Gospel Gazette, Bible Articles

Vol. 2, No. 1 Page 10 January 2000

Gospel Gazette, Bible Articles

That Dog Won’t Hunt

By Paul Hoover

I knew a fine, old, southern gentleman whose passion in life was the breeding and training of coon dogs.  He would go to any length to own the finest coon dogs in the state of Mississippi.  He, of course, was the owner of many champion dogs and bred a number of exceptional dogs, which he sold for a nice profit.  Though he sold many dogs, he always kept the best dog of every litter for himself.  He was always looking for the perfect coon dog and hoped, through his breeding program, to produce such an animal.

The time came when the conditions were right.  He owned the greatest male coon dog in the state, and was fortunate enough to purchase the most prized female.  He felt that his dream of producing the perfect coon dog would be realized through this pair.  After some initial difficulties, the female became pregnant.  She received the best care available.  The man was in a high state of excitement throughout the pregnancy.  Finally, the great day came.  The female dropped four pups.  Three of the pups were splendid animals, but the fourth was the most perfect the man had ever seen.
This pup was absolutely perfect in form.  The man spared nothing in the care of this fine animal.  He grew into a beautiful, healthy, young dog.  He had a large frame and was extremely muscular for a young dog.  His voice was deep, even as a pup.  He was destined to be the champion of champions.  When the preliminary training of this great dog was over, he was taken to the woods for his first real hunt with the pack.  Coon hunters and dog breeders from all over the state were on hand.  Soon the dogs struck a trail and were off at top speed, well, all but one.  The perfect coon dog would not hunt.  The man, as you can imagine, was greatly embarrassed.  He made many attempts to train that dog, all to no avail.  That dog was physically impressive and intelligent, but he simply would not hunt.
Every time he looked at that dog, it broke the man’s heart.  He loved the dog, but he could not bear to see him, who should have been a great champion, content to be just another lap dog. The man loved the dog, but could not keep him as if he were a coon dog; rather, he eventually gave the dog to some children for a pet.  The dog was killed in an accident a few years later never having been what he was bred to be.

  I do not wish to draw too much out of this story, but there is a good and simple point to be made here.  A dog that will not hunt is not a hunting dog.  That is easily understood and is applicable to many things.  A toaster that does not toast is not a toaster.  A boxer who will not box is not a boxer.  Perhaps he used to be a boxer.  Perhaps he will be a boxer again, but he is not a boxer now.  By the same token, a Christian who will not practice Christianity is not a Christian.  He may have been a Christian and may be a Christian again, but if he is not actively practicing Christianity he is not now a Christian.
Upon reaching an age of accountability every human being is spotted by sin.  The world holds only corruption.  Those who look only to the world for guidance will never gain the knowledge needed to deal with sin correctly.  This knowledge can be found only in God’s Holy Word.  “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:2-4). Through this knowledge one can escape the corruption of the world by being reborn as a Christian.  At that point one has the knowledge, intellect and background necessary to remain a faithful child of God.

One is expected, because of these characteristics, to remain faithful.  However, becoming a Christian does not guarantee him eternal life, for he must remain a Christian for the rest of his life.  If he ceases to practice Christianity he is no longer a Christian.  “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire” (2 Peter 2:20-22).

In order to become a Christian, one must come out of the world.  In order to remain a Christian, one must stay out of the world.  Regardless of what one has done in the past, either good or bad, he will answer for where he stands when he dies or the Lord returns.  “. . . be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless” (2 Peter 3:14b).  Christianity is not only a rebirth, it is a way of life that must be lived every day.  A Christian is only a Christian as long as he practices Christianity.

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