Fauquier Baptist Church
Tuesday, June 18, 2024
     When growing up on the family farm in South Carolina near the little town of Iva, my brothers and I had a business. It was our first business. We had a market for our product and a good supply of products. As I recall the business was named the "JIM, GEORGE, DAN, AND KENNY RABBIT CATCHING COMPANY". Our "tools of the trade" were some old shotguns and 26 hand made rabbit gums placed in strategic places around the farm. (The rabbit gums  were box like traps that when the rabbit went in, a trap door closed and the rabbit was caught). The local grocery store in Iva was willing to buy all the rabbits we could supply for 50 cents apiece which was a lot of money for us. 
     I don't remember who took care of the chore of cleaning the "harvest," but it wasn't me. I believe we made several deliveries before problems (management problems) got into the works. The big management problem was WHO would reach in and pull the rabbit out. This was a good sized risk because instead of a rabbit, it could have been a pole-cat, 'coon, or something else worse that could inflict a serious bite. For a while one of the younger brothers, the third one down, was "talked" into reaching into the rabbit gum and pulling out the rabbit. We could usually talk him into about anything back then. But, after a while he got to where he balked at the "opportunity to prove that he was a real man" by pulling the rabbits out. No amount of "talking" or "shaming" could convince him to take a chance with his fingers! He had five on each hand and wanted to keep them there. We had a serious problem.
     So, on the spot, down in the bottoms, we convened a board meeting as to what to do about getting our product out of the rabbit gum. Being of one mind on the issue, we voted to give the rabbits a "fair chance". The fair chance involved one brother dumping the rabbit out of the rabbit gum while one of the other brothers held his shotgun in such a manner as to bag the rabbit as it exploded (took off like a fired cannon ball) and headed for the bushes. We said, "if the rabbit makes it we'll let him go," as if there was anything else we could do about it. As it turned out, the board decision, made down on the bottoms that day, was the doom of the "JIM, GEORGE, DAN, AND KENNY RABBIT CATCHING COMPANY" because the rabbits all got away. But, it was the principle of the matter. We were giving the rabbit a "fair chance." Those were the good old days!
     All this reminds me of what the Bible says about the Lord being longsuffering with men. "The Lord ... is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." Longsuffering means to be patient. As with me personally, it was chance after chance, time after time, until the day came that a decision regarding salvation had to be made. I believed my Creator was getting mighty tired of me! As I look back on that day, I'm eternally grateful that I chose The Lord God as my Saviour, calling on His Name by faith. The Bible clearly states in Romans 10:13, "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." I called upon the Lord and He forever settled the matter of where I would be in eternity. I called upon the Lord to save me and that is exactly what He did. God cannot lie.
     As I think back over the years that I was unsaved, I shudder to think that my destination would have been Hell. Chance after reckless chance I took. God was certainly merciful and longsuffering. But some may not get as many chances as I did. Some many not get even a second chance. The Word of God tells us that our "days are numbered." When the time comes, ready or not, one goes one way or the other ...Heaven or Hell. Heaven if one is saved. Hell if one is lost.
     We should be happy that Jesus Christ made it simple for all to understand the way to Heaven. He said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." As you read this, understand that the world and its thousands of different religions put forth many so called ways to Heaven, and many so called truths, but God puts forth only one way, one truth, that leads to eternal life. There are only two destinations that a person's soul will be in the next life, either Heaven or Hell. The great question is which place are you headed? If you are without Jesus Christ, now (II Corinthians 6:2) would be a good time and a good day to trust the Word of God, and call upon His name for salvation. Or, will you continue to take chances with your very own soul?
     The rabbits may have gotten away and lived to see another day, but my friend, when your time comes there will be no further chances. Take Jesus today. You will never be sorry.
     May God bless each and every one of you.