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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.

Witnessing to False Converts


Samer
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

The absolute hardest category of people to witness to are those who know all the right lingo, and are convinced they're already saved because they've prayed a prayer, yet they are in all works reprobate, worldly, and completely lacking the fruit of the Spirit.
I just found out that one of my friends is in this category, and it hurts.
I see these people all the time door-to-door or in the fair ministry.

Any ideas will be helpful, although I'd appreciate if I could get more input than "ask if they're 100 sure they're going to heaven" or "the good person test," or something. These sorts of people have built up so much resistance...You can show them from the law that they're lost and condmned to hell, but since they've "been born again" or "accepted Jesus," it's ok.

What I'm probably looking for are some convicting Bible verses to use, or...I just don't know. I tried stuff like 2 Corinthians 13:5 with this girl, who just shrugged it off...the false-conversion experience really brings a hardness of heart--"gospel-hardened"--that makes it so hard to change a person's mind--yet we know with God, anything is possible...But this is Hebrews 6:4-6 type of stuff...Simply awful. It's scary what's happening in America with so many people having been falsely converted, and lacking repentance.

Help is greatly appreciated...It breaks my heart that this is what has become of modern American "Christianity"--of friends I knew from church--of coworkers, and so on.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. He told the pharisees that only the sick needed healing.

I have seen God work through prayer and solid preaching on Salvation. I would take them through James.

Jam 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.

Then,
2Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

I would next take them to:
Mat 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Mat 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Finally to:
Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Gal 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Gal 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Gal 5:24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

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I've had exactly the same problem Grace, so many people will agree with you, just because they're "religious" or whatever so they think the Bible is a good thing, and they think it's good for you to show them a few verses. And then they also think it's good to repent and ask Jesus to save them (many people have already prayed such a prayer). But the problem is, most people aren't stopping to realize what the words mean...they just hear "repent" "salvation" "Jesus" as common words or whatever and they don't think about the meaning.

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i have come to detest religion because everybody has one. religion has so blinded people that when you address anything besides religion it is so foreign to them that they will automatically start to shut down and block you out.
if you have talked to people at all you will know exactly what I am talking about. if you ask them," If you died today do you know for sure that you will go to heaven they will answer: I am a catholic, methodist or jw ect.
If you direct the conversation to the Word of God all they want to talk about is their church and what their church believes.

Keeping the focus of the conversation on Jesus Christ and His Word is tough.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

That's true grace. Far too many people are trusting in their particular religion or church for their eternal destination.

These people are most often biblically illiterate and blinded to biblical reasoning. They require much prayer.

Those who refuse to look at Scripture while believing they are okay with God because they are this or that denomination or belong to this or that church, are deceived and often happy in their deception. This makes witnessing to them very, very difficult.

Often, such people need a great deal of intercessory prayer for God to remove what is blinding them to His Word before they can really be properly witnessed to.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Praise God that is no longer you!

This is why we must witness to EVERYONE, not just those who are more receptive. The one out of a thousand that is saved from being lost as you once were is just as precious as the one out of a hundred saved from their lost condition.

Glory to God!

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Matthew 7:22-23
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.


I was going to post these exact verses. The Lord used Matthew 7 to show me I was lost when I truly thought I was saved.
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  • 5 months later...
  • Baptist Men

I have witnessed to many false converts. I will agree it can be very difficult,and/or the atmosphere can seem very hostile.
In some cases I will be what will appear to be harsh as in Jesus' dealing with the pharisees.

The last false convert I witnessed to was an orthodox religion priests son? Something like that. He would boast to me about some of his sins and see them as humourous. He claimed he didn't believe the Bible to be God's Word. He said no to being born again.

I always bring up continous repentance. I give the example of a man who has committed adultery on his wife and he goes to apologize to her and I say if that man was truly sorry would he go commit adultery on her again? No!
I bring up the fact that a person who has repented has the desire to have nothing to do with sin and it grieved if they were to fall and stumble in it.
I will ask if they are obeying thy Lord. For Jesus said "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" I bring up the verses in first John that say if you love Him you will keep His commands, if any man doesn't keep His commands, he is a liar and the truth is not in him.
I will ask them if they are born again. If they say no or what's that or etc. I will say that unless you are born again you can by no means see the kingdom of God.
I will also bring up that verse:
Matthew 7:22-23
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

I may refer to how the "lukewarm" will be spewed out. How if they are ashamed of the Lord, He will be ashamed of them. I may bring up and ask about any evident fruit in their life.

I probably bring up a bunch of other stuff, but I cannot remember at the moment. It usually ends with them being either quite angry, or with them losing their false assurance and with me pressing them to examine themselves to see if they are in the faith.

That's about all I can think of for now. Glory to God!

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Good stuff, Sean. Keep it up. :mrgreen:
I think it might be relevant to post the tract I wrote for false converts...
http://tracts4god.googlepages.com/christian_generic.pdf
I wonder if I should use some of the space on the back and expand the tract...Maybe add some Matthew 7 stuff, hmm.

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  • Advanced Member

It is hard talking to people who think they are saved (e.g. Mormons), but sorry I don't have any advice in that regard.

If your talking about Christians that are dealing with serious sins, I think you should be a bit discerning in this area. Just because they are struggling with sin, doesn't mean they are unsaved (struggling referring to pornography etc).

My friends father struggled with a drug problem for a while after he was saved, yet the change in other aspects of his life blow me away (Mostly because there were some parallels to his experience with mine)

For those whom show no interest in God, no change at all etc I agree, there should be some questioning. I have had many experiences regarding Catholics, they agree with everything you say, even when you say it isn't by works you go to heaven. However when you ask them, well why do you think you are going to heaven, they always start off with "Well, I am a good person.."

-Alen

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Just remember that when you are witnessing, even if you think you have not accompished something, you may have planted the seed in their mind. Let the Holy Spirit bring it to fruition, even if you are not able to. :sing:

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Just remember that when you are witnessing, even if you think you have not accompished something, you may have planted the seed in their mind. Let the Holy Spirit bring it to fruition, even if you are not able to.



Amen!!

i oftentimes feel that way but then i think what if the person that had witnessed to me had felt that way.
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

2Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Simply ask them to tell you about their conversion.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Unfortunately, it's often not that simple. Many take offense at what they view as being judged or tested. Of course, if they are not truly saved then it would be natural for them to be sensitive to this and to become angry.

I've heard many Catholics proclaim they don't need to be born again or they don't need to know what the Bible says because they were born Catholic! Or some say because they were baptized as a child. These people are truly lost yet truly believe they are somehow okay with God because they are Catholic.

The same is true of those "raised Christian" or who are "members of this or that church" or who were baptized, etc. They are lost, but they believe they are okay and in no need to hear from "self-righteous busy-bodies."

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

The absolute hardest category of people to witness to are those who know all the right lingo, and are convinced they're already saved because they've prayed a prayer, yet they are in all works reprobate, worldly, and completely lacking the fruit of the Spirit.
I just found out that one of my friends is in this category, and it hurts.
I see these people all the time door-to-door or in the fair ministry.

Any ideas will be helpful, although I'd appreciate if I could get more input than "ask if they're 100 sure they're going to heaven" or "the good person test," or something. These sorts of people have built up so much resistance...You can show them from the law that they're lost and condmned to hell, but since they've "been born again" or "accepted Jesus," it's ok.

What I'm probably looking for are some convicting Bible verses to use, or...I just don't know. I tried stuff like 2 Corinthians 13:5 with this girl, who just shrugged it off...the false-conversion experience really brings a hardness of heart--"gospel-hardened"--that makes it so hard to change a person's mind--yet we know with God, anything is possible...But this is Hebrews 6:4-6 type of stuff...Simply awful. It's scary what's happening in America with so many people having been falsely converted, and lacking repentance.

Help is greatly appreciated...It breaks my heart that this is what has become of modern American "Christianity"--of friends I knew from church--of coworkers, and so on.


I just seen a tract the other day that was designed for people you suspected were false converts I will have to see if I can find it for you. Other than that it is tough. I have showed the dvd true and false conversion to a few people that I suspected were false converts. I didn't get much of a response. God bless. :)
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I just seen a tract the other day that was designed for people you suspected were false converts I will have to see if I can find it for you. Other than that it is tough. I have showed the dvd true and false conversion to a few people that I suspected were false converts. I didn't get much of a response. God bless. :)


Here is the link to the tract I was talking about http://shop.thegreatnews.com/index.php? ... cts_id=189 God bless. :)
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