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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.

Creation Science Ministries


Jerry
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

This is an interesting article about how Creation Science Ministries fall short of teaching and preaching the whole counsel of God's Word, how they are typically ecumenical, don't separate from error and false teachers. I thought it was worth passing on. Elsewhere on these boards, it was pointed out that ICR, though it uses the KJV in some articles (such as Days of Praise), they are often guilty of questioning and correcting it - something to be aware of.

Creation Science Ministries: Why the New Evangelical Principle is Dangerous (wayoflife.org)

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If you’re a evangelist, you’re a evangelist, if you are a creation science teacher, you are for creation. Everyone has their purpose and we’re not to go into other churches to criticize them, but to teach them. If I go to your church to preach, and members  start dancing in the spirit. I will remain silence, that is between them and the Lord.  Sharing the word on creation and salvation doesn’t matter where you are, at the moment. We all should be king James Bible preferred, but not only.

This is in my humble opinion.

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1) If you truly believed that charismatic junk was not of God, you wouldn't be preaching or associating with a church that suddenly started dancing in the Spirit.

2) Many on these boards - and the position of this site itself - is KJVonly, but that was a point I made in addition to the article because of prior conversations on this topic. That is not one of the points the article makes.

3) A sound evangelist has a right to preach on the whole counsel of God, and should do so. If they are unsure where a church stands, they should find out before preaching or teaching there. If they cannot agree with their main positions, maybe they should not go there or associate with them - that is certainly better than being muzzled and having your teaching curtailed by the church you are going to. If the Lord has called a preacher to cover certain things in His Word and that preacher refuses to do so because it will rock the boat in a certain church, that is called compromising and even being rebellious to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

4) Regardless of where other churches stand, these ministries should not be associating and preaching at cults and apostate organizations. Basically, to the world and Christendom, it is like putting your stamp of approval on them. The New Testament tells us not to do that in several passages (usually in reference to individuals - but the principle certainly applies here), otherwise we are sharing in their sins, in the fruit of their false teachings.

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20 minutes ago, Jerry said:

1) If you truly believed that charismatic junk was not of God, you wouldn't be preaching or associating with a church that suddenly started dancing in the Spirit.

2) Many on these boards - and the position of this site itself - is KJVonly, but that was a point I made in addition to the article because of prior conversations on this topic. That is not one of the points the article makes.

3) A sound evangelist has a right to preach on the whole counsel of God, and should do so. If they are unsure where a church stands, they should find out before preaching or teaching there. If they cannot agree with their main positions, maybe they should not go there or associate with them - that is certainly better than being muzzled and having your teaching curtailed by the church you are going to. If the Lord has called a preacher to cover certain things in His Word and that preacher refuses to do so because it will rock the boat in a certain church, that is called compromising and even being rebellious to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

4) Regardless of where other churches stand, these ministries should not be associating and preaching at cults and apostate organizations. Basically, to the world and Christendom, it is like putting your stamp of approval on them. The New Testament tells us not to do that in several passages (usually in reference to individuals - but the principle certainly applies here), otherwise we are sharing in their sins, in the fruit of their false teachings.

If they don’t ever hear the proper teaching of creation, how would they learn. If you have a prison ministry and you go preach, are you going to preach to yours only. When you go to teach them, they may be Catholics, protestants, Jehovah witnesses, even Muslims. I believe we need to do our job even if it may be at the wrong location. 

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4 hours ago, E Morales said:

If they don’t ever hear the proper teaching of creation, how would they learn. If you have a prison ministry and you go preach, are you going to preach to yours only. When you go to teach them, they may be Catholics, protestants, Jehovah witnesses, even Muslims. I believe we need to do our job even if it may be at the wrong location. 

That is like saying it is okay to go to a barroom to preach. Scripture says to not cast our pearls before swine. Wrong is wrong, and if you associate with wrong you are wrong.

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7 hours ago, E Morales said:

If they don’t ever hear the proper teaching of creation, how would they learn. If you have a prison ministry and you go preach, are you going to preach to yours only. When you go to teach them, they may be Catholics, protestants, Jehovah witnesses, even Muslims. I believe we need to do our job even if it may be at the wrong location. 

Yes, it is important to know about creation. But simply put, a one-issue ministry is not balanced (especially one that is para-church). God is a God of balance. Sadly, the problem can become one of pride as single issue ministries begin to believe that they and only they have the answers (I am not saying AiG or ICR do, just generalizing). 

I know of preachers who began (back in the 70s, 80s) devoting their preaching to one topic and one topic only...and EVERY ONE of them developed issues - some went the way of the world, and some just went crazy (there were a couple who were immersed in "teaching" about the evils of witchcraft, satanism, and demon possession). 

I think that things would be different if the creation ministries were local-church based rather than para-church. God says in His Word that the church is the pillar and ground of the truth. Not single-issue ministries. The church. And the church has been commanded to teach and preach the whole counsel of God.

Don't get me wrong, E. I think the teaching of creation is absolutely vital. Especially today since so very many don't even know who God is. And this article in no way denigrates the teaching of creation, nor even the ministries. Rather, it points out some of the weaknesses of which Christians who use their materials need be aware.

And, BTW - if it's the "wrong location," then it's wrong...else it wouldn't be a wrong location.

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4 hours ago, HappyChristian said:

Yes, it is important to know about creation. But simply put, a one-issue ministry is not balanced (especially one that is para-church). God is a God of balance. Sadly, the problem can become one of pride as single issue ministries begin to believe that they and only they have the answers (I am not saying AiG or ICR do, just generalizing). 

I know of preachers who began (back in the 70s, 80s) devoting their preaching to one topic and one topic only...and EVERY ONE of them developed issues - some went the way of the world, and some just went crazy (there were a couple who were immersed in "teaching" about the evils of witchcraft, satanism, and demon possession). 

I think that things would be different if the creation ministries were local-church based rather than para-church. God says in His Word that the church is the pillar and ground of the truth. Not single-issue ministries. The church. And the church has been commanded to teach and preach the whole counsel of God.

Don't get me wrong, E. I think the teaching of creation is absolutely vital. Especially today since so very many don't even know who God is. And this article in no way denigrates the teaching of creation, nor even the ministries. Rather, it points out some of the weaknesses of which Christians who use their materials need be aware.

And, BTW - if it's the "wrong location," then it's wrong...else it wouldn't be a wrong location.

I was thinking that it was more of not everyone is a pastor, not everyone is a teacher, one plants the seed and another water. Thanks, I guess my version doesn’t apply here.

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8 hours ago, E Morales said:

I was thinking that it was more of not everyone is a pastor, not everyone is a teacher, one plants the seed and another water. Thanks, I guess my version doesn’t apply here.

I totally agree that we all should do what we can, whether pastor, teacher, or layman. But the article addresses a specific concern - the lack of presenting the whole counsel of God by ministries that do a good thing. Your version (I'm guessing you mean your opinion?) does apply as we are discussing things, and via our discussions we can all learn and grow. But even as an individual, we ought not be in "wrong" locations. It's never right to do wrong in order to do right. 

 

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