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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.

If you have one practical tip you can share


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Aside from spiritual advice, counsel, etc such as "have faith", etc... what is one practical tip you would like to share with those that are new to door-to-door evangelism? 

I'll compile the list here as well if I am able to edit, I'll start:

  1. Know your community's culture. Example: Words such as "omnipresence" may be understood in one community but not in other communities. 
  2. Pay attention to people's verbal/non-verbal cues. If they don't want to talk, and are just being polite, give them an out and try to leave something for them to read.
  3. As you're able...as the respondent permits...and as time permits...give them the actual gospel. Don't side-step the gospel for a popular modern-day derivative or anything less. They need to know and understand that the Lord Jesus Christ died for their sins according to the scriptures (and what that entails). They need to know and understand that he was buried (and what that entails), They need to know and understand that he rose from from the dead on the third day according to the scriptures (and what that entails). 1 Corinthian 15
  4. Be persistent and not be discouraged.
  5. Complete the process. Too often we go "soul-winning" and then we leave these new converts on their own.  When you do see fruit, be sure to follow up with discipleship.  If you don't teach them somebody else will, and most likely they won't teach them the truth.
  6. Find what is effective in your area and do it.
  7. Be wise. There are some houses you should never leave the front porch and enter into, even if invited. Never step into a trap and risk ruining your testimony and that of the Lord. People will gleefully look for an opportunity to destroy a reputation, even if nothing wrong occurs. If a person can't think of any on their own, they probably should consider serving in another capacity. Be wise and over-protective of any ladies out visiting as well.
  8. Be appropriate - in your dress and in your words; not just the words you use to present the gospel, but in the words you use to introduce yourself and any "small talk." No slang usages of God's name (that's a real biggie in this area - even the Christians use it like crazy...drives me crazy!), don't try to be "cool" or "with-it".
  9. Realize that you are not door knocking to "get results" but that you are going in order to give the person an opportunity to hear the Gospel in obedience to the Great Commission. Plant and water whatever ground you find and in due time God will give the increase and build His church.
Edited by BaptistJonStewart
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3. As you're able...as the respondent permits...and as time permits...give them the actual gospel. Don't side-step the gospel for a popular modern-day derivative or anything less. They need to know and understand that the Lord Jesus Christ died for their sins according to the scriptures (and what that entails). They need to know and understand that he was buried (and what that entails), They need to know and understand that he rose from from the dead on the third day according to the scriptures (and what that entails). 1 Corinthian 15

Don't give them a quick ABC (A - admit that you're a sinner, B - believe that Jesus is the Christ, and C - confess your sins)...that's not the gospel. Give them the actual-biblical gospel, allow the Holy Spirit to work in their heart and life, and leave the results to him after you've done what you can do.

Don't seek numbers or personal acknowledgement for how great of a soul-winner you are...work on one individual...work on one person. It's not a race to see who's the greatest soulwinner. It's not a race to see who can have the most numbers. It's about keeping a living, breathing, lost soul out of hell when they die. They are a person...a soul...someone for whom Christ died. They're not a number.

Luke 15:7  I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

 

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4 hours ago, No Nicolaitans said:

3. As you're able...as the respondent permits...and as time permits...give them the actual gospel. Don't side-step the gospel for a popular modern-day derivative or anything less. They need to know and understand that the Lord Jesus Christ died for their sins according to the scriptures (and what that entails). They need to know and understand that he was buried (and what that entails), They need to know and understand that he rose from from the dead on the third day according to the scriptures (and what that entails). 1 Corinthian 15

Don't give them a quick ABC (A - admit that you're a sinner, B - believe that Jesus is the Christ, and C - confess your sins)...that's not the gospel. Give them the actual-biblical gospel, allow the Holy Spirit to work in their heart and life, and leave the results to him after you've done what you can do.

Don't seek numbers or personal acknowledgement for how great of a soul-winner you are...work on one individual...work on one person. It's not a race to see who's the greatest soulwinner. It's not a race to see who can have the most numbers. It's about keeping a living, breathing, lost soul out of hell when they die. They are a person...a soul...someone for whom Christ died. They're not a number.

Luke 15:7  I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

 

Someone once said to Spurgeon on seeing a drunk totter out of a bar, "Look, that's one of your converts!"  Spurgeeon said "I can see that, he is not one of the Lord's."

Edited by Invicta
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It's been said that door-to-door evangelism is the least effective method.  I tend to agree.  BUT, that doesn't mean it's ineffective.  The absolute least effective method is doing nothing at all!  We've not seen a lot of success in our door-to-door efforts, but we have seen some success.  We even had one family come visit after a full year of monthly visits to witness to them and leave tracts at their home.  So, it can work. 

As for advice, I'd say be sure to complete the process.  Too often we go "soul-winning" and then we leave these new converts on their own.  When you do see fruit, be sure to follow up with discipleship.  If you don't teach them somebody else will, and most likely they won't teach them the truth.

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I saw fruit from a recent door-to-door, it can work if the motive is correct.

I came across Torrey's HOW TO BRING MEN TO CHRIST, just the other day. Not at all a 1-2-3 repeat after me process. Its about the individual's preparation for going and he points to 5 important areas. I skimmed it and it piqued my interest enough that after the book I'm reading I want to read it. All I have at present is an online copy but, it appears as a short read, 13 chapters and 104 pages.

To echo your point, from Torrey, "When you have led any one to Christ, follow him up and help him in the development of his Christian life." Written in 1893, the truth never grows stale however stale we (I) may become.

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24 minutes ago, RGVBaptist said:

It's been said that door-to-door evangelism is the least effective method.  I tend to agree.  BUT, that doesn't mean it's ineffective.  The absolute least effective method is doing nothing at all!  We've not seen a lot of success in our door-to-door efforts, but we have seen some success.  We even had one family come visit after a full year of monthly visits to witness to them and leave tracts at their home.  So, it can work. 

As for advice, I'd say be sure to complete the process.  Too often we go "soul-winning" and then we leave these new converts on their own.  When you do see fruit, be sure to follow up with discipleship.  If you don't teach them somebody else will, and most likely they won't teach them the truth.

I wouldn't say it the least effective method outright, but it does bring up a point that is often disregarded.

It is very nearly a waste of time where I am. 

We had an American Pastor who was a huge proponent of doorknocking visit with us, and by the time he left he was saying it was a waste of time.

Where he was, they would knock about 20 doors in a morning because everyone would talk. Around here one in a hundred will open the door, and it is normally closed again inside a minute.

We put invitations in letterboxes instead (it is legal where I am), and if soneone is in their yard we talk to them and give them one personally.

Way better use of time, and better results too.

BUT it depends where you are. As far as I know, that pastor went back and continued door to door. It works great in his area.

But it was partly talking to him that changed us to "letterboxing". Find what is effective in your area and do it.

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Be wise. There are some houses you should never leave the front porch and enter into, even if invited. Never step into a trap and risk ruining your testimony and that of the Lord. People will gleefully look for an opportunity to destroy a reputation, even if nothing wrong occurs. I will not give examples. If a person can't think of any on their own, they probably should consider serving in another capacity.

In the same vein, be wise and over-protective of any ladies out visiting as well. We don't live in Kansas any more, Toto.

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Be appropriate - in your dress and in your words; not just the words you use to present the gospel, but in the words you use to introduce yourself and any "small talk." No slang usages of God's name (that's a real biggie in this area - even the Christians use it like crazy...drives me crazy!), don't try to be "cool" or "with-it".

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Always find something to compliment those you are speaking to.

Always leave the door open for a return visit.

Look for opportunities to use your personal testimony of salvation and use that as a stepping stone to talk to the person (s) about salvation.  I do a jail ministry weekly and can tell you I have used my personal testimony to open the door to present the gospel at least a hundred times.  People want to identify with your message of hope and when you share what Christ did in your life they get a picture of real hope.  

 

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Do not forget about people that you have visited.  If someone makes a profession of faith follow up with them for discipleship.  I have come back to people and brought them a Bible and had their name but on the front along with some of literature about basic doctrine.  Encourage them to come to church.  Pray for them. If they show no interest when you come back or reject you then don't push the issue or get upset with them, pray for them and make sure they have your churches info if things change.

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I have a few tips:

~Find a church that actively goes soul winning, and if you are already in one, pair up with a seasoned soul winner and go out knocking doors  with them as a silent partner.  Don't feel shy asking several different church members if you can tag along; the more people you can learn from, the better.

~Always pray before going, asking the Holy Spirit to guide you where you need to go, and to work on the hearts of those you give the Gospel to.

~If you feel nervous, pray for boldness.

~Smile, be friendly!

~ Always have & use your King James Holy Bible to show the person directly from Scripture WHY they need salvation, and what they must BELIEVE (the Gospel of Jesus Christ)  in order to be saved.

~Take them down the "Romans Road". A lot of (non-soul winning) Christians may scoff at it, but it is a direct, orderly, simple, easy  to understand method of giving the Gospel that WORKS.

~ If they understand everything you showed them so far, read them John 3:16, ask if they believe that is true. If they do, lead them in prayer (remind them that the prayer doesn't save, that they were saved the moment they believed) to ask God to give them the free gift of salvation, and they are trusting in Jesus Christ ALONE to save them.

~Before leaving, and to ensure they really believe & not just going through the motions, ask them what could they do to lose their salvation now that they are saved. They should say, "nothing", or, "I can't lose it". Then you KNOW they truly believe & are saved. If they start naming off sins, they did NOT BELIEVE the Gospel & are still trusting their own works instead of Christ's.  Patiently expound on the fact that Christ's sinless life, death, burial & (3 days later) His bodily ressurection paid for ALL sins---past, present AND future.

~Don't give up. Don't stop. You WILL get people saved if you keep doing it.

 

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Edited by BabeinChrist
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  • 1 year later...
  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

It is always a "judgment call" to determine when to give the gospel and when to refrain, when not enough has been said and when too much has been said.  On the one hand, we would not wish for a person to be deprived of the good news about Jesus Christ because we have been too shy or not forthcoming enough; on the other hand, we would not wish to "poison the well" against a possible future response by being too aggressive in our approach. Much depends upon the person being witnessed to, but not a little depends on the person doing the witnessing. Even then, the particular time and circumstances can also change the calculus to no little degree. I tend to believe in "over-kill" in principle, but more often skew to understatement in practice. 

God Bless!

 

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I read through all these suggestions on how to win souls.

And I have to tell you I'm a little disappointed in you all I thought I was reading through a book about being a salesman and selling the salvation of God.

I have to tell you I place greater value upon the salvation of God than any of you.

Edited by Aniiz
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Have some version of the Romans Road as a guideline, especially at first, but know and understand what you are there to say. Realize that it will take time to be fluent in presenting the gospel, and in being able to be interrupted, yet keep your message fluid amidst interruptions. Try to bring them back to what you have predetermined to be a good order of information when they get you off track with side issues, and do all things as gently as possible. 

It is ok to be direct when necessary. If a mormon tells you that they are good to go, let them know that they are not, and that hell is hot. "Some save with fear". Purposely develop an understanding of what to say to different people. Give some thought, study, and prayer to what you are doing. 

Most importantly of all points is to make sure that you are not delivering a false gospel of repentance from sin for salvation. God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way, and God repented of the evil that he said that he would do unto them, and he did it not. Don't make them think that they have to feel bad about their sin to be saved, because the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Give the gospel of being saved by grace through faith, and without works. There is no Billy Baalam Graham changed life gospel that gets anyone saved. 

Make sure that they understand "everlasting", "eternal", "shall not come into condemnation", and "shall never die". That is the gift of God that they must receive, not a temporary salvation based on your changed life or repentance of sins. Faith is the evidence of things unseen. You can't see their salvation, nor should their salvation produce evidence to you, for them to be saved.  

Inviting Jesus into their heart is not biblical, so don't use it. Use "believe in thy heart", and "call on the name of the Lord". 

Make sure that they understand and believe that once they become a child of God, there is nothing that can separate them from the love of God, and although they may be a son or daughter that gets chastened, God will never leave them nor forsake them. 

Finally, and very importantly, show them the bible verses from the KJV for what you are telling them, because faith commeth by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 

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