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    • By Jim_Alaska in Jim_Alaska's Sermons & Devotionals
         33
      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.

Aside from Sunday morning services.....


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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
28 minutes ago, weary warrior said:

You are using these verses dishonestly. (emphasis added by Pastor Scott Markle)

I've said my piece. I am content.

Indeed, accuse me of sin, then depart the conversation . . .  It is interesting to me that your postings on the subject were founded upon experience, rather than upon God's Word of truth.

In John 6:66 God's Word reports, "From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him."  I wonder who was to blame for this?  Was it the fault of the Preacher/Teacher for not being "engaging" enough?  GOD FORBID!  Our Lord Jesus Christ was/is the perfect Preacher/Teacher.  That which He preached/taught was perfect truth in the most perfect manner.  Thus the fault was the sinful, selfish hearts of those who "went back" from His preaching/teaching.  Yet if He could not retain "many" with His absolutely perfect preaching/teaching, how are we faulty preachers/teachers supposed to retain people with our imperfect preaching/teaching?

Well, I have presented an actual BIBLICAL case wherein the fault was that of the PEOPLE (and I could present a number more).  Could you present an actual BIBLICAL case wherein Scripture lays the fault upon the preacher/teacher of God's truth (not talking about those who preached/taught falsehood)? 

________________________________________________

By the way, your postings appear to contradict one another.  Consider . . .

1 hour ago, weary warrior said:

I've been the member of many a good church, where the preacher was a good man, and what he preached was Biblical truth. And I did not want to go back on Sunday night, nor on Wednesday night. I did, out of duty. But it was just another religious duty to perform. I recieved no sustinance from the pulpit for me effort. Ive been in church for 52 years, saved for 47 and in the ministry for 25. I know when my preacher is just "doing his job". (emphasis added by Pastor Scott Markle)

48 minutes ago, weary warrior said:

How do you put on your people more than God does, then call them sinful for not following those "teaching for doctrine the commandment of men"? (emphasis added by Pastor Scott Markle)

Are we talking about those who actually are preaching "Biblical truth," or are we talking about those who are falsely "teaching for doctrine the commandment of men"?  These two cases are most certainly and significantly different.  One is preaching/teaching truth; the other is preaching/teaching falsehood.  The truth of God's Word feeds because it is spiritually alive.  The falsehood of men destroys because it is spiritually corrupt.

Edited by Pastor Scott Markle
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

There is no contradiction. In one, the man preached the truth. But he was bored. He was dry. He was not interested, nor interesting. So we who were trying to be dutiful kept going back, but it's like eating the cooking of a wife who can't cook. I'll do it, because she's my wife. But I couldn't blame you for skipping when you get an excuse.

In the other example, a man teaches that it is doctrine that you are to be in the service "everytime the doors are open". But this isn't doctrine, it's the commandments of men.

Yes, you "use scripture" and I'm "using experience". The problem is, as I have tried to explain, the question posed by the OP is not a question of sin. So you keep using scripture that doesn't apply to address an issue that is not addressed in scripture as you are currently trying to frame it. 

You have good people who come to your service on Sunday morning, yes? They believe your preaching, yes? They are not reprobate or "fallen away", yes? They have not "forsaken the assembling...", yes? 

But they don't always come back Sunday night. Or Wednesday night. No matter how much you twist scripture, they are not commanded to do so. So they are not sinning by not coming to a particular service in the course of a week. But you are offended because they are not interested in what you wish to say on Wednesday night. I'm saying, since commandment isn't an issue, and rebellion against truth isn't an issue, maybe delivery is. In some houses, it's better to skip a meal than eat another bowl of microwaved oatmeal. I'll eat enough to stay alive, but I won't keep coming back for extras because it's good.

I'm just saying, if pastors would cook that same oatmeal with care and serve it fresh and hot with bananas it, maybe folks will come back for more. There are good, solid, biblical IFB preacher that people love to listen too, and have their lives changed. And there are other IFB preacher teaching the exact same truth from the exact same Bible, and no one wants to listen to him. And we're really going to blame all of this on the listener?

We live in a society today where everything is someone else's fault. But I don't care how "true" my "truth" is, if I don't have the spirit and power of God on my preaching, derived from time spent on my face before HIM, then it's MY fault that the preaching is lifeless and powerless and does not feed the soul of those who hear. 

And if you need me to list out scriptures where the preaching of a man is powerless without the working of the Spirit of God, you need to find another line of work.

Yes, there are those who leave because they reject the truth. But we never were talking about those, we're we?

 

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I never had a problem with going to any service that was open.

I certainly wouldn't have been blaming my pastor if I didn't want to be in church.

I know I am not the best preacher around, but I try.

I don't "blame" people for not coming - the WHOLE PREMISE of the question was to find ideas to change what is the current status quo.

I will try harder.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
8 hours ago, weary warrior said:

I read Ezekiel 34:1-10 on a regular basis, and it terrifies me as a shepherd everytime I read it.

Please permit me to digress from the subject matter at hand and just comment on weary warriors reference to Ezekiel 34:1-10.

I am of the same persuasion on Weary Warriors comment on Ezekiel 34:1-10.

God's denunciation of the shepherds of Israel as written in Ezekiel 34:1-10 is terrifying. If the shepherd of the flock is in the ministry for the the wrong reason, as 2 Peter 2 relates and other passages, and does not feed the flock from the word of God, does not warn of the judgment to come, and is not compassionate, or passionate, concerning the things of God. And, is a false teacher, a hypocrite, and does not have a passion for souls: than that man is going to give an account to God one day. The pastor, the evangelist, the missionary, the Bible teacher, is supposed to feed the flock and not have the attitude of the contemporary crowd, the liberal crowd, the multitude of false teachers in the ministry in our age, and the preacher of hate and slander, etc... One day, as Ezekiel 34:16-17 states, God will will judge between the true shepherd and the false shepherd.

Also, to digress a moment to reference  Ezekiel 34:1-10 in the context of my current study of Ezekiel 34:23-31. The Lord Jesus, the True Shepherd, will one day raise up David, as a shepherd, to the nation of Israel, to guide the nation of Israel in the way of righteousness.

Yes, Weary Warrior is correct in this comments of Ezekiel 34:1-10.

Please forgive my digression as I too am terrified that I will not meet up to my responsibilities as a shepherd of the flock, as a missionary, every time I read Ezekiel 34:1-10

Edited by Alan
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Well now, IF I am compelled to take up personal experience as my guide in this matter, then all that I have said thus far is emphatically verified by my own experience in the ministry.  Through my own experience I could provide a long list of cases, including names and details, that would support my point.  In my own experience the very same preaching/teaching of God's Word feeds some as the savor of life unto spiritual growth, while it also is found to be dull unto others as the savor of death unto spiritual withering.  In my own experience our Lord's warning is quite appropriate, "Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have." (See Luke 8:18)  In my own experience those who attend only for one Sunday service generally do so out of some religious duty, and then live for the priority of self and the world throughout the remainder of the week.  In my own experience the problem truly is a matter of sin in priorities, not only concerning church attendance, but also concerning the entire focus and direction of their lives.  In my own experience the Word of truth has been choked out in their hearts by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life.  In my own experience the only real solution is for such individuals to come unto a broken and contrite heart of repentance over the sin of wrong priorities.  But remember, that is only my own experience.  Apparently it is not everyone's experience.

(1st Note: Throughout this discussion I have maintained the premise with firm conviction that the problem is the sin of selfish and worldly priorities.  Nothing thus far has moved me from that conviction.)

(2nd Note: Any preacher/teacher who "does ministry" out of religious duty alone, and who maintains selfish and worldly priorities is also in sin.  And such a preacher/teacher also needs to come unto a broken and contrite heart of repentance over his sin.)

____________________________________________________________

So then, what is the Biblically faithful preacher/teacher to do in such cases?  I would present the following:

1.  "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood." (Acts 20:28)

2.  "Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.  Take heed unto thyself and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee." (1 Timothy 4:15-16)

3.  "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15)

4.  "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and doctrine." (2 Timothy 4:2)  And one of the reason that you need to be so firmly consistent is because "the time will come [not might, but WILL] when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they SHALL turn away their ears from the truth, and SHALL be turned unto fables." (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

5.  "And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will." (2 Timothy 2:24-26)

(Note: I am sorry.  I pushed a wrong button on my keyboard, and the posting posted before I was finished.  Such is the reason for the lengthy "addition-edit.")

Edited by Pastor Scott Markle
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
6 hours ago, Alan said:

Please permit me to digress from the subject matter at hand and just comment on weary warriors reference to Ezekiel 34:1-10.

I am of the same persuasion on Weary Warriors comment on Ezekiel 34:1-10.

God's denunciation of the shepherds of Israel as written in Ezekiel 34:1-10 is terrifying. If the shepherd of the flock is in the ministry for the the wrong reason, as 2 Peter 2 relates and other passages, and does not feed the flock from the word of God, does not warn of the judgment to come, and is not compassionate, or passionate, concerning the things of God. And, is a false teacher, a hypocrite, and does not have a passion for souls: than that man is going to give an account to God one day. The pastor, the evangelist, the missionary, the Bible teacher, is supposed to feed the flock and not have the attitude of the contemporary crowd, the liberal crowd, the multitude of false teachers in the ministry in our age, and the preacher of hate and slander, etc... One day, as Ezekiel 34:16-17 states, God will will judge between the true shepherd and the false shepherd.

Also, to digress a moment to reference  Ezekiel 34:1-10 in the context of my current study of Ezekiel 34:23-31. The Lord Jesus, the True Shepherd, will one day raise up David, as a shepherd, to the nation of Israel, to guide the nation of Israel in the way of righteousness.

Yes, Weary Warrior is correct in this comments of Ezekiel 34:1-10.

Please forgive my digression as I too am terrified that I will not meet up to my responsibilities as a shepherd of the flock, as a missionary, every time I read Ezekiel 34:1-10

Indeed, I agree that the warning of Ezekiel 34:1-10 is a serious and solemn warning unto all pastors of the Lord's flock.  Thus it is worthy for us to understand the sinful behavior of the pastors who were confronted and condemned by our Lord in that passage.  (Note: I am not aware that any of the true prophets of the Lord God, the true preachers/teachers of God's Holy Word, were included in this confrontation and condemnation.  Rather, this confrontation and condemnation was laid against the false, ungodly pastors of Israel, as referenced in other places of Ezekiel (See 13:1-16; 22:23-31), as well as in Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc.)

1.  They fed themselves upon the flock, rather than faithfully feed the flock. (vs. 2-3, 8 )
2.  They ruled over the flock with force and cruelty, rather than care for the flock with compassion and spiritual healing. (v. 4)
3.  They scattered the flock through their cruelty to become a prey before the enemy, rather than search and seek after them with spiritual diligence. (vs. 5-8)

On the other hand, it is also worthy of notice that in the very same chapter the Lord our God ALSO confronted the selfish and ungodly members of the flock --

"And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats.  Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures?  And to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet?  And as for my flock, they eat that which ye have trodden with your feet; and they drink that which ye have fouled with your feet.  Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD unto them; Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat cattle and between the lean cattle.  Because ye have thrust with side and with shoulder, and pushed all the diseased with your horns, till ye have scattered them abroad; therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle." (Ezekiel 34:17-22)

Edited by Pastor Scott Markle
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Bottom line difference between your view and my view...?

You - "What are they doing wrong?"

Me - "What are we doing wrong?"

Now, one of us is not approaching this correctly. I can only trust that the Chief Shepherd, whom we both serve sincerely, will make it known to each of us the things that we need to learn and mature in in order to serve Him better.

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Some further thoughts in relation to the confrontation and condemnation of Ezekiel 34:1-10.

1.  Is there anything in the surrounding context that might reveal the character of a faithful prophet/pastor/preacher of God?  Yes, there is in Ezekiel 33:7-16 --

"So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.  When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.  Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.  Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live?  Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?  Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth.  When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.  Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.  None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live."  So, the faithful prophet/pastor/preacher of God is to warn the people of their sin through reproof and rebuke and to exhort the people to turn from that sin with broken-hearted repentance.

2.  Is there anything in the surrounding context that might reveal the manner in which many will respond to the faithful prophet/pastor/preacher of God?  Yes, there is in Ezekiel 33:30-33 --

"Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the LORD.  And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.  And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not.  And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them.

Consider also Ezekiel 3:4-11 --

"And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them.  For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel; not to many people of a strange speech and of an hard language, whose words thou canst not understand.  Surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee.  But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted. Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheadsAs an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house. Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears.  And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear."

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6 hours ago, weary warrior said:

Bottom line difference between your view and my view...?

You - "What are they doing wrong?"

Me - "What are we doing wrong?"

Now, one of us is not approaching this correctly. I can only trust that the Chief Shepherd, whom we both serve sincerely, will make it known to each of us the things that we need to learn and mature in in order to serve Him better.

That's really funny, because the way I read your first post is that I was blaming everyone else for something I was doing wrong, which plainly shows that you didn't actually read the opening post.

As I read the posts following your first I see it as :

you: It is all the Pastor's fault.

Scott: It is sin wherever it is found.

funny how perceptions differ......

All I know is the problem is real and I want to fix it whatever it takes. I am trying on my part, but nothing seems to make a difference. But in fact all I can do is to do better on my part - I can't "force" others into it.

But the accusation that it is all my fault for being an unspiritual and boring pastor was certainly an encouragement, especially since you know me and my preaching so well.

Edited by DaveW
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3 minutes ago, DaveW said:

That's really funny, because the way I read your first post is that I was blaming everyone else for something I was doing wrong, which plainly shows that you didn't actually read the opening post.

As I read the posts following your first I see it as :

you: It is all the Pastor's fault.

Scott: It is sin wherever it is found.

funny how perceptions differ......

All I know is the problem is real and I want to fix it whatever it takes. I am trying on my part, but nothing seems to make a difference. But in fact all I can do is to do better on my part - I can't "force" others into it.

But the accusation that it is all my fault for being an unspiritual and boring pastor was certainly an encouragement, especially since you know me and my preaching so well.

Dave, your original post stated that it was a "common problem where I am". You then asked "how can we..." fix this situation. I took it as a general observation regarding the local Baptist churches as we know them. I in no way read that as a specific question regarding you yourself or your specific church. For my misunderstanding of the original question, and my reaction to it, I sincerely apologize. You are correct. I do not know you personally, nor do I know your church or you preaching. I have been speaking of a broad, general problem in IFB circles.

My personal offence to you was completely unintentional, and I am very sorry. Please forgive me this.

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On 2/4/2019 at 12:14 AM, DaveW said:

Thoughts people?

How can we (biblically of course) find a way to help people see the importance of the other services?

 

I do a lot of expository preaching and I try to find something in the passage, usually a story, or an incident, that shows that the scriptures, and the truths contained therein, are for our good.

I would like to mention two scripture verses to point out my thoughts.

Moses said, "And the LORD commanded us to do these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day." Deuteronomy 6:24

Paul said, "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." 1 Corinthians 10:11

In our work on the field, when we first started the work, we did not always have a Wednesday night service for several reasons. So, our experience is not so great a scale as in numbers. But, we have seen some good spiritual growth, and we have experienced, on a small scale, that once saints realize that the scriptures are  beneficial for our well being, and that further attendance, or work in the church, is good for their spiritual development, and family life, than they may want to come out of joy to learn more and not come out of duty.

I still remember the day when some of the folks in our latest work, even though small in numbers, decided among themselves to start doing some of the maintenance work on the building, attend visitation services, and help with the daily routine of starting a church. These blessings started when the folks that were saved started to see that the scriptures were written for our good, and that serving the Lord out of a heart of love, and not duty, was a blessing to their lives.

 

Edited by Alan
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16 hours ago, Alan said:

I still remember the day when some of the folks in our latest work, even though small in numbers, decided among themselves to start doing some of the maintenance work on the building, attend visitation services, and help with the daily routine of starting a church. These blessings started when the folks that were saved started to see that the scriptures were written for our good, and that serving the Lord out of a heart of love, and not duty, was a blessing to their lives.

Indeed, when the Lord Himself became the first love-priority of their lives.  There is always a distinct difference in attitude and behavior when this occurs.

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"Aside from Sunday morning services....."

In regard to the tittle, if the question is to which service time would be most "required" or commanded, then Sunday Evening service would be more biblical than Sunday morning, as it fulfills the request of Paul and its the only service time Jesus attended after his resurrection. 

However in regard to requirements, Christians aren't required to to do anything they don't want to. What they SHOULD do is a different matter.

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In my own experience, I found that, when I finally decided to get serious about my walk with the Lord, I WANTED to be in service, as much as possible. At the time, there was something going on just about 7-days a week at our church, and I got involved in many of them, though clearly, I couldn't do them all. 

But my point is, I WANTED to get in because in my heart, I was ready to get in. My pastor's preaching, which was always excellent, didn't change, I changed. Before that I spent a lot of time under excellent preaching not getting much from it, because MY heart wasn't ready. But when I was, I wanted to be there, Sunday, evening and morning, and Wednesday, and special meetings, and visitation. And I lament, til this day, all the time I wasted before that, and these are the things I try to instill in the young men in our church, the importance of making that decision to put Jesus on the pedestal of our lives, to follow Him, and to get in while young and strong. Sadly, it too often falls on deaf ears. Video games and cars and overtime and family events are all too important. 

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8 minutes ago, Ukulelemike said:

In my own experience, I found that, when I finally decided to get serious about my walk with the Lord, I WANTED to be in service, as much as possible. At the time, there was something going on just about 7-days a week at our church, and I got involved in many of them, though clearly, I couldn't do them all. 

But my point is, I WANTED to get in because in my heart, I was ready to get in. My pastor's preaching, which was always excellent, didn't change, I changed. Before that I spent a lot of time under excellent preaching not getting much from it, because MY heart wasn't ready. But when I was, I wanted to be there, Sunday, evening and morning, and Wednesday, and special meetings, and visitation. And I lament, til this day, all the time I wasted before that, and these are the things I try to instill in the young men in our church, the importance of making that decision to put Jesus on the pedestal of our lives, to follow Him, and to get in while young and strong. Sadly, it too often falls on deaf ears. Video games and cars and overtime and family events are all too important. 

Amen, and AMEN!  This is as I have been trying to communicate - The issue IS a heart-priority issue.

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Growing up, the church I attended only had Sunday morning service (with sunday school).  Maybe a lot of people don't realize it's different sermons each time? They don't see the importance of attending as many services as you can. Providing good health. Our church is broadcast live online. So if we miss a sermon we're able to catch up online. Not very many churches at all that do that.  Not every one is at the same stage of spiritual growth to want to attend 3-4 times a week. As you grow spiritually, speaking for myself, you can't get enough true Biblical preaching! 

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Though I have no issue with a church having a midweek or Sunday night service. The number of times a church meets is up to the church. The early church met daily,  not just on Sunday. However,  there is no mandate in scripture other than Sunday.

With that said,  we are definitely in a time where the church is dying, pastors treat the ministry as a job and the people want to be entertained. There are over 80 Independent Baptist churches in a 30 minute radius of my home and none are worth attending. I lived an hour away previously and there were over 100 churches and I only found 1 that preached the Word. 

We are definitively in the Laodecian Period, the false Church that God is going to spew out of his mouth 

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13 hours ago, Miss Daisy said:

 

Growing up, the church I attended only had Sunday morning service (with sunday school).  Maybe a lot of people don't realize it's different sermons each time? They don't see the importance of attending as many services as you can. Providing good health. Our church is broadcast live online. So if we miss a sermon we're able to catch up online. Not very many churches at all that do that.  Not every one is at the same stage of spiritual growth to want to attend 3-4 times a week. As you grow spiritually, speaking for myself, you can't get enough true Biblical preaching! 

Miss Daisy,

You're an inspiration to me. I know I haven't interacted with you much, but I want you to know that I appreciate you and your input.

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