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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.

How many second comings?


Invicta

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  • Advanced Member

I asked earlier how many second comings there would be.  I was taught that there were two, one coming for the saints and then with the saints.  However we had a dispy preacher  a couple of years ago or so who said that Acts 1:10-11 was a coming to the Jews because the angel was speaking to Jews.   Of course the angel was speaking to Christians. When I asked him “where were the Christians at this time,” he said “In heaven.”  So which coming was this?

 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11  Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

Sometime before that another dispy who was a great friend of ours, said of Matt 25, sheep and goats that Christians weren’t there and Jews were not either as Jews were not to be numbered amongst the nations, so what coming is that?

32  And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33  And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34  Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36  Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.37  Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?38  When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39  Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.41  Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43  I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44  Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45  Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46  And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

As neither of these interpretations fit into the coming for the saints or coming with the saints, or each other that makes it four comings as I see.

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  • Advanced Member

And what event does the following event relate to?

Matt 24:37  But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38  For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39  And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
40  Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
41  Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
42  Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
43  But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
44  Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

 

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

From a dispensationalist perspective, I would say a couple things. First, like John81 said, the Second Coming is an overall end-times event and not necessarily a single action. Second, I personally do not consider the  rapture (I.e. Christ coming for the saints) as a "Second Coming" because His presence never comes to the earth. Rather, we meet him in the clouds and return with him to Heaven. His physical Second Coming and presence on earth will not happen until the end of the Tribulation when the Millennial Kingdom is established.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

That's an excellent point/question. I would still say the Rapture and subsequent tribulation. If you understand the Rapture as the beginning point of the event we call the Second Coming, it doesn't present any difficulties. What I think creates the confusion is that we throw everything that has to do with Christ's activity in the end times into one term.  Primarily, I think, what we talk about as the Second Coming is Jesus arriving on earth to institute His Millennial Kingdom, correct? If that's what we're talking about, then nothing associated with the Rapture qualifies because He never arrives or dwells again on earth in that event. Rather, He steps out of Heaven and calls us to meet Him in the air and go back to Heaven. It's a great mirror of how the ancient Jews used to conduct wedding ceremonies. On the eve of the wedding, the groom would come to the bride's house and call her from the gate. She would then meet him there at the gate and accompany him back to his home where the festivities would occur.

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OK.  It I understand you correctly, this passage refers to the rapture (I use the word even though it is not scriptural as it is the word used these days) when the saints are caught up to meet the Lord in the air.  Is that correct?

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

That's where this topic can really get muddled because there are a host of different views on the end times. For me as a pre-trib dispensationalist, the rapture (or whatever terminology you would like to use) precedes the beginning of the tribulation (by how much time exactly isn't something I'm prepared to stand on) and marks the beginning of the eschatological timeline. In this view the one and only Second Coming happens at the end of the tribulation and begins the Millennial Kingdom.

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As I understand, the rapture, so-called, is not a 'coming', as he does not come to earth, regardless of the timing. his actual coming is directly after the wrath of God falls, with the seven vials of wrath, then in rev 19, is His coming. It is the same coming as we see in Zechariah 14-in both He destroys the nations coming against Israel. The sheep and goats judgment take places after His coming, when He takes His throne, and judges those of the nations that came against Israel-not the armies, but the people who lived in those nations. They are separated according to their treatment of the people of God when they are presecuted, whether they had compassion upon the or not: those who did were brought into the kingdom bodily, (and those are they mentioned in Zechariah 14:16, who will come year to year to worship Christ in Jerusalem), while the goats who had no compassion, will be cast into Hell. This begins the millennial reign of Christ.  So only one coming, only one return.

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As I understand, the rapture, so-called, is not a 'coming', as he does not come to earth, regardless of the timing. 

Yes Mike, I know that teaching, I was taught it for years.

16  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: 17  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.

Christ will descend and we will meet him in the air, it says. I believe there is only one coming.  That is described in Acts 1.9  And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10  And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11  Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

He ascended into the clouds once, He will descend from the clouds once and we will meet Him in the air.  Then will the wrath of God be poured out in the judgment.

Your comments re sheep and goats seem some will be saved by works. I believe the sheep are Christians, the goats are professors but not saved. (What some call worldly Christians)

 

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

16  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: 17  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.

Christ will descend and we will meet him in the air, it says. I believe there is only one coming.  That is described in Acts 1.9  And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10  And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11  Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

He ascended into the clouds once, He will descend from the clouds once and we will meet Him in the air.  Then will the wrath of God be poured out in the judgment.

I think you're conflating two passages that don't necessarily reference the same thing. Your first reference out of 1 Thess 4 specifically says that He will descend from Heaven to the clouds (not the earth) where we will meet him. He never steps foot on the earth in that event. Acts 1:9 says He will descend from the clouds to the earth the same way that he went up. You're right that He ascended to the clouds once and that He will descend from them once, but for the rapture He does not descend from the clouds, but rather descends to them. These two passages are actually make my point more clearly than I did earlier.

 

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I think you're conflating two passages that don't necessarily reference the same thing. Your first reference out of 1 Thess 4 specifically says that He will descend from Heaven to the clouds (not the earth) where we will meet him. He never steps foot on the earth in that event. Acts 1:9 says He will descend from the clouds to the earth the same way that he went up. You're right that He ascended to the clouds once and that He will descend from them once, but for the rapture He does not descend from the clouds, but rather descends to them. These two passages are actually make my point more clearly than I did earlier.

 

1 Thess does emphatically not say that He will not to return to earth.  Read it, then read it again, then read it again.

1 Thess 4:16  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: 17  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.

 

It says he will descend, it doesn't say he will ascend again.  That is a teaching invented by J N Darby. Read what it says.

 

David

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Yes Mike, I know that teaching, I was taught it for years.

16  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: 17  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.

Christ will descend and we will meet him in the air, it says. I believe there is only one coming.  That is described in Acts 1.9  And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10  And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11  Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

He ascended into the clouds once, He will descend from the clouds once and we will meet Him in the air.  Then will the wrath of God be poured out in the judgment.

Your comments re sheep and goats seem some will be saved by works. I believe the sheep are Christians, the goats are professors but not saved. (What some call worldly Christians)

 

No, they won't be saved by their works, they will go into the kingdom, in the flesh, because, having shown mercy, they will receive mercy. But being in the flesh tells me they will still need to receive Jesus as Saviour. And before you say, how can it be they will reject when they SEE Him?, I say, according to scripture, during the millennial reign, many will see Him and yet reject Him, and instead will follow Satan when he is freed.

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No, they won't be saved by their works, they will go into the kingdom, in the flesh, because, having shown mercy, they will receive mercy. But being in the flesh tells me they will still need to receive Jesus as Saviour. And before you say, how can it be they will reject when they SEE Him?, I say, according to scripture, during the millennial reign, many will see Him and yet reject Him, and instead will follow Satan when he is freed.

Hm

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

1 Thess does emphatically not say that He will not to return to earth.  Read it, then read it again, then read it again.

1 Thess 4:16  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: 17  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.

 

It says he will descend, it doesn't say he will ascend again.  That is a teaching invented by J N Darby. Read what it says.

 

David

I've never read Darby, so I can't really comment on what he does/doesn't teach. I'm just taking the passage for what it says. I'll give you that it does not specifically say that there is an ascent back to heaven, but it is certainly not excluded as a possibility. What IS excluded as a possibility (using your own logic of non-mention) is His feet touching the earth since we meet Him in the clouds/air. Therefore, we either remain there in the clouds forever or we will return to heaven for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Rev 19:7-9), which specifically takes places in heaven, and then join Him for the Second Coming (Rev 19:11-15).

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