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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 tithes and offerings will go down, if we close the church...


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How many members need to get sick or die before a church will close? I am not picking on one church, but all churches. This is a big problem, churches are letting their guards down. They were taking safety in the beginning but got tired. Many are not even using mask. Even keeping secret to the members those that are infected, no panic, no isolation period. Be safe, my brother and sisters in Christ. Sometimes money gets into the way, this should not be.   

 

covid at church.jpg

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"The tithes and offerings will go down, if we close the church..."

Curious, where do you get that information from? Our offerings went up during lockdowns and down since getting back to "normal". Every pastor that I've talked to in our area has pretty much said the same thing. 

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Our church fully opened, against government rules, in February. We have seen our attendance explode with people coming from churches who would not let them meet together to worship God.

We haven’t masked at all. And yes, we all caught Covid once. And everyone survived. Even the 90 year olds.

God commanded us to meet together. Covid is only a nasty flu; the extreme precautions required by governments are not only unconstitutional and unBiblical but completely unnecessary. “We ought to obey God rather than men.”

(You used to be quite the pot-stirrer, EM. Now don’t start that again.)

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1 hour ago, PastorMatt said:

"The tithes and offerings will go down, if we close the church..."

Curious, where do you get that information from? Our offerings went up during lockdowns and down since getting back to "normal". Every pastor that I've talked to in our area has pretty much said the same thing. 

My wife and I continued to tithe even when the church was on lockdown. It shouldn't affect our giving.

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59 minutes ago, Salyan said:

Our church fully opened, against government rules, in February. We have seen our attendance explode with people coming from churches who would not let them meet together to worship God.

We haven’t masked at all. And yes, we all caught Covid once. And everyone survived. Even the 90 year olds.

God commanded us to meet together. Covid is only a nasty flu; the extreme precautions required by governments are not only unconstitutional and unBiblical but completely unnecessary. “We ought to obey God rather than men.”

(You used to be quite the pot-stirrer, EM. Now don’t start that again.)

I'm not a pot-stirrer, and churches and the government are separate in these cases. Please nobody get mad at me, will see in the next couple of months if you still agree with your reply's. Yes, I can be wrong in what I posted, and I am glad that your church is doing just fine. Especially to theses that have not lost members. This Delta Virus is not a joke, believe me.

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1 hour ago, PastorMatt said:

I will say what I've been saying all along. If the grocery stores, hardware stores, gas stations, and employers can be open... the the churches should be as well. 

Your statement @E Morales makes it sound like covid could only get transmitted in churches.  

No Sir. this applies not just to Churches, but where large groups of people are gathering. Thanks you for pointing this out.

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42 minutes ago, E Morales said:

I'm not a pot-stirrer, and churches and the government are separate in these cases. Please nobody get mad at me, will see in the next couple of months if you still agree with your reply's. Yes, I can be wrong in what I posted, and I am glad that your church is doing just fine. Especially to theses that have not lost members. This Delta Virus is not a joke, believe me.

The vaccine is the Delta Variant. 
 

**spooky music**
 

I don’t know if i think that or not, but it’s likely as not to be true. 🤷🏼‍♀️ In any case, Delta is, as follows the normal cycle of flus, less deadly than its early (already not horribly deadly) variants. It’s scaremongering, EM. Don’t fall for it. 

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1 hour ago, E Morales said:

I'm not a pot-stirrer, and churches and the government are separate in these cases. Please nobody get mad at me, will see in the next couple of months if you still agree with your reply's. Yes, I can be wrong in what I posted, and I am glad that your church is doing just fine. Especially to theses that have not lost members. This Delta Virus is not a joke, believe me.

It's all good in the Online Baptist hood my friend.

Anyways if it was about money, our doors would not be open. My decision to be open was what I felt God calling me to do after much prayer and fasting. Unless you or anyone can show me that God is telling me the opposite, I will will listen to Him!!!

...and nobody is forced to come, in fact we have more online viewers than in attendance (and our attendance is the highest in the history of our church)

I find it odd that some people that doesn't know the physical, mental and Spiritual health our our members, think its best to have closed doors. 

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56 minutes ago, PastorMatt said:

It's all good in the Online Baptist hood my friend.

Anyways if it was about money, our doors would not be open. My decision to be open was what I felt God calling me to do after much prayer and fasting. Unless you or anyone can show me that God is telling me the opposite, I will will listen to Him!!!

...and nobody is forced to come, in fact we have more online viewers than in attendance (and our attendance is the highest in the history of our church)

I find it odd that some people that doesn't knows the physical, mental and Spiritual health our our members, think its best to have closed doors. 

If doors do close, hopefully it will just be temporary. The Bible tells us do not for sake assemblies of the Saints, like others are accustomed to do. But money will not lack those that are not in for it.

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1 hour ago, Salyan said:

The vaccine is the Delta Variant. 
 

**spooky music**
 

I don’t know if i think that or not, but it’s likely as not to be true. 🤷🏼‍♀️ In any case, Delta is, as follows the normal cycle of flus, less deadly than its early (already not horribly deadly) variants. It’s scaremongering, EM. Don’t fall for it. 

There are many censored doctors say the vax is causing the variants especially since there are surges during the summer coinciding with the surge.

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16 minutes ago, SureWord said:

There are many censored doctors say the vax is causing the variants especially since there are surges during the summer coinciding with the surge.

If this is true, then we are all in big trouble. 

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6 hours ago, Martyr_4_FutureJoy said:

Big Trouble Anyway?   (p.s. With or without, even so,  it has been true all of our lives)

KJV:

For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

True, but what makes this virus stronger then those viruses 100 years ago. They did not have a vaccine. The Bible says that all nations will go against Israel, America is that seen in the tribulation, could it be that a virus weakened North America? Be Safe

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7 hours ago, E Morales said:

True, but what makes this virus stronger then those viruses 100 years ago. They did not have a vaccine. The Bible says that all nations will go against Israel, America is that seen in the tribulation, could it be that a virus weakened North America? Be Safe

Are you like bb?   From his posts,  he put his trust in the government, ama, and doctors .

Possibly also in his church ?    Thus,   he has been led to the path of destruction for decades.  He even did stuff with the books of the idolators for decades (indexed them I think he posted).

So he believes and put his trust in the enemy.   Do you ?

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4 minutes ago, Martyr_4_FutureJoy said:

Are you like bb?   From his posts,  he put his trust in the government, ama, and doctors .

Possibly also in his church ?    Thus,   he has been led to the path of destruction for decades.  He even did stuff with the books of the idolators for decades (indexed them I think he posted).

So he believes and put his trust in the enemy.   Do you ?

Vaccines do not make the virus stronger. That is incorrect myth. People going unvaccinated allows viruses to become stronger and mutate into variants that may be worse than the originals. 

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When the deceptions and lies and fraud of the world are repeated, repeated, repeated,  repeated, ad nauseum, 

it may be clearly idolatry?  It is certainly and absolutely sin to trust the world.

On 8/27/2021 at 11:48 AM, E Morales said:

How many members need to get sick or die before a church will close?

Sickness is not needed.  (to die)

Corrie tenBoom told of many who were slaughtered for their faith.

Voice of the Martyrs and many other testimonies worldwide also tell of millions martyred, and more every day.

Did the assembly in Corinth close because many were sick and dying ?  (in the KJV Bible)

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21 hours ago, SureWord said:

There are many censored doctors say the vax is causing the variants especially since there are surges during the summer coinciding with the surge.

my husband had a icu nurse come into his office this week, pushing for him to get the vaccine, but then also admitted that it was very likely that the vaccines have created the variants.  Last year, over the summer, transmission rates dropped, just like you would expect. They rose again late fall, during "flu season" just as it would be expected. By February it was dropping again. Then they started pushing the vaccines, and now transmission rates are blowing up during a season you would expect it to be dropping. If we had left things alone it is quite likely it would largely be over by now.

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