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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.

Jehovah's Witness


Potatochip
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it was good of you to warn them away from dangerous locations, and has nothing to do with chauvinism.... except in this case, you're behaving that way. The comments on their looks and your play on the word Mormon are downright rude. I think the Bible has something to say about that too...

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The last time I dealt with a JW, it was an older couple, friends of my wife, who, before she was saved, and some afterwards, she had done a Bible study with. Of course, it didn't take her long, even as a new believer, to figure them out, but she continued hoping to change them. They didn't change.
 

So one day they come to the farm-both quite old, his voice trembles, and I was kind and respectful to them. primarily for that reason. But when he began to speak of things I know are incorrect, I gently disagreed and showed scripture to the contrary. And he got mad, raised his voice, wouldn't hear it, and after a couple minutes they excused themselves and left. Never came back. I think his wife has since passed away and he has never been back. 

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Mike, if these two people were not locals, I may know who they were. I know of a JW couple who used to be from the Fall River- MacArthur area and were very well traveled in their door knocking ministry.. They have since relocated to my area, he is an Elder in the JW organization.

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  Not long ago, I went to the court house in Ironton, OH for some auto title work, & the JWs had a little stand on a busy corner near the court house, outta the way of pedestrian traffic, of course. Since it wasn't a busy corner at that time, I asked the man & woman there whom they say Jesus is. They looked at each other, & the man said, "He's the archangel Michael".  I replied, "WRONG!" & took a Bible from my pocket to show them there Scriptures:

Jude 1:9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

 

  I said to them, "So, you see, not even Michael badmouthed Satan. But see what JESUS said:"

 

John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

 

"  JESUS didn't hesitate to badmouth Satan, because He IS the Lord, but Michael dared not do so ! Think about it ! "

  They had no reply.

  I don't know if that sank into those people or not, but I tried. Perhaps the HOLY SPIRIT made the seed grow. I haven't seen either of those people since then.

Edited by robycop3
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On 12/23/2019 at 2:04 PM, Salyan said:

it was good of you to warn them away from dangerous locations, and has nothing to do with chauvinism.... except in this case, you're behaving that way. The comments on their looks and your play on the word Mormon are downright rude. I think the Bible has something to say about that too...

  I was only telling the truth. In this world, "attractive" people get more respect & attention than those who are not-so-attractive. And I have absolutely NO respect for the LDS  cult, nor for the SDA cult. They're false religions leading people to condemnation.

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8 hours ago, robycop3 said:

  I was only telling the truth. In this world, "attractive" people get more respect & attention than those who are not-so-attractive. And I have absolutely NO respect for the LDS  cult, nor for the SDA cult. They're false religions leading people to condemnation.

If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

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On 2/5/2020 at 2:24 AM, robycop3 said:

JESUS didn't hesitate to badmouth Satan, because He IS the Lord, but Michael dared not do so ! Think about it ! "

  They had no reply.

  I don't know if that sank into those people or not, but I tried. Perhaps the HOLY SPIRIT made the seed grow. I haven't seen either of those people since then.

There is a difference in telling the truth in boldness and being sarcastic/rude. Jesus was never the latter.

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5 hours ago, robycop3 said:

Matthew 23 (Most of the chapter)

Matthew 3:7

Matthew 12:34

I'm not trying to be dumb here, but can you please break the verses down for me where Jesus was sarcastic/rude to others? I want to put some thought into this. Or maybe you need to define what your definition of sarcasm and rude for us, because I cant see where those verses are sarcastic/rude according to the dictionaries definition.

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1 hour ago, PastorMatt said:

I'm not trying to be dumb here, but can you please break the verses down for me where Jesus was sarcastic/rude to others? I want to put some thought into this. Or maybe you need to define what your definition of sarcasm and rude for us, because I cant see where those verses are sarcastic/rude according to the dictionaries definition.

That's probably because they are not rude/sarcastic BroMatt. Jesus was firm in His denunciation of the Scribes and Pharisees and their legalistic doctrines, as well as their rejection of Him.

But then again, I am not Robycop, so I should probably bow out and let him explain if he can.

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  In Matt. 23, Jesus really blasted the scribes & Pharisees. In Vs. 13, 14, & 15,  He called them hypocrites, pretty strong language in that context And, in Vs. 17 & 19, He called them FOOLS. Most of that chapter is one big verbal reaming of the scribes & Pharisees by Jesus.

  In Matt. 12:25-37, Jesus again verbally dresses down a group of Pharisees, calling them a generation of vipers, among other things.

  Jesus didn't hold back when He denounced them.  I believe He had a powerful speaking voice,  but, of course, we don't know what inflections He mighta used, but He certainly got His message out ! I don't believe He was a bit polite to those men !

(I goofed with Matt. 3:7. That was John The Baptist who called the local Pharisees a generation of vipers.)

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Thank you for you reply. I think this is more of a cultural definition than anything else. What one see as bold another may see as sarcastic/rude/inappropriate. However, I see Jesus in those verses being bold and to the point, but I don't see him making fun of them. After all...It was it's love that brought Him here for them. 

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  • 1 month later...
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On 3/12/2017 at 5:41 AM, Alan said:

Potatochip is correct.

The J.W.s' tend to be polite and try to deliberately to attract folks who have a professed Christian, or religious, background, who are not grounded in the doctrines of the faith. The J'W's normally do not go after saints who are grounded in the faith. They try and attract weak grounded saints, saints who are disgruntled with the church they are attending, or a lot of folks who are only professing Christians.

William J. Schnell was in the Jehovah's Witnesses' for over thirty years and worked himself up to the upper echelon's of the organization. After William Schnell left the J.W.'s, in 1954, he wrote a book, "Thirty Years  A Watchtower Slave." In the book, Schnell says this, "The Watch Tower leadership sensed that within the midst of Christendom were many millions of professing Chrstians who were not well grounded in the "truths one delivered to the saints," and who would be rather easily pried loose from the churches and led into a new and revitalized Watch Tower Organization. The Society calculated, and that rightly, that this lack of proper knowledge of God and the widespread acceptance of half-truths in Christendom, would yield vast masses of men and women, if the whole matter were wisely attacked, the attack sustained, and the results contained, and then reused in an overwidening circle."  (Thirty Years A Watchtower Slave," Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan,1957page 19). 

The main source of potential converts for the J.W.'s are doctrinaly weak professing Christians.

Jim Alaska is correct. We meet J.W's all the time while passing out tracts. They will not talk with us much as they want to spend their time and effort on weak professing Christians or those who are disgruntled with a church. The J.W.s will with a very polite smile, once they know we know what we are talkng about, refuse the tract, and walk away. The J.W.s know that for every grounded in the word saint there are multitudes ungrounded.

 

Think I heard or read somewhere that they claim a bulk of their converts were at one time professing Baptists!

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  • 1 month later...

   Recently, I received some news that was both sad and good. There was a married couple who were JWs  who worked holidays for us on the abbulance I worked in while I was laid off from the steel mill.

  Recently, the lady died, & in her obit there was a pic of them standing in fronta a Christmas tree. And I saw where her service would be conducted by a BAPTIST pastor. While I hadn't seen them for several years, as they'd moved from the area, it appears they'd left the JW cult ! PRAISE GOD, that those people had abandoned that false religion !

Edited by robycop3
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