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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.

The Rapture in the Bible


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@jeff_student_of_Jesus Could you please expound on your following quote bellow from a status update reply from you?

Quote

Most worldly religious people on earth, in the world's largest religion(s),  do not agree with Scripture.  Their made up ideas of rapture were derived or gotten or repeated from someplace other than Scripture.   i.e. for those worldly people, or for those in error,  "caught up together" as Scripture says is not the same at all as their mistaken thoughts and doctrines and all the dogmas associated with their thoughts.

I guess I'm asking if the rapture is "made up"  from worldly people then please expound on the verses in the Bible that talks about the church meeting Christ in the Air?

I'm not concerned about the Word Rapture, but rather the Rapture principle. 

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Posted (edited)

This is a lot more confusing subject/ topic than I thought before the last 30 minutes.    Looking it up online,  to try and find what I was looking for resulted in finding nothing of what I was looking for - namely,  that I thought that some so-called 'principles' ,  most in fact,  were not from the followers of Jesus,  but from other religions, including Roman religion, before Jesus.

Now after searching for a half hour to an hour,  not finding what I sought,  I found more like these  (for examples only,  not for anything as if substantitive or to believe is truth from God nor from Scripture:

www . beliefnet . com / faiths/ christianity/what-youre-getting-wrong-about-the-rapture.aspx

beginningandend . com/ what-did-ancient-chrurch-f%thers-believe-about-the-rapture /        =======================================

Basically,  the world at large,  and over a billion in so-called (by name only) 'Christian' groups/churches/etc , 

have many "principles" not related to , not found in,  and not coming from either God or Scripture.

Those principles, truth, in and from Scripture,  all from God,  are found in only a few places (which did not turn up in the short time I searched).  

Thus, most earthlings find "other" voices to follow, to listen to, to believe, instead of Jesus and usually opposed to God and opposed to Scripture.

There is a lot of support for "other" principles in most people's lives, as they listen to , trust and rely on other voices/ family/ teachings that are popular and yet not found in Scripture.

I am not dedicated to one of the principles I found,  nor to any that is not directly in and from Scripture as revealed by the Father in heaven to all of His disciples, by Him.

 

Edited by jeff_student_of_Jesus
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2 hours ago, jeff_student_of_Jesus said:

This is a lot more confusing subject/ topic than I thought before the last 30 minutes.    Looking it up online,  to try and find what I was looking for resulted in finding nothing of what I was looking for - namely,  that I thought that some so-called 'principles' ,  most in fact,  were not from the followers of Jesus,  but from other religions, including Roman religion, before Jesus.

Can I encourage you to look at Scripture for you to get your doctrine? In my personal opinion, the Bible is all that I care about as that is my final authority, not google.

Thank you for the links and I appreciate the time you tool to reply. I guess I was more interested in what your thoughts were and not someone else.

Let's start with 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. I'm curious to know what event you believe that is referring to, and why. Thank you, I'm currently doing a study on the end times so your input will be greatly appreciated.

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, PastorMatt said:

Can I encourage you to look at Scripture for you to get your doctrine? In my personal opinion, the Bible is all that I care about as that is my final authority, not google.

Thank you for the links and I appreciate the time you tool to reply. I guess I was more interested in what your thoughts were and not someone else.

"My thoughts" were that there are an abundance of false teachings/ doctrines about the term/word "rapture",  and then a multitude of associated false teachings and doctrines before, with, or after that, associated with it.

Ggle was never where I got (as if to learn, believe, or trust or follow) any doctrine, teaching , or authority.

Edited by jeff_student_of_Jesus
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Thank you for your reply. Like I mentioned in the earlier post I care more about what Scripture says than terminology, that's why I was interested in knowing what event you believe 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 is talking about.

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It appears that if a label is attached,  it becomes more dividing or divisive instead of more edifying or uplifting.

However,  with these Scripture also: Philippians 3:20, Galatians 5:5, Hebrews 9:28, Romans 8:23, Romans 8:19, 2 Timothy 4:8, 1 Corinthians 1:7

I believe eagerly waiting for Jesus,

just as Simeon (King James Bible
And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel )

and Anna (New King James Version
And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem. )

eagerly watching daily for Him Who Is The Redemption of Israel

is what all who are alive in Him are to do daily.

 

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My church is doing a week long revival with the topic of “prophecy”.  We have Brother Woodcock ( maybe some of you may know him) leading. We are premillennial pre tribulation church. 
 

With that being said, even while being hand held through this topic it is a difficult subject to grasp. So far my understanding is that rapture is the taking away in the air, and is at separate and before the the second coming.

I once was indoctrinated by Steven Anderson, and understood it horrible wrong. But it seems his ideas are no stranger from the history of the church, and it is actually an error that sprouts up like a weed through the church age. 
 

keeping tabs on this thread for further edification.

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I probably differ from most on this particular subject. Yes, I believe that 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 is referring to the second coming of Christ. But I also believe that the second coming is in two parts. The first is when he comes in the air and we rise to meet Him. But I see that there is a second part where he returns at a later date and His feet are planted on the Mount of Olives and the mount is divided.

Zechariah 14:4 (KJV) And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

I could be wrong and this may refer to this happening on the same day at a different time, but it would still be His second coning in two parts.

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6 minutes ago, Jim_Alaska said:

I probably differ from most on this particular subject. Yes, I believe that 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 is referring to the second coming of Christ. But I also believe that the second coming is in two parts. The first is when he comes in the air and we rise to meet Him. But I see that there is a second part where he returns at a later date and His feet are planted on the Mount of Olives and the mount is divided.

Zechariah 14:4 (KJV) And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

I could be wrong and this may refer to this happening on the same day at a different time, but it would still be His second coning in two parts.

Well, I would say that the first is the removal of the church, and the second is the actual second coming, because in the former, He only is in the air, while the latter, he actually descends to earth.

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3 hours ago, Ukulelemike said:

Well, I would say that the first is the removal of the church, and the second is the actual second coming, because in the former, He only is in the air, while the latter, he actually descends to earth.

That would be my view as well. Would it be considered a second coming if He's not on the earth? The first event we (the church) meet him in the air (A term with we call rapture) and then Israel will be dealt with, and the Second He actually comes to the earth (touches) with hosts. The event where we meet Him in the air the church sees, and the second coming the world sees. 

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Buuuut...at His second coming the trump shall sound and the dead in Christ shall rise first, sorta sounds like part of the second coming to me. But I have been wrong before.   🙄

Not sure why His feet would have to touch the ground.

1 Thessalonians 4:16 (KJV) For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

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Second Coming 

Two phases: 

1) Rapture of the church - the harvest. 

2) Rapture of Israel/Tribulation saints - the gleanings.

The rapture of Tribulation saints is covered in Isaiah 26:30,31.

This is the passage that is popular with mid-trib rapture of the church teachers for example Marvin Rosenthal but the passage has to do with the nation of Israel not the body of Christ.

 

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, Jim_Alaska said:

Not sure why His feet would have to touch the ground

Jesus said He would come again. During the rapture, He doesn't come to earth, he meets us in the clouds in the atmosphere. If I was at your house and said I would come again, you would not say that I would have come again if I met you half way. 

The important point is that In 1 Thessalonians 4 and Matthew 24 is referring to two different events. I call it the rapture and Second coming, and you call it both two different events of second coming. 

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2 hours ago, PastorMatt said:

Jesus said He would come again. During the rapture, He doesn't come to earth, he meets us in the clouds in the atmosphere. If I was at your house and said I would come again, you would not say that I would have come again if I met you half way. 

The important point is that In 1 Thessalonians 4 and Matthew 24 is referring to two different events. I call it the rapture and Second coming, and you call it both two different events of second coming. 

You are right in what I call it BroMatt. that is why I said I view this differently than most. 

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I use the term Rapture (even though the word rapture is not in the Bible, well...neither is the word Bible lol ) because of what the word means. The principle of being carried away and meeting Him in the air is literally what will take place. From my perspective, it's a great way of differencing between the two events that will take place.

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Thanks for the reply BroMatt. I do know that yours is the preferred way to look at it for many.

I still hold with what I said, even though I did not list every reason for holding to it. One main reason that I did not list was the fact that at His coming for us (The Rapture), He is coming from a spiritual realm to an earthly one, which for me, makes the Rapture the first part of what I call a two part second coming.

In any event, I am all for it regardless of what I, or anyone else chooses to call it.  😀

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Jim, I appreciate your thoughts. I love this subject and very fond of hearing peoples views even if they differ from my own.

Brother Jim, does your belief not have the idea that Christ would lead us into heaven? And thus he entering back into this spiritual realm? 

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I doubt any of our theology on this subject are absolutely correct-the Bible says actually quite a bit, but things like timing, and time periods between events, are very vague. I hold to the post-trib/pre-wrath rapture position, and have quite a few reasons for it, but I'm not dogmatic about it, either, because the Bile doesn't really lay out the timing clearly, so I have never considered it a 'fundamental', timing-wise, nor anything to separate over, though I know some who do separate over the timing of the rapture. 

By the way, I don't hold to it due to any Anderson teachings, as I have never heard his teaching on it.   I think the fact that it WILL occur is abundantly clear, and that it is yet future, but as for much more than that, all we can reasonably do is speculate, maybe strongly, but still, I give myself space to be wrong.

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4 hours ago, Hugh_Flower said:

Jim, I appreciate your thoughts. I love this subject and very fond of hearing peoples views even if they differ from my own.

Brother Jim, does your belief not have the idea that Christ would lead us into heaven? And thus he entering back into this spiritual realm? 

Yes, I do have that belief; but coupled with it is the fact that in 1Thess. when He comes for us, He in fact "comes". That, to me, is a part of His "coming".

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