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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.

How do you minister to atheist?


Madeline
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Although i am by no means an authority, I do know that all belief in God has to have a foundation. As Christians you and i know that we find that foundation in the Lord Jesus Christ who is the Word.
With an athiest we have to guide them to answer the question of "What is truth"
Without a foundation of absolute truth we have nothing.
the important things that we have to establish with an athiest is that the Word of God is truth. it is by the Word of God faith grows. there is only one absolute truth and it is on this truth that we build all our understanding of Jesus Christ and His plan for our lives.


Rom 10:17 So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

1Cr 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Sure they are! We are ALL to serve God and witness to the lost! The men are to lead in churches, but if she wants to witness to the lost, let's encourage her!



If she wants to witness, thats great! But when it comes to forums (not in person, just forums or any large debate groups) , these guys' heart have already hardened and will tear down Christianity. But there will always be someone who will listen.
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these guys' heart have already hardened and will tear down Christianity.



Check out the Apostle Pauls situation before the Damascus encounter. You will see that no one is beyond God's reach. Non Christians are not the only ones with hardened hearts.


Are you sure you want to witness an atheist forum? It is harsh and they will shred you into pieces.


Anytime you stand for Jesus this will happen. I would be concerned if this didn't happen, Amen
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Uhhhhhhh! I don't think the atheists on the forum are going to change their mind. :cry: I tried but nothing seems to convince them. It's so sad, the devil has blinded their minds and my heart grieves for them.:bawling:

With love,
Madeline

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

You presented the Word, but you can't do anything more--the result are of God. If it were up to us to get people saved, nobody would ever be saved--it's all God!

Regarding atheists, though...

For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
(2 Peter 3:5)

They are willingly ignorant. They don't want to believe. I know this, having two atheist/agnostic siblings...Just hardheaded, because if God exists, then they're in big trouble because they love thier sin too much.

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  • Advanced Member

no, keep witnessing. YOu probably get a better result if you witness in person than on a computer.


I do a lot of witnessing in person and will continue to, just a little timid. I sweat sometimes. But what about the people on the forums, should I continue?

Love,
Madeline
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  • Advanced Member

Has your discussion reach a point where you are just repeating the same things over and over in a different way?
Do your reply contain anything "new" ?

If you answered both of these questions no I suggest you make a final "thanks for reading post" post and move on.

We are called to share the Gospel once you have done that the rest is up to the person and God. If the conversations isn't productive I see no reason to continue. Some people look for any opening to try and trip you up. If they don't see the truth before them there is little you can do to change that.

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Has your discussion reach a point where you are just repeating the same things over and over in a different way?
Do your reply contain anything "new" ?

If you answered both of these questions no I suggest you make a final "thanks for reading post" post and move on.

We are called to share the Gospel once you have done that the rest is up to the person and God. If the conversations isn't productive I see no reason to continue. Some people look for any opening to try and trip you up. If they don't see the truth before them there is little you can do to change that.


No, not really! They hurt me emotionally there and I could not take it so I left. They don't want to learn. Some of their posts are filled with sexually explicit remarks and explitives which are too offensive to mention. But as you said, I will leave it up to God as of now since there has been no progress. Thank you!

Love,
Madeline
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  • Advanced Member

Madelin,

Remember we are just the messenger. It is the Holy Spirit through the Word of God that leads them to salvation. Make sure when you ae witnessing that you use as much scripture as you can.

1Cr 3:7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.


It is easier said than done grace. I bombarded them with scriptures, they can't stand it when I quote scriptures, it makes them angry. I have made almost 80 posts in less than 2 days and nothing has progressed. If you think you can give them a change of heart, be my guest.

Love,
Madeline
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  • Baptist Men

Madeline,

We cannot force people to believe in God. We can only show them the truth. Remember I Corinthians 3:6


I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.


We may never know (until we get to Heaven) the results of the seed we planted or watered, but God is the one responsible for bringing forth the new life.

Jim
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

One thing I have learned thus far from debating with the 'hard core' atheists on the forum is that they will never believe the bible unless you can bring scientific evidence of some sort to the table.

Love,
Madeline


yep..Thats why I wrote that some christans decided to be a theist evolutionist, or reject christianity altogether ( which proves that he was doubting Christ in the first place and was hoping someone could prove that his doubt is correct)
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One thing I have learned thus far from debating with the 'hard core' atheists on the forum is that they will never believe the bible unless you can bring scientific evidence of some sort to the table.


There's a lot of good material on Biblical science out there. Kent Hovind is one of them. It's much easier to prove Biblical science than evolutionary. You should look into it, I'm sure you can find some good stuff on the web.

Kevin
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