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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.

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2 hours ago, swathdiver said:

For the English language, anything other than the King James Bible.

What I see happening is the subtle watering down of the scriptures by many of these modern versions. However, I anger a lot of Christians on some of these site forums when I say this.

I do prefer the KJB, but will read other ones from time to time.I am old enough to remember when the King James was the bible of most churches. Then the NIV came along and the rest as they say is history.

Edited by TheSword1227
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This one... http://old.paulann.org/ 

because it emerged to http://paulann.org/aboutourchurch/

they've taken down the old sign that used to say 'Paulann Baptist'.

They are the definition of emergent church.

I felt a little strange calling them out but I think a warning is due.

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13 hours ago, TheSword1227 said:

I do prefer the KJB, but will read other ones from time to time.I am old enough to remember when the King James was the bible of most churches. Then the NIV came along and the rest as they say is history.

Then you don't mind moving from non-fiction to fiction?  ALL of the modern versions are based on the fraudulent Sinaiticus and non-existant Septuagint.  There is no chain of custody for the Septuagint.  The Sinaiticus was written on the Isle of Patmos around 1843, it has no earlier chain of custody.

Whereas the Masoretic text was quoted by our Lord and Savior Himself and thousands upon thousands of manucripts that make up the Received Text can be traced all through history.

Those phony bibles might contain the word of God here and there but they are not THE word of God.  It's like drinking coffee with arsenic in it.  Designed by the devil to lead you astray.  The weakest Christians are those who foolishly cling to their phony bibles.  They hardly grow in grace and are surrounded by false converts who know little better than they.

The KJV still outsells the NIV.  It's #2 but not #1.

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3 hours ago, swathdiver said:

Then you don't mind moving from non-fiction to fiction?  ALL of the modern versions are based on the fraudulent Sinaiticus and non-existant Septuagint.  There is no chain of custody for the Septuagint.  The Sinaiticus was written on the Isle of Patmos around 1843, it has no earlier chain of custody.

Whereas the Masoretic text was quoted by our Lord and Savior Himself and thousands upon thousands of manucripts that make up the Received Text can be traced all through history.

Those phony bibles might contain the word of God here and there but they are not THE word of God.  It's like drinking coffee with arsenic in it.  Designed by the devil to lead you astray.  The weakest Christians are those who foolishly cling to their phony bibles.  They hardly grow in grace and are surrounded by false converts who know little better than they.

The KJV still outsells the NIV.  It's #2 but not #1.

Yep, I know where the modern versions come from. I spent a lot of time arguing against them on another site forum and a bunch of christians jumped on me and tried to skin me alive.

Edited by TheSword1227
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It's so hard to find a church these days. 
I've been a christian for almost 7 years and I did find a church who believes the weighty doctrines right from the bible, I stopped going there because the sermons are always about tithes and material blessings. 

I just see people with religion there. 

Also, during afternoons where the pastor will somehow discuss and study the bible with us, he mentioned a couple of things that had no support at all. 
I researched about it and it isn't really supported or anything. He firmly believes that RCC made Islam because of a specific Jesuit priest. 
It hasn't been proven yet. But either way, it doens't matter. They're both false religions. 

Also during Sunday Schools, one brother discussed the book "Purpose Driven Life". 
The church's statement of faith is good but I don't understand how the people would not really believe what it says it believes. 

Most Baptist churches here read John MacArthur and John Piper, meaning they are Calvinistic. 

If not, Christians you'd meet attend Victory Churches (Steve Murrell) and CCF.. both are megachurches. 

God knows christian friends are important. 

 

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1 hour ago, Celina Capalad said:

It's so hard to find a church these days. 
I've been a christian for almost 7 years and I did find a church who believes the weighty doctrines right from the bible, I stopped going there because the sermons are always about tithes and material blessings. 

I just see people with religion there. 

Also, during afternoons where the pastor will somehow discuss and study the bible with us, he mentioned a couple of things that had no support at all. 
I researched about it and it isn't really supported or anything. He firmly believes that RCC made Islam because of a specific Jesuit priest. 
It hasn't been proven yet. But either way, it doens't matter. They're both false religions. 

Also during Sunday Schools, one brother discussed the book "Purpose Driven Life". 
The church's statement of faith is good but I don't understand how the people would not really believe what it says it believes. 

Most Baptist churches here read John MacArthur and John Piper, meaning they are Calvinistic. 

If not, Christians you'd meet attend Victory Churches (Steve Murrell) and CCF.. both are megachurches. 

God knows christian friends are important. 

 

Good post. You hit some good points and are so right about it being hard to find a good church anymore. I hope this doesn't discourage you as you are a somewhat new Christian. Keep praying about it. There are still some churches out there that are bible believing, bible teaching.

Whenever I come across free books in a library and other places, if I see books like Purpose Driven Life that have false teachings, I toss them out so that others won't read it and get deceived.

Edited by TheSword1227
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5 hours ago, Celina Capalad said:

It's so hard to find a church these days. 

As I mentioned to you several years ago, you may have to move to another town in order to serve the Lord in one of his New Testament Churches Miss Capalad.  We packed our things and moved sixty miles to attend a church of the kind that Christ built and died for during his earthly ministry.

Our church supports 3 missionaries north of Manila in Urdaneta City (Eddie Galyean), Manaoag (Phil Frasier) and Baguio City (Kevin Bennett).

God can provide if you think you cannot afford to move or find work or even get there.  Not only will the Lord choose for you a sound church but he will also pick one that will benefit by having you too as a member!  Remember the Holy Spirit gives us all gifts that we use to serve in our respective churches.  One of those mentioned just might need a person like you to help the congregation.

 

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9 hours ago, swathdiver said:

As I mentioned to you several years ago, you may have to move to another town in order to serve the Lord in one of his New Testament Churches Miss Capalad.  We packed our things and moved sixty miles to attend a church of the kind that Christ built and died for during his earthly ministry.

Our church supports 3 missionaries north of Manila in Urdaneta City (Eddie Galyean), Manaoag (Phil Frasier) and Baguio City (Kevin Bennett).

God can provide if you think you cannot afford to move or find work or even get there.  Not only will the Lord choose for you a sound church but he will also pick one that will benefit by having you too as a member!  Remember the Holy Spirit gives us all gifts that we use to serve in our respective churches.  One of those mentioned just might need a person like you to help the congregation.

 

Thanks for this. 
I researched about all those churches and they really are far from Manila. 
I'll try to find one again. :) 

Thanks everyone! I really appreciate it. :) 

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4 hours ago, Celina Capalad said:

Thanks for this. 
I researched about all those churches and they really are far from Manila. 
I'll try to find one again. :) 

Thanks everyone! I really appreciate it. :) 

Yes, they are far but let me ask you this, how far will you go to serve the Lord?  1 mile?  5 miles?  Or Anywhere on Earth that He leads you to?

For me and my family it was sixty miles.  So far.  

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There was a pastor near here who walked 23 miles each way to his church in the 1880s. In 1813, Samuel Eyles Pierce said he walked to London then caught the stage to Maidstone on Christmas Eve, then he walked  26 miles to Faversham, preached twice the following day, then three times the day after, "it beeing the Lord's Day", then walked about 10 miles to Canterbury for the New Year.  5 years later Samuel founded a Baptist Church in Faversham.

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On 5/26/2017 at 9:21 AM, heartstrings said:

I

 I have attended one Missionary Baptist church in the area which is King James only and they seem sound, but they are about 40 minutes away. I don't know of any "General Baptists" around here so I don't know anything about them.

General Baptists are a slightly more moderate version of Free Will Baptists.

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A Turkish sheep buyer/customer of mine once asked me "why so many churches" (in the USA)? Regrettably, I didn't have an immediate answer for him. Perhaps what he meant was "why so many denominations?" or "religions?". But after some thought, my answer is "freedom". Unlike some countries, the USA we have freedom to believe any way and worship any way we choose as long as it doesn't involve harming others. Of course, some churches DO harm others emotionally and spiritually but I'll save that for another discussion. The reason we have so many "Baptist" churches is because people can't agree on simple doctrines. But the Bible tells us there will be divisions and heresies and all that stuff so it should be no surprise.

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I am in this very situation. I moved to an area that has 70+ Independent Baptist Churches, one of which came highly recommended by my then and still current pastor.

I attended the church for 3 months, every service. My family got involved in work days and other areas of the church. We were rejected because we were Northerners in a Southern church. No one spoke to us, fellowshipped with us or even learned our name (Including the Associate Pastor and his wife). We left the church to begin our search for a church. 72 churches later, we still have not found a church I would attend. Our criteria is simple

1. Good Preaching (This one is a must - Out of 72 churches, maybe 3 have had good preaching. A lot of yelling about the Bible, but no preaching)
2. Good Music (Conservative, God honoring) - Most of the churches had the whole church go to the Choir and sing 4 or 5 songs and 1 congregational song. Must be a southern thing as it is very consistent, but unfortunately a visitor cannot participate in the worship of God through music.
3. Friendliness (More than just saying hello and thank you for coming) - Out of 72 churches, 1 or 2 were friendly. None made us feel welcome once they found out we were Northerners.

So what have we decided to do after 4 years without a church. We are moving. It is sad to say that there are few good churches in the "Bible Belt", but I have lived in 2 cities in North Carolina for the last 8 years and have found 1 church that I would classify as a good church out of over 200 visited.

For the last 4 years we have either driven the hour and a half to church (Calvary Baptist Church - King, NC) or we have watched them live on Facebook.

As for other churches we would consider - My daughter goes to a Southern Baptist since there are no good churches in her part of NC either. It's the best of the worst. The pastor is an older pastor who preaches the Word of God, the church is friendly, but the music is more contemporary. We have visited a couple Southern Baptists, but the ones in our area the preaching is no good.

There is a Methodist church and a non-denominational church my neighbors go to. They claim their churches preach verse by verse and are super friendly. I have considered going, but I struggle know that the churches doctrinal statements online are not in alignment with my positions on major doctrine, which is why we have not gone.

It's been a tough 4 years, but it is time to move.

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There are several IFB churches around, so I don't have a problem of what to do if one wasn't near.

The Southern Baptists (SBC) are the largest Protestant denomination in America.  And, many of these churches are practically indistinguishable form IFB churches.  But, sadly, that's changing.  While the KJV has been very common in SBC churches, the SBC has recently sponsored a new translation (Christian Standard Bible)  which completely breaks with the KJV tradition, and is otherwise abominable.  The SBC just elected a new president, one that is soft on social issues and says he wants more women in church leadership. 

 

 

 

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