scott's question...though scripture is silent...I do believe that children are kept safe in Christ until they have "knowledge between good and evil". I'm reminded of Christ's words...

 

Matthew 18:10-14

10   Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.
11   For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
12   How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?
13   And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.
14   Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

 

This entire set of verses is about salvation, and I think all of us have prOBably used the 100 sheep example at some point...the man leaves the 99 sheep who are safe (saved), and searches for the one lost sheep (unsaved).  These "salvation verses" are directly linked and nestled in between two verses dealing with "little ones"...and Christ emphasizes that just as it is with the man finding his lost sheep (salvation)...EVEN SO...it's not God's will that a little one should perish.

 

Now, before I make enemies...I will now humbly bow out of this thread also... :nuts:

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This is going to be a tough one on me, having lost two children, one shortly after birth (a matter of days) and one as a toddler.  Emotionally I have a strong inclination and hope that they are indeed waiting for me in heaven, but I must admit this is a thorny issue with no answer clear enough for me to be dogmatic in my answer.  I will watch this thread carefully and do a lot of study.  I am comforted so far in the absence of any scripture that definitely says they are not in heaven, but we do have scriptures that seem to indicate they are.  

 

Bro. Garry

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"What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died."  Romans 7:7-9
 
What is Paul saying here, that without the law he was alive, but once the commandment came, sin revived and he died? Sin revivied?  I believe the key is here.
 
Paul was born to Juaism, circumcised the 8th day according to the law. How could he have been without the law? Well, I take this to mean that, before he understood the law, the consequence,  or if you will, before he understood sin, right and wrong, that sin was not imputed to him-sin was present, but dead and powerless to kill him. When the commandment came, with understanding, THEN sin revivied, and was imputed to him, and he spiritually died.
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First, I admit that this is a hard topic; I see and understand both sides. I also agree that scripture is silent as to a definite answer.

I see and understand SFIC's view (though I believe the baby and David went to Abraham's bosom...not heaven). As SFIC pointed out, the Bible does say "the wicked are estranged from the womb..."

Yet, the Bible also says...

Deuteronomy 1:39
Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it.

The children had no knowledge of good and evil; therefore, they weren't held accountable for the sin that caused those (who came out of Egypt) to die in the wilderness. It was "unbelief" that caused them not to enter the promised land. So, the children weren't guilty of not believing God...they didn't know to do good (believe) or evil (unbelief).

As to Bro. Scott's question...though scripture is silent...I do believe that children are kept safe in Christ until they have "knowledge between good and evil". I'm reminded of Christ's words...

Matthew 18:10-14
10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.
11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?
13 And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.
14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

This entire set of verses is about salvation, and I think all of us have prOBably used the 100 sheep example at some point...the man leaves the 99 sheep who are safe (saved), and searches for the one lost sheep (unsaved). These "salvation verses" are directly linked and nestled in between two verses dealing with "little ones"...and Christ emphasizes that just as it is with the man finding his lost sheep (salvation)...EVEN SO...it's not God's will that a little one should perish.

Now, before I make enemies...I will now humbly bow out of this thread also... :nuts:

Where does the Bible say that the 99 are safe?
They are in the wilderness, just like the lost one.
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Where does the Bible say that the 99 are safe?
They are in the wilderness, just like the lost one.

No, this would be speaking of kept sheep, as in a flock with a shepherd. Being such myself, and knowing what it is like to have one go astray while the others didn't, means that the 99 remained where they belonged, in the fold. The sheep are counted at the beginning and end of the day, as they go into and out of the fold. If in the evening, one was found missing the othes remained in the fold, safely, usually with the undershepherd, while the shepherd went to find the lost sheep. 

 

I have also had ALL my sheep go missing, save for one that stayed, (she was lame). So been on both sides. But the fact remained that the one(s) who don't stray are not left in the wilderness, but in the fold.In safety.

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Now, before I make enemies...I will now humbly bow out of this thread also... :nuts:

 

 

Where does the Bible say that the 99 are safe?
They are in the wilderness, just like the lost one.

 

I have bowed out of this thread, but since you quoted me and asked a question, I will answer. The Bible doesn't say they are safe. I'm not a shepherd, but I think the context of the story tells us they're safe. Would a shepherd (in Jesus' day) leave all of his other sheep unguarded while going to look for one sheep that was lost? That's a real question that I'm asking. Would a shepherd risk losing more of his flock by leaving them alone while he searches for one lost sheep? I don't know personally, but I don't think he would. I believe he would have left them safe while searching for the one which was lost.

 

While it is true that the Bible does say that it is God's will that no little one should perish. We also know it is equally true that God is not willing that any human perish as 2 Peter 3:9 states.

But though it is not God's will, many do perish.

 

Brother, I actually thought of that verse while I was typing the aforementioned scriptures. The only thing that I can respond with is that the verse in 2 Peter 3:9 also says that he's not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. Jesus only said that it's not God's will that one of the little ones should perish. He didn't say anything about the little ones should also come to repentance.

 

Just my OBservation.

 

Okay...I'm bowing out...again.  :nuts:

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How did you just insert Jesus as being the shepherd in this?  Talk about twisting scripture.  It doesn't even make sense if you make the shepherd, God.  In fact, if you make the shepherd God, you could be insinuating that one could "lose their salvation" (God losing one of his own) and needing to be recovered (saved again) and safe. 

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That's what the freewill Baptist teach. They have a works + grace equals salvation. 

 

Dr. Ken Blue teaches the Jewish Church has to work for their salvation but the Gentile Church has grace. He teaches two Churches. (THE WARNING TO WATCH,  TALENTS FOR INVESTMENT, AND THE JUDGMENT OF GENTILE NATIONS #52)

 

1 Corinthians 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. In another thread when we were talking about this, AV said its possible two lost people produce unclean children. I thought that was very interesting and I had never considered it before. 

 

Personally, I want Jesus to take all the children of the world in His rapture, so I'm not a good judge on this topic.

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Hosea 13:16 (KJV) 16 Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up.

Why has God decreed that infants were going to be dashed to pieces? Because of the wickedness of their parents? No. Because God had previously decreed in Deuteronomy that the children would not die for the sins of their fathers. Each would die for their own sins.

In GEnesis 1, we learn an important truth, that kind begets kind. Thus, wicked parents will produce wicked children.

Psalms 58:3 (KJV) 3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.

The infants of Samaria were to be killed. Not because of their parents wickedness, but because of their own.

It is my belief that some are born wicked, some not. Why is this? 1 Corinthians 7:14 may hold that answer.

1 Corinthians 7:14 (KJV) 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

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Sorry, but it is a fact that children do suffer consequences from their parents' sins. And that is what that passage is talking about...as we've discussed at length before.

 

Abortions are not because the child sinned...

That little boy whose parents starved him to death recently had not done wrong...he died because of his parents' actions - sins...

David's son with Bathsheeba did not die because of sin he committed - we are told very clearly that he died due to David's sins...

Parents who are spendthrifts cause their children to live in poverty...

Women who smoke while pregnant oftimes cause deformity in the child...

Through no fault or sin of the child.  Consequence of sin affect people all around us, not just us.  

And on and on.

 

Hosea 13:16 starts out with what will happen to Syria: they will become desolate. Then states why: they rebelled against God.  And then goes into further description, in the same manner so much of scripture uses: they'll fall by their own swords, their children will be killed, their pregnant women ripped up.  Not because of the children's sin.  Because, just as scripture very clearly stated in that verse: "...she hath rebelled against her God..."  

 

Children are not free from the consequences of their parents' sins.  It's actually too bad they aren't.  Millions of children around the world might live better lives if they were.

 

 

The usage of 1 Cor. 7:14 in this thread certainly fits into Covenant Theology beliefs...when it's really teaching not to divorce an unbelieving spouseShame and disgrace comes upon the child of a divorce.  I realize that there are so many divorces today that it doesn't seem to be so, but it actually is very true. Even as an adult who has passed the half century mark, there is still shame deep down over the fact that I come from a broken home...and none of  it was my fault. But the shame is still there.  Sin brings consequences, and children do bear the consequences of their parents' sin...this verse even teaches that. 

 

David said, "As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness." Psalm 17:15

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever."

 

David OBviously knew more about the afterlife than many Christians give him credit.  He knew where he was going.  And he knew he was going to see his child again.  The child that was the result of heinous sin on his part. 

 

David sought God's mercy for the life of his child, the one he knew was going to die because of his sin (very clearly in scripture we are told it was David's fault: "Howbeit, because by this deed thou has given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also [also being added because it was additional reaping of David's sin] that is born unto thee shall surely die.")

 

David fasted and prayed. And lay upon the earth.  His servants were worried about him. After 7 days, the baby died.  And his servants were concerned about telling him, because of the way David was already grieving.  We all know the story.  How, when David perceived that the child was dead, he rose up, cleaned up, worshiped the Lord, and ate.  His answer to the wondering servants: "I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me."  

 

Too many people try to say that David was simply talking about the fact that he would one day die as well.  But David knew full well that there is an afterlife.  And he knew he'd see his child again.  Just as he knew he would see God's face.

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It seems like just about anyone who is going to post to this subject has done so, so I guess I’ll stick my neck out and post my thoughts on this subject. I don’t post this lightly.

 

As others in this thread have noted, this is a very hard subject to speak to. We all have a soft spot in our heart for children, especially our own. This has the capacity to be a heart breaking issue for us. But the truth of our God must stand above all else.

 

I see nothing in Scripture that would cause me to think that there is an “age of accountability,” before which a child would go to heaven without being saved as some believe.

 

We have all been born with the sin nature of our father Adam. This is before we have even had opportunity to sin willingly. So, while the idea of an age of accountability (if there were such a thing) might apply to sinning willfully, it could never account for the sin nature we inherited from Adam. Therefore we are condemned at the moment of birth.

1Co 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

 

The text shown below my Scripture references reflect my reasoning on the issue we are discussing. While the Scripture cannot be contested, my reasoning may not be without flaw.

 

Joh 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

There is no other provision for entrance into the Kingdom of God other than being born again. This would seem to be all inclusive, regardless of age.

 

 

Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

 

We are born into this world with a death sentence already passed. Once a person is condemned his only hope is a pardon from the judge. If there is no pardon, sentence must be carried out. Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: And again, this would seem to be regardless of age.

 

1Co 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

 

If flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, then there must be a spiritual re-birth to be able to enter. Even in the Rapture the scripture says that we shall not all die, but we shall all be “changed.” This change is when we receive our glorified bodies. This body is not Raptured in its natural state, but is changed in a moment for the saved.

 

1Co 15:51  Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

 

The word “must” in ver. 53 is an imperative, it is not optional.

 

Mt 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

 

How is it possible for our righteousness to exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees when we have none to begin with? For the Scripture says: Isa 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. I take the word “all” to be all inclusive, regardless of age.

 

Ro 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

 29 ¶ For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

 

The words “called, justified and glorified” are all in the future tense. In God’s eyes it is a done deal. I’ll speak to this predestination issue, as it relates to young children in a moment.

 

Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

 

I am aware that some may get off track here and think immediately of Calvinistic teaching. But that is not what I want to bring out here. Please understand that this is simply my finite way of trying to reason out God’s purposes.

 

My reasoning here is this: If God, being all knowing is able to chose and predestinate according to His foreknowledge; it would stand to reason to me that He would know who is going to believe. Having said that I would like to propose that perhaps any child that is going to be saved at some time in his life, God knows about and is able to keep him safe until that time. But conversely if that child will never believe in his lifetime, he will be damned at death, so what is the difference in his final outcome other than a longer life?

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