Point of No Return

“Then the LORD said to me: ‘Even if Moses and Samuel should stand before Me, My heart would not go out to this people. Send them from My presence, and let them go. If they ask you, ‘Where shall we go?’ you are to tell them that this is what the LORD says: ‘Those destined for death, to death; those destined for the sword, to the sword; those destined for famine, to famine; and those destined for captivity, to captivity.'” (Jeremiah 15:1-2 Berean Study Bible)

I did a doubletake reading this Scripture when I saw it said, “Even if Moses and Samuel should stand before me, My heart would not go out to this people.” Moses and Samuel were both prophets of God. They were two of the greatest prophets amongst the other prophets we see in the Scriptures. The people of Judah had come to the point of no return.

Not even Moses or Samuel would have been able to intercede for the people of Judah at this point. Judah had abandoned God and traded God for the religious systems of men, had adopted the culture of pagan nations, and worshipping the idols/gods of the nations around them. Jeremiah had already been told “As for you, do not pray for these people. Do not raise up a cry or a prayer on their behalf, for I will not be listening when they call out to Me at the time of their disaster, ” (Jeremiah 11:14BSB).

Intercession for the people of Judah would have been rendered ineffective even if Moses and Samuel were standing before God interceding on their behalf. God wasn’t even listening to the people of Judah cry out to Him because they only cried out to Him when they were in trouble. God was angry and told Jeremiah, “Therefore this is what the LORD says: ‘I am about to bring upon them a disaster that they cannot escape. They will cry out to Me, but I will not listen to them. Then the cities of Judah and the residents of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods to which they have been burning incense, but these gods certainly will not save them in their time of disaster. Your gods are indeed as numerous as your cities, O Judah; the altars of shame you have set up—the altars to burn incense to Baal—are as many as the streets of Jerusalem.” (Jeremiah 11:11-13) They didn’t commune with God. They were committing the act of spiritual adultery, acting as prostitutes giving themselves away to every pagan deity and were told by God through the prophet Jeremiah “How you plot and scheme to win your lovers. Even an experienced prostitute could learn from you!” (Jeremiah 2:33BSB) They had no shame and could not even blush anymore. They flagrantly flaunted their spiritual adultery and their idolatry in the face of God.

GOD DOESN’T PLAY GAMES. God warned them over and over again, but the stench of their sin had risen up before Him, and they were only sorry they had gotten caught in their sin. They were not repentant for their sins of abandoning God and trading Him in for the religious systems of man, their spiritual adultery, and their idolatry.

This cannot get more sobering than this statement made to Jeremiah by God, “As for you, do not pray for these people. Do not raise up a cry or a prayer on their behalf, for I will not be listening when they call out to Me at the time of their disaster.” Will you allow yourself to be found in the same spiritual condition as the people of Judah? Would God tell someone not to pray for you?

THERE IS NO NEUTRAL GROUND WHEN IT COMES TO SERVING GOD. I will be saying that until there is no longer breath in my body. There is no neutral ground when it comes to serving the Lord. CHOOSE YOU THIS DAY WHOM YOU WILL SERVE.

We have been chosen by Christ to go and bear fruit. Every tree that does not bear fruit will be chopped down and burnt up (Matthew 3:10, 7:19).

“You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. Do you think the Scriptures have no meaning? They say that God is passionate that the spirit he has placed within us should be faithful to him. And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’” (James 4:4-6NLT)

Remember God does NOT bless a life of disobedience, but He does bless a life of obedience. He lavishes grace and mercy upon His children who are loving Him with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength. Favor is the shield around His children.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” Repent so you are not found in the same position as the people of Judah. God had enough of their foolish behavior. Do NOT bring God to the point where God tells someone not to pray for you anymore because of your stubborn, hardened, and calloused heart. There is a time when God says, “Enough” as we have seen here with Jeremiah.

There is no neutral ground when it comes to God. You are either on God’s side or you’re not. You cannot claim to live for God and love the things of this world; in other words, you cannot be a friend of God if you are a friend of the world. The God of the Old Testament is still God in the New Testament. God promises restoration, hope, and healing for those who are truly repentant with contrite hearts, those who recognize their need of the one and only Savior.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, You are the One and Only God. You are the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth. No one compares to You. You are sovereign and holy, and You do not share Your glory with another. Father, I will seek Your righteousness first and I will follow Your ways. I will obey Your commands and cling tightly to Your truth. I choose to serve You and You alone. Thank You for being my God and my Father. Thank You for Your instruction and Your discipline. Thank You for choosing me to go and bear fruit. Be with me as I follow Your commands and seek out Your ways. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Linda A. Knowles

Confessions #3: The Great Copier Heaven In The Sky

Confessions of a Former Church Secretary #3

THE GREAT COPIER HEAVEN IN THE SKY

By Linda A. Knowles

Brother Vincent, an elder in the church, grunted a hello at Poppy. He came over to her as she was throwing out a copier. When he saw what she was doing, he stood between her and the copier and sternly raised his voice, “Poppy, what are you doing?! Copiers cost a lot of money! Don’t you understand this?! You cannot throw this away!”

“But, Brother Vincent, it’s broken. Even the Copier Repair Man couldn’t resuscitate this thing. It prints globs of black ink on the paper and it failed every test the Copier Repair Man gave it. There is no redemption for this copier. “

But Brother Vincent insisted, “Call the Copier Guy again and have him come to fix it.”

“Brother Vincent, it would cost another $600.00 to get the Copier Repair Man back out here. They sent out what’s called a Specialist Copier Repair Man already. He said and I’m quoting the Specialist. He said, ‘How do I break this to you gently, Poppy? Your Copier has passed from this life into its next life to the Great Copier Heaven in the sky.'”

“So it’s not good then?”

“No, Brother Vincent, I’m sorry, but this copier is as dead as a doorknob.”

Brother Vincent was quiet for a moment as she could see he was thinking, “We may one day need to use this copier. So put it back in storage.”

“Brother Vincent, we have no storage room and it’s broken.”

“Well it prints. It just prints with globs of black ink. So it prints just not correctly so it’s still good. Just put it in storage. Do what I said,” he then left the office.

Pastor Grant came in and saw Poppy puzzled as she was putting the copier in the other room, “Didn’t you move that same copier out here to get rid of it?”

“Yes, Pastor.”

“Then, why are you moving it back to the other room?”

“Pastor Grant, Brother Vincent is 90 years old, and I have to respect my elders. I’m trying to make sure that if he strokes out that it is not because of me. It has to be because you told him the copier has got to go. Besides, you’re the Pastor. He has to listen to you.”

Confessions #2: Look How Well It Worked For Him.

Confessions of a Former Church Secretary #2

LOOK HOW WELL IT WENT FOR HIM!

By Linda A. Knowles

Wally came in for his work shift at the church. He was busy getting the trash from the administrative offices. Wally looked distraught so Poppy, who was sitting at her desk doing paperwork, figured she might as well ask, “Wally, what’s wrong?”

Wally looked at her, “Well, Ma’am, I’ve tried everything. I tried being a garbage man. That didn’t work and then I tried being a truck driver. That didn’t work either, and I have had a number of other jobs: What’s the name of that donut shop? It’s like two minutes up the street. I tried food delivery. You get the point. Now I have decided there is only one other thing that I have to try because it’s the only answer.”

Poppy now curious, “So what are you going to be now?”

Wally declared, “I’m going to be a pastor.” Poppy’s mouth hung open and was unable to find any words, “You see, Ma’am, nothing else has worked. So clearly the only right option is for me is to be a pastor.”

Poppy said in complete disbelief, finding her words, “But you hate working! You can’t even show up for your shift on time here at the church! What are you going to do as a Pastor?! You are aware Pastors do work, right?”

He looked at Poppy and spoke rather nonchalantly about being a pastor, “Look at how well it worked for Pastor Grant! He has it made in the shade.” Poppy was shaking her head and looking at Wally at the horror of the image she had of Wally being a pastor as he continued to talk, “I’m serious, Ma’am. Look at how well it worked for him! He sits back in his chair, talks for an hour on Wednesday, talks for an hour on Sunday morning and on Sunday Night. And he rakes in the cash!”

Poppy’s composure was about to give way, but she managed to keep her composure together as Wally continued to talk, “He has no worries, Ma’am! Everything goes well for him,” Poppy found herself tilting her head to the side as she was looking at Wally wondering to herself if she was really hearing what she was hearing as Wally continued to talk, “How difficult can it be to serve communion? Others do it for him. He has everyone doing everything for him. Look at how well it has worked for him! He doesn’t have to do anything. He just comes in, sits back in his chair, and he reads.”

Poppy looked at him, beside herself, “No, no, no, he doesn’t just read…”

Wally interjected, “Yes, Ma’am, he does. I’ve seen him. What would you know about what he does?!”

Poppy looked at him sternly and said, “I’m Pastor Grant’s secretary! Do you have any idea what it takes to be a pastor?! Can you do the preparatory work to be a pastor?! Do you know that being a pastor is a calling not just something to do?! Are you ready to buckle down to study Hermeneutics, Eschatology, Old Testament Survey, New Testament Survey?! Could you even sit long enough to study those and those are not the only other subjects you would have to study?! You think Pastor Grant does nothing! Have you seen his schedule?! He does hospital visits, is the chairman at every board meeting, has to keep up with the state of his flock no matter how many there are! He is on the phone praying with people, attends the week day and even night prayer meetings, meets with ministry leaders on a bi-weekly basis, disciples and mentors about five people at the moment, equips the members of the congregation to evangelize. He does marriage counseling, family counseling, and individual counseling! He leads an evangelism team and goes evangelizing in the inner city! He meets with city officials and serves on the board of the local bible college! So are you really thinking that being a pastor is the right option for you?!”

Wally was scratching his head and seemingly confused, “Ma’am, I have only one question.”

Scowling, Poppy asked, “What’s your question?”

Wally stated, “What do you mean by he has to keep up with the state of his flock?”

Poppy sighed, “Lord, help me.”