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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.

Preacher shot and killed in front of congregation


orvals
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My wife and I were saddened to read of a pastor being killed in his church building and in front of his people. I realize that the attacker was confused mentally by Satan but the world at large will not understand the spiritual implications of this attack. At the root of this type of behaviour is the absolute and total rejection of authority and had we the capability to go back into the shooters past I am sure we would find a total disregard for those who tried to direct him down a more acceptable path.

Sin has many heads but none is more vile than the head that is demonstrated in the process of rebellion it is as the sin of witchcraft because one is opened up to the direction of a malevolent / evil spirit who feeds the thought process with wrong options.

Let us seriously pray for the protection of our pastors, deacons and trustees and their families. Faithful and spiritual leadership is difficult to consistently find in our day and age and we need desperately to cover them in prayer. :pray

http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=7033937&page=1

Orvals

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I saw this story on Fox News after church this morning. Very sad and disturbing.

Here's a little blurb about this from Yahoo. Interesting about the Bible.


Police: Ill. pastor deflected gunshot with Bible

MARYVILLE, Ill. ? Illinois State Police say the pastor gunned down at a church in a St. Louis suburb used a Bible to deflect the first of four rounds fired during his Sunday sermon.

State Police Director Larry Trent says the Bible exploded, producing what appeared to be confetti.

Trent says about 150 people in attendance initially believed the episode was a skit being performed as part of the service at First Baptist Church in Maryville.

Trent says only one of the four rounds fired from the .45 caliber handgun struck and killed 45-year-old pastor Fred Winters.

Two congregants and the gunman suffered stab wounds while the gunman was wrestled to the floor after his gun jammed.

Trent says no one at the church recognized the gunman.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090308/ap_ ... h_shooting

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Our pastors son, who is our youth pastor, knew Pastor Winters. He liked Pastor Winters a great deal and visited him many times while he lived in that area. Our Youth Pastors wife has family just a few blocks from where this happened and her and the kids were visiting down there this weekend.

Needless to say, this has hit close to home. Please remember to pray for Pastor Winters wife and children as well as the church.

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The Lord must have needed this pastor real bad, so he called him home to heaven. The Lord Sure Works In Mysterious Ways! Amen & Praise The Lord! JESUS SAVES! If we truly believe in God and the bible, then we must believe that this was God's will or part of his master plan. Many are blaming guns and want control implemented by our government. Guns are not the problem, and I can tell you that if the Lord comes after our guns, The Lord just might get shot! Now that I have said this, It will be interesting to see if the board moderator believes in true religious freedom, or if this post will get deleted. Let me ask each of you some questions: What religion are you? A Muslim? A Catholic? A Christian? A Jew?.......Were you born a Muslim, a Catholic, a Jew, or a Christian? Or did you choose that religion for yourself at some point after long and painful deliberation and intense study of all religions in order to make the wisest choice for yourself? Almost all people are not born a Muslim, a Catholic, or a Christian, but born to Muslim parents, Christian parents, Catholic parents and so on..... So if you were born in India you might be a Hindu, if you were born in Italy you might be a Catholic, if you were born in Iran you might be a Muslim and if you were born in the USA you might be a Christian. So where you were born most likely dictates what religion you will belong to, and also what religion your parents belong to effects these outcomes. What does this tell you? Well it tells me allot!
B.A. Brooks
U.A.F.F. Founder
http://www.uaff.us

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To USA

I must admit your choice of words in the beginning of your post caused me a little distress. First because they seem to be (I may be mistaken) mocking phrases that are typical among bible believers and secondly you seem to imply that God is the author of this evil perpetrated on this family and congregation.

Then you come on like you are a poor persecuted writer whom the board moderator has no choice but to silence your erratic writing style. Most on this board have no problem understanding that America has some deep and troubling problems or that the world at large is not significantly better in any given category. But our problems are brought about by sin and have nothing to do with race, religion or political persuasion. The Muslim, the American, the black, the Asian, the Indian etc all have an inherent problem we are all sinners with a fallen sin nature.

This thread was created to inform our readers and to pray for the family and the congregation who are left to suffer the consequences of another?s sin. The thread is not here to be a launching pad for someone who wants to capitalize on another?s tragedy.

If you want to discuss your web site and your views please open another thread.

Orvals

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usaconcerned

On a message board on the net, do you really think that when you join it that you, have freedom of speech, that you can write anything that you want to using any words that you desire?

If so, your totally mistaken, when you join a message board as this you agree to abided by its rules, if not, the owner can give you the boot. But besides that the owner can still give you the boot for it is a privilege to post one someone else's message board, which he can terminate you at anytime with out giving you a reason.

Why not show some respect for Bro. Matt, the owner when you post, and such post as yours does no one any good. Seems to me your seeing just how far you can push the owner, that is not nice.

usaconcerned, I started to ht the quote button, but I really did not want you post to be in a post I made.

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Words from our pastor:


The news from First Baptist Church in Maryville has hit our family hard because we know the church, some of Sarah's family attends the church, and Rick knew the Pastor. It is certainly a horrible tragedy. It reminds us of some important truths

1. Sin is real

2. The consequence of sin is painful (some way more painful than others)

3. The answer to sin is faith in Jesus Christ

As long as sin is in the world life is going to be unpredictable. We never know when the effects of man's rebellion will strike our lives. (I continue to believe all disease is a ripple effect from the sin of mankind.) When we see such violent expressions of the sinfulness of man we are reminded to take a firmer hold of our faith (so we are prepared for whatever comes) and challenged to more fervently share the message of the gospel.

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Words from our pastor:


The news from First Baptist Church in Maryville has hit our family hard because we know the church, some of Sarah's family attends the church, and Rick knew the Pastor. It is certainly a horrible tragedy. It reminds us of some important truths

1. Sin is real

2. The consequence of sin is painful (some way more painful than others)

3. The answer to sin is faith in Jesus Christ

As long as sin is in the world life is going to be unpredictable. We never know when the effects of man's rebellion will strike our lives. (I continue to believe all disease is a ripple effect from the sin of mankind.) When we see such violent expressions of the sinfulness of man we are reminded to take a firmer hold of our faith (so we are prepared for whatever comes) and challenged to more fervently share the message of the gospel.


:thumb Agreed.

Just another strong sign this is a lost and dying world, but there is hope, hope for the souls of men if the will call on the name of Jesus.

21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Acts 2:21 (KJV)

12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Acts 4:12 (KJV)
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Just another strong sign this is a lost and dying world, but there is hope, hope for the souls of men if the will call on the name of Jesus.

21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Acts 2:21 (KJV)

12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Acts 4:12 (KJV)


:amen:

There were two very different funerals here recently. One was for my son-in-laws grandfather. The pastor who conducted that funeral gave the impression if one is "good" in this life, they will go to heaven. He was about 20 minutes into the service before he mentioned "Christ", and even then nothing about the Gospel. Even so, he kept inferring that "good" folks all go to heaven. :sad

The other funeral our pastor spoke. He gave a clear presentation of the Gospel, spoke of the reality of Hell and the FACT that only those biblcally born again will see heaven, all others will go to a literal hell. (The person being buried was born again but many of the family were not) Some came up to our pastor after the services and told him they had never before heard what he spoke. Now they have heard the Gospel and it's up to them to pay heed to the Holy Ghost or not.

Sadly, those at the first funeral are left with the hell-filling idea that if they are "good enough", that's all it takes to get to heaven. :sad
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

No doubt, many of us pastor fail when it comes to preaching at a funeral service. Thus many leave that service feeling just as you stated, "I can be good enough to go to heaven."

I try my best to always proclaim there is only one path to heaven, that being Jesus, that no one can be good enough to enter heaven without being washed in the blood of Christ.

I'm sure to, that many people walk by the coffin after the service to just to see if the right person is in the coffin, for the man the preacher spoke of was not anything like the man they had known all their life.

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I'm sure to' date=' that many people walk by the coffin after the service to just to see if the right person is in the coffin, for the man the preacher spoke of was not anything like the man they had known all their life.[/quote']

Pardon?
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Some preachers can be burying a known sinner and yet the way they talk it sounds as if the guy was great and sitting in heaven now. I've been to a few funerals where the preacher talked about the guy in ways that didn't fit the person they were burying and they repeated how this person was now in heaven, looking down, waiting for his loved ones to join him.

Of course, those who are biblically illiterate or who don't believe the truth of Scripture won't catch on and it sounds fine to them. However, for those who knew the person and know what is required to enter heaven, the words the preacher spoke don't sound right at all.
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Wish I could remember the joke on this, it woudl explain it quite well, but I fail to remember it.

The point is the preacher built the man up to be a super good Christian man, his good friend thought surely he had come to the wrong funeral, for his friend was nothing like that, but completely just the opposite, so he looks into the coffin to see who is there, for he felt sure the preacher would not say such things about his good friend.
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