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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.

Cuba


Potatochip

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Now that we have established diplomatic relations.  I am thinking about hoping a plane.  Going down there and preaching.  I may not do it this summer.  However I am seriously considering it. Just little ole me and maybe I can get some of my compadres to go with me.   Any input, advice?

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Potatochip,

About 10 years ago, I was in a MIssions Conference with an independent Baptist missionary who went to Cuba through Canada. The Canadian government does has ties with Cuba and some Canadian churches already have short mission trips to Cuba. I forgot the independent Baptist missionaires name; but I found this mission group in Canada that has missiionary endeavors in Cuba. I do not the the mission group, so, at this time I cannot receommend them, but maybe you can find out more than I can.

http://www.cbmin.org/where-we-serve/cuba/

If you find out any helpful information for us please let us know.

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Potatochip,

About 10 years ago, I was in a MIssions Conference with an independent Baptist missionary who went to Cuba through Canada. The Canadian government does has ties with Cuba and some Canadian churches already have short mission trips to Cuba. I forgot the independent Baptist missionaires name; but I found this mission group in Canada that has missiionary endeavors in Cuba. I do not the the mission group, so, at this time I cannot receommend them, but maybe you can find out more than I can.

http://www.cbmin.org/where-we-serve/cuba/

If you find out any helpful information for us please let us know.

Thank you very much Alan.  That will help.  I am trying to get an idea of the do's and dont's.  I talked it over with some friends they like the idea and would possibly like to go also.  Details like how we get tracts there etc.  Thats kind of what I am looking for.  

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I'd find out some info before you go. We support a missionary to Cuba, and he still asks that we not post any information connecting them to that work online.  I've also met a Cuban pastor who ended up fleeing the country to save his son's life. Cuban young people are required to serve in the military, and their captains persecute the young Christians. This man's son was a special target because of his father's prominence, and also had some medical issues that pretty much guaranteed he would not survive training (especially when coupled with the 'special' treatment he could expect). Because of his father's position, the army refused to grant the medical exception that they normally would. Persecution is still strong down there, and you do not want to either put yourself in a bad position or cause harm to other believers there by your actions (by way of government reprisals). If you're interested, PM me and I'll send you the missionary's name.

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Well I am being careful.  The material handed out has to be approved by the government first so.  I would have to look and find what is approved.  Then I would guess unless I run into someone that doesn't know whats approved I should be ok.  Cuba will be establishing trade of course with the US.  Which might complicate things for them as far as incidents I would guess.  I figure if I am in Havana I might have an easier time of it I don't know.  So I figure big ticket items what goes along with trade.  Consumer items seem to be first in Coke, airlines etc so with America and what seems to be what Cuba needs this could all be part of a sea change in Cuba.  I can see they have it seems fairly tight control over whats in print.  Then again you don't really know.  Rumors sometimes belay facts.  People tell me I need a machine gun to go into the city.  I don't know what they are talking about lol. I've never had a problem in 15 years.  Then again I don't purposely go looking for trouble.  I don't test things a cop says move on I move on which rarely happens.  I like to get the gospel out to as many people as I can so making Custer's last stand doesn't mean all that much to me. So to speak.  So I have found out whats on the streets and what people say that don't go there are two different things.  There is always the exceptional story and people pay attention to exceptional stories.  

I don't speak spanish so mostly it will be tracts and literature has to be government approved.  Thats what I have found out so far. 

It's interesting in the Bible the Hebrews wanted a King.  God gave them all the reasons for not having a King in that instance.  They said no we want one. God let them have what they wanted.  Of course with Gentiles God used that to establish rule furthermore the Hebrews were Gods people.  Of course were a Holy Nation.  People get the government they want.  Gods lets in some ways.  I can't help but think that God would not have a problem with us bringing the Gospel to Cuba.  It's interesting tourism at this point isn't allowed in Cuba.  But people of religious interest are.  Government is government to me be it in China, Russia, Cuba etc.  They establish order in a country again they get the government they want possibly.  That's what a government does keep chao's off the streets.  I can respect that in all those nations given what Paul wrote about government being right in the middle of Roman rule at that time. We are supposed to be strangers here anyway.  We are part of a different Nation with a much higher standard than the world.  Given the fact of what was written in the NT of how we are to respect and respect the laws and ordinance of any country.  Honor those in authority.  Honor all men.  Doing otherwise I can agree with you puts people in jeopardy.  Paul's mission was the gospel not to run the Roman government.  It's good when Christians aren't troublemakers or Insulting people.   Nosing into everything trying to obey the rules and ordinances in addition to that.  I leave nosing into everyone's business and every nations business  to the Pope and the Catholic church they do a good job of it with the harlots who have to work their way to Heaven and the people that misuse the Word of God to join in with them.  Me.  I want what Jesus wanted preaching the Gospel to every creature. 

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  • 1 month later...
  • Advanced Member

My nephew was doing christian work in Mauritania some years ago.  Any christian work was illegal.  He had to be careful but shared the gospel with the locals.  One man told the police chief that my nephew had given him a copy of the gospels in Spain. The police chief said the gospels were a Muslim documents and he would like a copy.

Then came the first Gulf War.  People were in the streets shouting "Death to the Americans, death to the English."  They were escorted to the airport by French troops.  As they were leaving, their neighbours said "Why do you need troops to escort you, we are peaceful people," But nephew said "You were chanting 'Death to the Americans, death to the English.' "  They said "we didn't mean you."

I may have posted this before, if so, sorry.

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