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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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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Hi kevinmiller!

I was wondering if you do find some on the web, can you give me the links. I found a couple, but they were able to refute them. So apparently my sources failed.

Love,
Madeline


They will refute anything. They are blind. You have to let them know what sins is and why they need to a savior. give them the 10 commandments and ask them if they broke it. If they say no, they have not broken it, then tell them how they broke every commandments. Then tell them that it is because they are not God and need to understand that the HOLY, SINLESS God is the only who can save them. They can not enter heaven as a sinner. They have to trust Jesus to wash their sins away so they could enter heaven. I am not better at explaining but you probably could.
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Madeline, Psalms18_28 is correct - they'll (the "hardcore" atheist) refute anything. To them, they would believe only in the things they call as "science" (which may not necessarily be genuine science, but science "falsely so called"). As I have said earlier, the last thing to do when witnessing to them is to "debate". I would recommend you to save all these Biblical Science for the agnostics, whom I believe are more receptive to the gospel.

This is a very long post... :)

One thing that the atheist does not know himself is what will happen after death. You can talk to them about this part (about the death of Man). Few days ago, I was reading on the Black Death. Very scary. It shows how all humanity, regardless of king, pope, noble, clergyman, farmer, peasant, maiden are all under the curse of sin: the body shall die. Notice humanity: how Man by nature dreads and fears death. We have been shown how every human, by nature, when their life is threatened, will struggle every bit for survival. This the atheist cannot deny.

Why does the unsaved (in this case the atheist) dread death? Surely it is they are not sure what happens after that, isn't it? Or is it because deep in their heart, they know someone will judge them for their works after death?

"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" - Hebrews 9:27

I am sure many of them well tell you, "When you die, you just die and that's it." But if that is true, then why does fallen, unregenerate Man continues to fear that thing, death? Expect varied answers from them. You can explain to them Scriptually
- Why Man deserves to die. (Broke God's Law)
- The gruesome penalty of sin (We must die)
- The presence of sin (All humanity must die)
- The Saviour comes
- How to escape from eternal death (turn to Christ)
Start from Hebrews 9:27. Other books like Ecclesiastes are helpful as well to explain the vanity of Man (especially if they live without God in their lives).

How about prophecy? In particular the Jewish people? What shall happen in the future (Revelation prophecies come to mind) Hasn't the Scriptures made so many prophecies about them? Another area to tell them.

I doubt any of them would believe, but by God's power anything is possible. However given how "hardcore" they are, I don't recommend you debate them. It most probably will not be fruitful.

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Thank you ltl!

Those are some excellent pointers and your probably right about not debating with them. Someone there new that I was from IFB and even knew which thread I posted on which was strange, this thread in particular. As for what you wrote. You can preach a sermon from what you wrote in your excellent post! I just wish atheists would understand it from the spiritual perspective. Thanks ltl!

Love,
Madeline

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

you might can ask them "where did the big bang come from?" or where did everything began? Can't be aliens (looking at some of their prospective, some believe in aliens), because even they have to come from somewhere.

It was all created from God, who has no beginning or ending. They may asked who made God, but we know that he always existed. His proof of his existence is that we are here, and that's the reality.

They probably knew who you are by googling your screenname, especially when you link their website to us.

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you might can ask them "where did the big bang come from?" or where did everything began? Can't be aliens (looking at some of their prospective, some believe in aliens), because even they have to come from somewhere.

It was all created from God, who has no beginning or ending. They may asked who made God, but we know that he always existed. His proof of his existence is that we are here, and that's the reality.

They probably knew who you are by googling your screenname, especially when you link their website to us.


I had asked them the big bang question, this one guy told me in words I could not understand that 'the big bang' is a theory. Thus, the question 'where did the big bang come from' is a moot point. Their posts are also filled with sexual innuendos toward me which I find abhorrent. I'm just about to give up, they hurt my feelings too often.

Love,
Madeline
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I had asked them the big bang question, this one guy told me in words I could not understand that 'the big bang' is a theory. Thus, the question 'where did the big bang come from' is a moot point. Their posts are also filled with sexual innuendos toward me which I find abhorrent. I'm just about to give up, they hurt my feelings too often.

Love,
Madeline


There you are...Hi mad!
Whoa...neato! A website for baptists only! Maddy, I wouldn't spend too much time with atheists, there are those who are lost and are willing to receive the Gospel. Do what you can and shake the dust off your feet. So what did you do today...? :lol: See you at Bethel Sunday? :)

Take Care and God Bless!
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  • 1 month later...
  • Advanced Member

I know this is an old topic, sorry for resurrecting it! :(

I was an atheist for a long time, since I was very young, maybe 6 or 7 years old I was already convinced there was no God, when I was 8 I saw my mother praying and mocked her, and laughed at her attempts at trying to talk to God.

I would make fun of anyone religious, and if any of my friends were religious, I would not really have anything against them, but my estimation of their IQ dropped significantly.

If people knocked on my door, or tried to give me tracts, I would very un kindly tell them off, and if they were at my door slam it in their face.

I was what you call a 'strong atheist' someone who wouldn't hear you out at all, you might have a chance with 'weak atheists' who are similar to agnostics.

My guard was slowly worn down. After a discussion with a friend, I became 'agnostic' If I was to attribute my salvation to any one event, it would be the testimony of a Christian friend of mine, the way he behaved, and defended his beliefs really impressed me, I would often talk to him about religion, and he would never get frustrated with me, or angry, but had an answer to all my questions, if though I brought up something he couldn't answer, he would be honest about it.

I later received a Bible, read it and got convicted, I would never of read it if it wasn't due to my friends testimony, and from another friend who suggested reading John and Romans (I had at that time read the first page of Matthew, that contained the genealogies and was like "pass" and closed it up)

To basically end what I was trying to say, if you personally know an atheist, your testimony is what is going to soften their hearts to the Gospel, then let God's word do the rest!

-Alen

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  • 2 months later...
How do you minister to atheist?

Most atheists I minister to don't care what I have to say. The Gospel bounces off of them like bullets to Superman. If I tell them that God loves them and sent his only Son to die for them, they respond by saying, 'I don't care, I don't believe that!'. Or if I were to ask them if they believe that they will go to heaven when they die, they respond by saying, 'I don't believe in God or Heaven' What am I suppose to do? And I don't want to go force the Gospel on them, they get upset sometimes and this scares me!!!

Love,
Madeline[/quote

(To be a good witness one must be sensetive to the listener.)
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The Bible has clear principles. The key is to present them in love. We do not cater to sin in order to save the sinner. We give them the Bible that has the power to save.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
(Romans 1:16)

Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.
(Matthew 22:29)

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