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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.

Salvation Confusion


Matthew24

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We really should know who is, and who isn't, saved in our assemblies.  The Bible tells us to know those that labour amongst us. 

Churches are more and more looking like the world, because the world has been invited into the Church instead of the Church going out into the world.  The unsaved are brought in with all their sinful luggage, and none in the congregation, nor in the pulpit seems to care any more. 

As you say, it is all about the numbers.  We need more "Paul's" that will write the assemblies and instruct them with the Word of the Lord to separate themselves from their wicked fellows.  We need more who will tell the assembled to "Come out from amongst them and be ye separate, saith the Lord.  And you will be sons and daughters to me and I will be a Father unto you." 

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

The neo evangelical influences are being thoroughly revealed in this thread. I recommend you folks burn those books and get away from their websites on the double quick.

30 years ago is when satan introduced competition among fundamentalists in the form of conversion numbers. Sadly, fundamental churches were exploding (and had been for 20 years) at the time with real conversions so satan used our fleshly need to win at all costs into the mix to stop the flood of revival; and we have been going down hill since.

This is when the partial gospel was introduced in these great Churches. It wasn't the Pastors who introduced the false, hellless gospel it was the good intentioned soulwinners who did once they realized their numbers will now count without bearing their fruit. The dilution has continued every since.

At the same time is when the neo evangelical movement got started and it was satan that invented it with the same watered down hellless gospel. "We invite you to begin your relationship with Jesus today" that is NOT the Gospel.

Fast forward to now when IFBs are so utterly confused over who is saved and who isn't that the isn't number is nonexistent basically.

We have forgotten what fruit that remains means and think anyone who says they are saved are saved. Your neo books say they are but the Bible says they are bastards and not sons. This country is running 1000:1 bastard to son ratio in my estimation thanks to satan and his hellless gospel.

Lets stop wondering if people who show zero interest in baptism, growth, warning their families of condemnation and feel absolutely no conviction over anything are saved. Witness to these folks because they never heard the real deal to begin with. These are not issues of growth, or discipleship or difference speeds and personalities, these are basic Bible doctrines. If the Spirit is present, the above things will follow and at a minimum the desire to grow will be present.

The old timers who refuse to pick up neo trash books are the only ones who still remember what the Bible says it appears.

 

 

Confusion on who is saved and not in the evangelical world today is seen in the fact that many so called evangelicals believe the Pope is saved. This wants me to vomit.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

It's not just evangelicals, I know of at least two IFB churches which speak well of the pope and the pastor quotes Mother Teresa in some of his sermons (in a positive way).

While there are some we should have a very good idea of whether they are saved or not, it's not our job to look at every professing Christian and declare our view as to whether we think they are saved or not. Too often we spend time on declaring those in this or that church are or aren't saved; that public figure must be or must not be saved; most in that church in the other country are ______________.....

All the while we spend far too little time tending to our own walk, our families, and those within our own church. If our churches were actual families, as Scripture calls us to be, we would know, for the most part, what's what and who's who. Then we would know who we may be able to help, who may be able to help us; and this in spiritual as well as other matters.

I've seen churches where the pastor and congregation spend most of their time condemning the other Baptist church in town all the while they themselves are falling away and falling apart due to lack of attention.

There are indeed exceedingly more secular Christians in American than born again Christians. The percentage of born again Christians is probably fairly low. Even using the best methods they could come up with to try and separate born again Christians from others, polling and survey groups have a very difficult time getting to the truth. Some still suggest as high as 35% of the population is born again. Unfortunately, many pastors and Christian authors prefer to accept that since about three-fourths of the population identifies as Christian that must mean somewhere near that percentage actually are. It's more likely around the 10% area. So, if Christ calls His people home today America won't suddenly experience massive population loss, there won't be dozens of planes falling from the skies, scores of trains and vehicles crashing. businesses and utilities failing due to massive numbers of workers suddenly missing.

We need to build up ourselves, our families, our churches. We need to take the Gospel to the lost and when someone is born again we need to take them under our wings and disciple them or get them to someone who can do so, we need to get them into our churches or another sound church.

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It's not just evangelicals, I know of at least two IFB churches which speak well of the pope and the pastor quotes Mother Teresa in some of his sermons (in a positive way).

While there are some we should have a very good idea of whether they are saved or not, it's not our job to look at every professing Christian and declare our view as to whether we think they are saved or not. Too often we spend time on declaring those in this or that church are or aren't saved; that public figure must be or must not be saved; most in that church in the other country are ______________.....

All the while we spend far too little time tending to our own walk, our families, and those within our own church. If our churches were actual families, as Scripture calls us to be, we would know, for the most part, what's what and who's who. Then we would know who we may be able to help, who may be able to help us; and this in spiritual as well as other matters.

I've seen churches where the pastor and congregation spend most of their time condemning the other Baptist church in town all the while they themselves are falling away and falling apart due to lack of attention.

There are indeed exceedingly more secular Christians in American than born again Christians. The percentage of born again Christians is probably fairly low. Even using the best methods they could come up with to try and separate born again Christians from others, polling and survey groups have a very difficult time getting to the truth. Some still suggest as high as 35% of the population is born again. Unfortunately, many pastors and Christian authors prefer to accept that since about three-fourths of the population identifies as Christian that must mean somewhere near that percentage actually are. It's more likely around the 10% area. So, if Christ calls His people home today America won't suddenly experience massive population loss, there won't be dozens of planes falling from the skies, scores of trains and vehicles crashing. businesses and utilities failing due to massive numbers of workers suddenly missing.

We need to build up ourselves, our families, our churches. We need to take the Gospel to the lost and when someone is born again we need to take them under our wings and disciple them or get them to someone who can do so, we need to get them into our churches or another sound church.

We should spend time in distinguishing who may or may not be saved so we can see if we should focus on evangelizing the particular person or fellowshipping with the person. If someone is lost, I would not want to treat them as a brother.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

 

While there are some we should have a very good idea of whether they are saved or not, it's not our job to look at every professing Christian and declare our view as to whether we think they are saved or not. Too often we spend time on declaring those in this or that church are or aren't saved; that public figure must be or must not be saved; most in that church in the other country are ______________.....

 

Thanks for the orange lesson while the subject is an apple again John. The point is to witness to these deceived people being led by the lost or short-cutting soulwinners trying to give their own increases.

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Just remember that, at the end of the day, we are not capable of truly seeing what is inside a person. Only God can do that. We can make reasonable assumptions based on Scripture, but we cannot know who really is and isn't saved. I think some people, in the attempt to discern the heart (something only God can do), end up making additional rules and restrictions (i.e. "if they are really saved they wouldn't ___") that God has not established.

(Before assumptions are made about me for this statement, I should share that I have some terribly strict ideas of what is and isn't 'correct' behavior for a Christian, so I am not saying that rules and restrictions are wrong - just that they do not the heart reveal.)

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It is true that one can put all their time and effort into fleshly pursuits and still be saved but hardly the same thing that is being discussed right now. Where your treasure is (whether time, money or effort) that is where your heart is but those passages are not discussing rejecting Jesus AFTER you got saved.

Even backslidden a Christian will still know who the real God is or they never were born again to begin with. That is the point folks. Some of you folks are interjecting an apple into an orange discussion.

For some reason some don't get it but let me clarify a little: I am not talking about sin. I am talking about repentance and believing the Gospel. If actually accomplished by the Spirit, no one repents from it back to a false religion. No matter how much we want to think so because they are confused or whatever, they are not confused folks, they are lost.

Now, nothing says they cannot be saved later so I recommend you get the matter settled for sure if you are in that boat.

I have known multiple 1000s of saved people (serving and backslidden) and have never run across this kind of silly discussion before.

 

 

I agree it is a very silly discussion. God changes those who become saved. Those who say a saved person can turn to a false religion is saying God is not powerful to keep a person in the faith, and are shortchanging God.

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I agree it is a very silly discussion. God changes those who become saved. Those who say a saved person can turn to a false religion is saying God is not powerful to keep a person in the faith, and are shortchanging God.

I don't think it's as silly as all that. Firstly, there are places where the Bible speaks of fleshly desires as akin to idol worship (Col 3:5, Eph 5:5, Matt 6:24), which begs the question why we are treating idolatry of false Gods as the sin it's impossible for a Christian to commit while, say, love of money, is something that, according to Wretched "...one can put all their time and effort into ... and still be saved."

Secondly, your statement above taken to its logical conclusion implies the doctrine of sinless perfectionism, since we could ask it about all sin: "God changes those who become saved. Those who say a saved person can [still sin] is saying God is not powerful to keep a person [from sinning], and are shortchanging God." So again, why say that about the sin of idolatry and not all sin?

Thirdly, John's made some good observations about how idolatry might work in practice in today's world that no-one has directly responded to with a 'yes, a Christian is capable of that' or 'no they're not'. Wretched keeps changing the subject so that he can accuse John of not sticking to it--his latest switcheroo is to accuse us all of reading "neo" books, of promoting easy-believism and of denying the existence of hell (seen anyone here do that?)--but actually it's John who's been sticking to the pertinent points, i.e. whether there are certain sins it's impossible for a Christian to commit. Oh yeah, and the easy-believism that's supposedly being 'refuted' here--who exactly has been a proponent of it on here, and where?

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Mat_3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Mat_4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Mar_1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Mar_6:12 And they went out, and preached that men should repent.

Luk_13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Luk_13:5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Act_2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Act_3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

Act_8:22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.

Act_17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

Act_26:20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

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I don't think it's as silly as all that. Firstly, there are places where the Bible speaks of fleshly desires as akin to idol worship (Col 3:5, Eph 5:5, Matt 6:24), which begs the question why we are treating idolatry of false Gods as the sin it's impossible for a Christian to commit while, say, love of money, is something that, according to Wretched "...one can put all their time and effort into ... and still be saved."

Secondly, your statement above taken to its logical conclusion implies the doctrine of sinless perfectionism, since we could ask it about all sin: "God changes those who become saved. Those who say a saved person can [still sin] is saying God is not powerful to keep a person [from sinning], and are shortchanging God." So again, why say that about the sin of idolatry and not all sin?

Thirdly, John's made some good observations about how idolatry might work in practice in today's world that no-one has directly responded to with a 'yes, a Christian is capable of that' or 'no they're not'. Wretched keeps changing the subject so that he can accuse John of not sticking to it--his latest switcheroo is to accuse us all of reading "neo" books, of promoting easy-believism and of denying the existence of hell (seen anyone here do that?)--but actually it's John who's been sticking to the pertinent points, i.e. whether there are certain sins it's impossible for a Christian to commit. Oh yeah, and the easy-believism that's supposedly being 'refuted' here--who exactly has been a proponent of it on here, and where?

No friend, no accusations but accurate observations. As time passes and the day approaches will there be real faith on the earth? not much.

Still though, the points John is making have no relevance to the discussion. Nowhere has sin been the issue in any of my posts or anyone else's I see but that is ok, if some don't get it now, perhaps you will sometime, no worries. Loving the world and the things in the world are not the same as confusing the things of the world as a god consciously. There is no other God but Me is the first thing you learn when saved or you didn't get saved...and you don't need discipleship classes to figure this part out...it ain't that hard folks.

I was right earlier, it is a silly discussion so carry on if so inclined, I won't

 

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By the reckoning of some it sounds as if upon salvation a person becomes perfectly knowing of Scripture, free from all sin, and forever living a life near to that of Jesus. Perhaps some experience such in their lives but for most it's a far different matter. For most, they spend time as babes in Christ, hopefully growing but yet immature in the faith. Folks mature at different rates. Some may be reaching a level of maturity in the faith in a few years, others may take several or even many more years.

Some are saved with a sound church to attend while others are not. This, of course, will effect their growth. Some can read the Word and comprehend much on their own, others can't. This, of course, will effect their growth.

Some reach a point where they believe they are on a high spiritual plain, attending a church they believer superior to most or even all others, and they avoid Christians not in their circle as much as possible. In their isolated world they miss much of the reality of everyday Christian life for thousands of their brothers/sisters in Christ; some of which they often won't even accept as such.

Some would look at the Christians today like those at Corinth as being unsaved regardless of Scripture telling us otherwise. Some would look at churches like those warned in Revelation as being unsaved regardless of the clear example of Scripture showing the patience of Christ in dealing with such and His efforts to restore such.

The fact babes and others immature in Christ can be led astray should come as no surprise. We see in Scripture, throughout history and today that such is the case. Some even backslide and may appear for a time to have turned from the faith. While some may cast such away, the Holy Ghost remains faithful, working within them to free them from their blindness and open their eyes to truth.

There is no sinless perfection in this life. A saved person is capable of committing sins just as are unsaved. A backslidden Christian is no less saved than one walking a more perfect walk.

All of this has nothing to do with those who make false professions, repeat a simplistic "sinners prayer" with a TV preacher, door knocker or off the back of a tract, then walk on as before, as if nothing has changed, because nothing has changed (other than they now may have a false sense of hope for heaven).

Contrariwise, the saved babe or immature in Christ will have shown signs of salvation before they were sidetracked, misled or backslid. The Holy Ghost works to restore such and we should work to do the same rather than to condemn.

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Wretched keeps changing the subject so that he can accuse John of not sticking to it--his latest switcheroo is to accuse us all of reading "neo" books, of promoting easy-believism and of denying the existence of hell...

No friend, no accusations but accurate observations.

Very well, you claim to 'observe' that John and others have been deny the existence of Hell on this thread. Anyone who scrolls through the two pages can see whether that's true.

Still though, the points John is making have no relevance to the discussion. Nowhere has sin been the issue in any of my posts or anyone else's

The OP was about whether one must stop sinning to be saved and then you introduced this angle on the topic:

"Saints do succumb to sin repeatedly after salvation but they will never, ever turn to different gods or beliefs after salvation."

So obviously the thread has been about sin, and still is.

I see but that is ok, if some don't get it now, perhaps you will sometime, no worries.

With condescension like that it's pretty obvious who's being silly!

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By the reckoning of some it sounds as if upon salvation a person becomes perfectly knowing of Scripture, free from all sin, and forever living a life near to that of Jesus. Perhaps some experience such in their lives but for most it's a far different matter. For most, they spend time as babes in Christ, hopefully growing but yet immature in the faith. Folks mature at different rates. Some may be reaching a level of maturity in the faith in a few years, others may take several or even many more years.

Some are saved with a sound church to attend while others are not. This, of course, will effect their growth. Some can read the Word and comprehend much on their own, others can't. This, of course, will effect their growth.

Some reach a point where they believe they are on a high spiritual plain, attending a church they believer superior to most or even all others, and they avoid Christians not in their circle as much as possible. In their isolated world they miss much of the reality of everyday Christian life for thousands of their brothers/sisters in Christ; some of which they often won't even accept as such.

Some would look at the Christians today like those at Corinth as being unsaved regardless of Scripture telling us otherwise. Some would look at churches like those warned in Revelation as being unsaved regardless of the clear example of Scripture showing the patience of Christ in dealing with such and His efforts to restore such.

The fact babes and others immature in Christ can be led astray should come as no surprise. We see in Scripture, throughout history and today that such is the case. Some even backslide and may appear for a time to have turned from the faith. While some may cast such away, the Holy Ghost remains faithful, working within them to free them from their blindness and open their eyes to truth.

There is no sinless perfection in this life. A saved person is capable of committing sins just as are unsaved. A backslidden Christian is no less saved than one walking a more perfect walk.

All of this has nothing to do with those who make false professions, repeat a simplistic "sinners prayer" with a TV preacher, door knocker or off the back of a tract, then walk on as before, as if nothing has changed, because nothing has changed (other than they now may have a false sense of hope for heaven).

Contrariwise, the saved babe or immature in Christ will have shown signs of salvation before they were sidetracked, misled or backslid. The Holy Ghost works to restore such and we should work to do the same rather than to condemn.

I understand that John, but how does that fit in with Luke 8?

5  A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.
6  And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.
7  And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.
8  And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Are only those symbolized in verse 8 saved?  

 

 

 

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I understand that John, but how does that fit in with Luke 8?

5  A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.
6  And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.
7  And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.
8  And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Are only those symbolized in verse 8 saved?  

 

 

 

That depends upon who you listen to! I've heard preachers say only those in verse 8 are saved while I've heard other preachers say some of the others were saved but then backslid, which they say verse 7 is referring to. There are various other variations too.

Even if only the verse 8 folks were saved, they can still backslide at some point in their life, ever after bearing some fruit, and then bear much more fruit after they are restored.

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Plain fact of the matter.. absolutely anyone posting on this forum, could in the next minutes, days, weeks, whatever... go and do something completely contrary to God.  

Does having the Holy Spirit inside you, mean the Holy Spirit will actually prevent you from doing something evil every time?

Sure, the Holy Spirit can take an unfaithful believer 'home'.. so they no longer hurt anyone from their sin.. but it doesn't happen every time.

Point is.. the free will we have.. means we could do any action in from this point on.

If you are going to say that won't happen.. then we would have to have no free will. 

Which comes back to why I mentioned calvinism affecting believers nowadays.

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I had someone email me concerning our church. He lives in the next town, just 30 miles away and is looking for a church. He asked about "easy believism" and "repentance". The following was my reply:

 

Hello, thanks for the e-mail.

 

I believe the best response to this would be to avoid terminology that may be left with the question of how I may be defining the terms, so…

 

The Bible declares, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Prov 16:25) and “All we like sheep are gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isa 53:6).   Regardless of how it may manifest itself (baptism, penance, church membership or involvement, good deeds, charity, hoping for the best of intentions to outweigh wrong doing, or just ignoring eternity and taking your chances), the way that seems right to man (and religion) is to manage to win brownie points with God.

 

The problem with that is that “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10)  Jesus did that which we couldn’t as evidenced by II Cor 5:21 (For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him).

 

Seeing as how the Bible declares “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph 2:8-9) and “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom 10:17); and coupling that with Jesus stating “… I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (Jn 14:6) and “And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” (Jn 5:40); it becomes quite apparent that ‘our’ goodness won’t merit eternal life.

 

So, how do I obtain this “…gift of God…” (Rom 6:23)? Jesus said “…except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Lk 13:3,5). Repent of what? Give up my sin? Name every sin, forsake it and ask forgiveness of them, one by one? I mean, I believe in God, I’m not an atheist!

 

The Devil not only believes in God but KNOWS He exist (James 2:19 “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”). We are already on a “spiritual journey” with LOTS of company “… for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:” (Mt 7:13) as we follow that “…way that seemeth right unto…” us. REPENT! “… repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 20:21), “… repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God.” (Heb 6:1). STOP, turn from the object of your trust for eternal life unto Christ. The price is paid, the gift is offered, call out to Him and throw yourself upon His mercy and grace.

 

So if I get them to pray, they are saved? I witnessed to a motel owner in NW FL named Pete. Pete was very willing to “take this Jesus” as he put it. If I had “lead Pete in the sinner’s prayer” he would not be saved. Why not? Pete was a Hindu who was going to (in his own words) “take this Jesus and add him to my other gods” (as he pointed out about a half dozen idols in the motel office).

 

But if I first show them that Jesus died and rose again and get them to pray? My wife was taught at an early age that Jesus is God, come in flesh, died for sin, was buried, rose the third day and ascended into Heaven. She even had a friend later lead her through a prayer of salvation. 6 years later she got saved. What’s the rest of the story there? She knew that Jesus was the Saviour because she was raised Roman Catholic, she prayed with her friend to get her (the friend) off her back and get the subject changed.

 

Personally, I don’t have someone “repeat after me, if you mean it with all your heart”. I will ask them to pray aloud so I can pray after they do. Many times they will say they don’t know how to pray or don’t know what to say. I inform them that there are not any “special words” and that prayer is simply talking to God. If they know their need and know what they want, tell the Lord – it’s as simple as telling me, or simpler because He can do it and I can’t. It has resulted in some of the most precious and heartfelt prayers you can hear.

 

When I got saved, neither giving up sin nor continuing in sin were in my mind – I wanted salvation. I know a man who wouldn’t get saved because he was afraid that the Lord would require him to give up Star Trek, someone must not really believed his soul was more important than this world. When I got saved, I didn’t know the Bible had 66 books or that the first book was named Genesis – but I was shown I could be reconciled to God. When I got saved I knew that I shouldn’t go diving headlong into sin, but I couldn’t have consciously repented of some of them (I knew theft was a sin but had no idea that covetousness was a sin).

 

Paul described all of this well when he said “… for I know {that ye may know that ye have eternal life} whom I have believed {believe on the Lord Jesus Christ}, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him {his soul, and eternity} against that day.{day of judgement}” (II Tim 1:12)  {italicized, underlined and bracketed additions mine}

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I had someone email me concerning our church. He lives in the next town, just 30 miles away and is looking for a church. He asked about "easy believism" and "repentance". The following was my reply:

 

Hello, thanks for the e-mail.

 

I believe the best response to this would be to avoid terminology that may be left with the question of how I may be defining the terms, so…

 

The Bible declares, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Prov 16:25) and “All we like sheep are gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isa 53:6).   Regardless of how it may manifest itself (baptism, penance, church membership or involvement, good deeds, charity, hoping for the best of intentions to outweigh wrong doing, or just ignoring eternity and taking your chances), the way that seems right to man (and religion) is to manage to win brownie points with God.

 

The problem with that is that “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10)  Jesus did that which we couldn’t as evidenced by II Cor 5:21 (For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him).

 

Seeing as how the Bible declares “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph 2:8-9) and “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom 10:17); and coupling that with Jesus stating “… I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (Jn 14:6) and “And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” (Jn 5:40); it becomes quite apparent that ‘our’ goodness won’t merit eternal life.

 

So, how do I obtain this “…gift of God…” (Rom 6:23)? Jesus said “…except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Lk 13:3,5). Repent of what? Give up my sin? Name every sin, forsake it and ask forgiveness of them, one by one? I mean, I believe in God, I’m not an atheist!

 

The Devil not only believes in God but KNOWS He exist (James 2:19 “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”). We are already on a “spiritual journey” with LOTS of company “… for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:” (Mt 7:13) as we follow that “…way that seemeth right unto…” us. REPENT! “… repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 20:21), “… repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God.” (Heb 6:1). STOP, turn from the object of your trust for eternal life unto Christ. The price is paid, the gift is offered, call out to Him and throw yourself upon His mercy and grace.

 

So if I get them to pray, they are saved? I witnessed to a motel owner in NW FL named Pete. Pete was very willing to “take this Jesus” as he put it. If I had “lead Pete in the sinner’s prayer” he would not be saved. Why not? Pete was a Hindu who was going to (in his own words) “take this Jesus and add him to my other gods” (as he pointed out about a half dozen idols in the motel office).

 

But if I first show them that Jesus died and rose again and get them to pray? My wife was taught at an early age that Jesus is God, come in flesh, died for sin, was buried, rose the third day and ascended into Heaven. She even had a friend later lead her through a prayer of salvation. 6 years later she got saved. What’s the rest of the story there? She knew that Jesus was the Saviour because she was raised Roman Catholic, she prayed with her friend to get her (the friend) off her back and get the subject changed.

 

Personally, I don’t have someone “repeat after me, if you mean it with all your heart”. I will ask them to pray aloud so I can pray after they do. Many times they will say they don’t know how to pray or don’t know what to say. I inform them that there are not any “special words” and that prayer is simply talking to God. If they know their need and know what they want, tell the Lord – it’s as simple as telling me, or simpler because He can do it and I can’t. It has resulted in some of the most precious and heartfelt prayers you can hear.

 

When I got saved, neither giving up sin nor continuing in sin were in my mind – I wanted salvation. I know a man who wouldn’t get saved because he was afraid that the Lord would require him to give up Star Trek, someone must not really believed his soul was more important than this world. When I got saved, I didn’t know the Bible had 66 books or that the first book was named Genesis – but I was shown I could be reconciled to God. When I got saved I knew that I shouldn’t go diving headlong into sin, but I couldn’t have consciously repented of some of them (I knew theft was a sin but had no idea that covetousness was a sin).

 

Paul described all of this well when he said “… for I know {that ye may know that ye have eternal life} whom I have believed {believe on the Lord Jesus Christ}, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him {his soul, and eternity} against that day.{day of judgement}” (II Tim 1:12)  {italicized, underlined and bracketed additions mine}

I hope this doesn't offend you, but i have no issue with this.

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