Today I was asked why a pastor would tell the congregation that only believers could partake in communion and further instruct anyone who has not submitted their life to Christ to let the plate pass. Here is how the scripture instructs we are to share in Holy Communion.
The Eucharist/Communion…the eating of the bread (the body) and the drinking of the wine (the blood) of Christ is something that is very special and very sacred to believers. It is a pastor’s responsibility to clarify that eating this bread and drinking this wine is a solid personal proclamation of a person’s belief in Christ’s death, resurrection, and return. 1 Corinthians 11 (verse 27) says that anyone coming to the table to take communion without showing proper respect to the body of Christ and making a proper examination of themselves before God, in turn eat and drink the Lord’s discipline upon themselves. Anyone who would like to either declare or reaffirm their faith by eating this bread and drinking this wine is welcome, and everyone should use this sacrament as a time to reflect on the atoning work of The Lord, and to confirm their personal commitment to Jesus Christ. A church serving communion without this explanation may be liable for the negligence of the uninformed non-believers, but non-believers who receive the warning and do not heed this instruction own responsibility for their own actions.