Eschatologically, there is in fact a time for open communion, but that time is not yet. There is a Divinely prescribed time, indeed a day in world history set aside for the practice of closed communion to cease altogether. That time is when Christ returns. 1 Corinthians 11:26: “as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come”. That is to say, after He comes, we are to cease holding communion, for its purpose will then be redundant.

In recent years, many churches have discarded the doctrine of Christ’s pre-millennial return, and indeed many strands of Christendom, including destructive liberal cults such as the so-called ‘Emergent Church’ and the ‘Purpose-Driven’ movement, have deliberately ceased teaching or become woolly-headed about eschatology altogether. Those such churches who dismiss the clear scriptural teaching on Christ’s Second Coming as being “too vague to be worth teaching” or “of only secondary importance” therefore deny themselves the logic and rich encouragement of its tandem doctrine, the communion supper, and predictably, they hold an open communion table which further impoverishes their understanding of the doctrine of the communion and its specific relationship to endtime events. Liberal churches in which Satan has such a strong foothold do not like members to ponder the return of Christ, preferring instead to teach a social gospel which incorrectly emphasises a gradual spiritualization and improving of the world by human effort, undervaluing the redemptive work of Christ, and feeding on the pride of man.

We have already seen why it is wrong for churches to try to join themselves together in a show of unity by holding so-called ‘inter-church’, shared communion suppers, or to open the communion table to all-comers. But next, and finally, I will show another reason why open communion should not be conducted yet. That is because there will be a time for open communion, but that time is not yet.

It can readily be seen that it is a futile and indeed obvious practical impossibility in this church age, for the whole church of God all over the world to gather together to simultaneously partake in the Lord’s Supper. Nevertheless, the Bible tells us that there will be a future time when it is God’s will for a universally shared communion supper to take place. That time is not yet, but look at what Hebrews 12:22-23 says: “ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect…”

This verse is talking about the heavenly Jerusalem. The great marriage supper of the Lamb of God, when we shall all be in heaven forevermore. Verse 23 defines it as “The General Assembly” of the Church. The General Assembly is the only time that the whole church, the only time that all the Christian churches around your locality, and around the whole world, will all be together in one place. That is the only time that we can, the only time that we will, and the only time that we should, all sit down together and eat a meal around the same table… That will be our final destination, when we Christians all around the world will all truly and finally be ‘one’, because we will be assembled together in Heaven, as it is written in Revelation 19:9 – “Blessed are they who are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb”.

Remember that Christ said “Whenever two or three of us are gathered together, (in this current earthly church age) there will He be. But that is completely different from the final marriage supper in Heaven, because for that, Christ Himself will gather us together, that where He is, there shall we be! This is significantly the complete opposite of the arrangement of the communion supper: For the final supper in Heaven, everything is reversed from how the church was in its previous earth-bound state.

Observe again how this doctrine unfolds in the scriptures:

Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

Ephesians 1:10: “That in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.”

John 14:2-3: “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also”.

For this reason, it is wrong for churches to try to join themselves together in open communion before Christ comes to gather us together Himself around one table.

For when Christ comes at His Second Coming, the ceremony of the communion supper will anyway be defunct and discontinued, because Christ has come and will gather us together in heaven for His supper. Christ only instructed us to do it until He comes again, because afterwards there will obviously be no point: We will no longer be on earth, but in Heaven, where He has gathered us. Faith will finally be that which is seen, not that which is hoped for. And on that day, I shall raise a glass to you and share your cup and your plate and say “Hallelujah Brother! We are finally one! The body is now complete in one place, Heaven”.

But until that day arrives, Christ has organised His church into individual, autonomous, local assemblies, in order that they might be better discipled, disciplined and organized, and the communion supper should be both the reflection, and the instrument of this period in God’s dealing with mankind that is known as The Church Age, that is to say, The Body Of Christ on earth manifested in local assemblies of Gentiles called out of the world to be grafted into the covenant of Abraham, by grace through faith in the propitiatory death and resurrection of Christ.


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