Dr. Robert Sumner passed away in December 2016. The Biblical Evangelist newspaper is no longer being published and the ministry of Biblical Evangelism has ceased operation.

The remaining inventory of his books and gospel tracts was transferred to The Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles and may be ordered here.


The Haven of Rest
Evangelist Robert L. Sumner

The Haven of Rest!

By Evangelist Robert L. Sumner

134 Salisbury Circle, Lynchburg, VA 24502

 

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

“For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

– Matthew 11:28-30

 

There is a sense in which the word “rest” is almost indefinable in its varied meanings. To a weary traveler it may mean one thing, yet something completely different to a perspiring laborer. The athlete may understand one thing by it, but a businessman something entirely different. The elderly child of God may associate it with Heaven and it will be a word of delight and beauty, while to a small child who associates it with “nap time,” it may be a word of distasteful horror. Yet, whatever connotation is given the word, it finds its supreme blessedness in its use by the Savior.

Jesus is, indeed, the sinner’s “Haven of Rest!” This characteristic of the Son of God is expressed in similar thoughts throughout Scripture. By way of example, He is our Refuge, our Salvation, our Ark of Safety, our Peace, our Defense, our Shelter in the time of storm – and these are only representative of what He is able to do for 21st century individuals.

In our text, which comprises one of the sweetest invitations in the Bible, you will discover a trilogy of the Word of God’s most forceful and prominent truths nestled within its three sentences. Even the simplest, most sinful sinner should be able to see them clearly.

Note, first of all,

 

I. THE BURDEN OF SIN

 

This burden is expressed in the words “labor” and “heavy laden.” Here is the echo or a truth set forth by David in Psalm 38:3-4: “There is no soundness in my flesh, because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin. For mine iniquities are gone over mind head; as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.”

 For one thing, there is the heavy burden of

 

Sin’s Captivity

 

 This is the slavery of sin! Jesus spoke of it in John 8:34, in His discourse on the light of the world: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.” The word “servant” here is literally “bond servant” and speaks of being a slave.

When Paul wrote to young Timothy about reaching people for “repentance to the acknowledging of the truth,” he described it: “That they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive of him at his will” (II Timothy 2:26). So sinners, the Bible tells us, are in the trap, the snare of Satan, responding in any manner he so desires. The only reason Satan does not have some people murder, for example, is that he has no need to do so. He can get them to go to Hell by trusting in their own righteousness. If they killed, it might awaken them to their need.

 Solomon spoke of this slavery of sin in his instruction to his son, saying in Proverbs 5:22 about the illicit sinner, “His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.”

From these and other Scriptures which might be cited it is clear that the chains and habits of sin get a death hold on an individual and refuse to let go. Mark it down, sin always brings the sinner into bondage, into captivity.

Dr. George W. Truett told of a man who awakened him at 2 o’clock in the morning and, when he opened the door inquiring as to what had brought him to his home at such an unearthly hour, the man responded by staggering into the hallway and saying, “You can see, can’t you?”

And the drunken man put a hand on each of Truett’s shoulders, tearfully pleading, “I want to hold your hands, kneel before you and have you swear in the sight of God that this habit will be broken before it utterly breaks me!”

Then he described what happened when he staggered into his own home an hour previously. His wife had met him with sadness to exclaim, “Sweetheart, you have broken my heart with your drinking. If you don’t stop soon, my health will be crushed and I will be gone, for your course has completely broken me.”

While she was pleading, his elderly mother, hearing the wife, came from her room, put her arms around his neck and her head on his shoulder, sobbing from a broken heart, “Son, if you don’t stop drinking, I will soon go to my grave thinking my boy is doomed for a drunkard’s death and a drunkard’s Hell.”

But that was not all. Before she finished her appeal, his teen-age daughter, suffering at the time with typhoid fever, was so moved at what she heard that somehow she made it to her daddy, pulled at his coat and said, “Daddy, you are breaking the hearts of all of us, killing us. If you don’t stop drinking soon, we will all be dead.”

In describing that scene to Dr. Truett, he summed it up, But I cannot quit! I am completely helpless!”

We do not doubt for a moment the truthfulness of what he said, since that is exactly how sin works in the life of a sinner. While it may be a more dramatic and easily discernible bondage in the alcoholic, the same is true in principle with any sin. The sins of lust, cursing, hate, gossip, lying, coveting and the thousand-and-one other iniquities bring into slavery just as surely as does alcohol. There is a captivity, a bondage, to sin.

Next, there is the heavy burden of

 

Sin’s Consequence!

 

This relates to the fruits of sin! No one gets by with rebellion against God’s commandments. As Jehovah said of His people Israel, “For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind…” (Hosea 8:7). Or, as Paul told the Galatians, “Be not deceived. God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Galatians 6:7-8).

When the children of Gad, Reuben and half of the tribe of Manasseh came to Moses with the request that they receive their inheritance outside the promised land, on the other side of Jordan, they promised God that they would help their brethren drive the inhabitants out of Canaan – even though their own inheritance would not be there. God gave them their request, but He solemnly warned about their vow, “If ye will not do so, behold ye have sinned against the Lord and be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23)

That is a divine dictum, a heavenly principle, still in operation today.

Sin finds out the sinner in a thousand ways. Eliphaz was offering human wisdom – his own personal testimony – but what he said to Job was true: “Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same. By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of his nostrils they are consumed” (Job 4:8-9).

From these and other Scriptures we note that individuals reap what they sow, and they reap more than they sow.

Some of the fruits of sin are a wasted, ruined life; the suffering, tormenting pangs of a remorseful conscience; the ruin of others—loved ones, friends, business associates; broken health, broken hearts and broken homes; reputation blasted and character gone; prison bars; nameless babies; disease; loss of honor, wealth and friends; a crushed and subdued spirit—the list goes on and on and is literally endless! Sin certainly finds you out in this life through its many fruits.

Again, there is the heavy burden of

 

Sin’s Condemnation!

 

This is the sentence of sin! It is what Jehovah God referred to in Ezekiel 18:4 when he said, “…the soul that sinneth , it shall die,” then added in verse 20 again, “The soul that sinneth it shall die.”

It is the fulfillment of Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death….” And of John 3:18, “…he that believeth not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the Son of God.” And John 3:36 adds, “…he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

Sin’s condemnation is visualized in Hebrews 10:26,27, where we read: “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall destroy the adversaries.”

Yet the full condemnation of sin is not seen until we approach the close of the Word of God, summarizing the great judgment morning: “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:14-15).

This burden of sin’s sentence was expressed by the poet:

“Oh, where shall rest be found,

Rest for a weary soul?

‘Twere vain the ocean’s depths to

 sound,

Or pierce to either pole.

“Beyond this vale of tears

There is a life above,

Unmeasured by the flight of

years,

And of that life is love.

“There is death whose pang

Outlasts this fleeting breath,

Oh, what eternal horrors hang

Around man’s second death!

“Lord God of truth and grace,

Teach us that death to shun,

Lest we banished from Thy face

And evermore undone.”

The second great truth in our text relates to

 

II. THE BESEECHING OF

THE SAVIOR!

 

That pleading is summed up in the three words, “Come unto me!”

What is involved in His invitation For one thing, he offers

 

A Salvation That Is Simple!

 

The only condition is “come!” Its simplicity was prophetically foretold in Isaiah 45:22, the verse that brought Spurgeon to Christ: “Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” And the same truth was figuratively foretold in Isaiah 55:1,2 where we read: “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? And your labour for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.”

How anxious the Savior is that anyone and everyone come to Him for salvation! He guaranteed in John 6:37, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” None need fear there will be no welcome for him. In fact, the Bible closes with an all-inclusive assurance, “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17).

Someone has counted and found that the word “come” is found 643 times in the Word of God! How anxious God is that all be saved!

We heard Dr. Hyman Appelman, preaching in the Billy Sunday Tabernacle at Winona Lake years ago, tell of a Japanese student who came to this country back in the 1930s to further his education at Columbia University. Since he also had a longing hungry heart, he determined to investigate the claims of Christianity while here as a student. Perhaps it was near the university and perhaps because of the prestige the church had on an intellectual level, he started attending Riverside Church and listening to its noted liberal minister, Harry Emerson Fosdick. While he found the minister to be an orator of unusual ability, try as he would, he found no comfort for his hungry heart and soul.

About the time he was ready to give it up as a bad job, the semester ended and he determined to take summer school classes at the University of Canada in Toronto. Wanting to give religion in the West one more try, this time he chose the Jarvis Street Baptist Church, where Dr. Thomas Todhunter Shields was pastor. He discovered Shields to be every bit as eloquent a speaker as Fosdick, but, in addition, he found answers for his questioning mind and solace for his aching heart. Unlike the New York clergyman, who merely offered philosophical discourses, Shields simply preached the old-fashioned gospel, making clear the story of redemption through the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross.

After only three or four services, he made an appointment to see the pastor after the Wednesday night service. When he went into his office, the brilliant young Japanese said, “Dr. Shields, you have given me what I wanted.”

Inquiring as to what he meant, the student responded, “Well, when I was in New York City, I went to hear Harry Emerson Fosdick and I admit that I was charmed by his oratorical ability. But when I evaluated what he had said, it was simply the same old thing our Japanese priests told me in my country: “Do! Do! Do!” But you have told me that it has already been done and now I want to know how to accept this finished redemption provided by the Lord Jesus Christ.” And in short order there was rejoicing in Heaven over another sinner entering the fold!

Not only does Jesus Christ offer a salvation that is simple, but He also offers

 

A Passion That Is Proven!

 

In what is probably the most beautiful sentence in the English language, John 3:16 assures us,”For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

That love was proven, of course, in the incarnation. Galatians 4:4,5 tell us: “But when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” That God should become a mere man, that He should humble Himself to such an extent, is one of the most amazing facts of history.

But that was not all. In a far superior manner, His love was proven through His sacrifice at Calvary. That is why I John 3:16 tells us, “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us…”

Every tear that fell from His eyes, every sweat drop of blood which forced its unnatural way through the pores of His skin in Gethsemane, every sob of anguish from his lips offered mute evidence of that love. Every pierce of pain, every scream of agony, every tortured-filled cry from the cross added oral testimony that “God so loved the world.”

Isaac Watts was merely marveling for us all when he taught us to sing,

“Alas, and did my Savior bleed?

And did my Sov’reign die?

Would He devote that sacred head

For such a worm as I?

“Was it for crimes that I have done,

He groaned upon the tree?

Amazing pity! Grace unknown!

And love beyond degree!”

Not only so, but the Savior in His beseeching also offers

 

A Life That Is Lasting!

 

To put it in the Son of God’s own words, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24).

What a statement! What a guarantee! The moment one hears His word and believes on Him, everlasting life is his immediate possession – along with a guarantee that He will never, ever “come into condemnation.”

The writer of Hebrews waxed eloquent about this redemption, saying: “For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. Wherein God willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil: whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest forever after the order of Melchisedec” (6:17-20, emphasis added).

Here is a life that is sure, stedfast, anchored within the veil in Heaven. Here is a life that cannot be swept away, cannot be destroyed, cannot be ultimately defeated.

It is a life that cannot die, one that cannot end. The Savior said in John 10:27-29, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; And I give unto them eternal life: and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. I and my Father are one.”

The language is even more assuring in Romans 8:38-39: “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God. which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

What an invitation! A salvation that is simple, a passion that is proven, a life that is lasting!

Finally, the third great truth in these verses relates to

 

III. THE BLESSING OF

SALVATION!

 

This is summed up in the single word “rest” of verse 28 and the phrase “rest unto your souls” in verse 29.

What does this rest involve? For one thing, there is

 

The Blessing of Rest From

the Burden of Sin!

 

Every thing we said about the bondage and slavery of sin is reversed in and by the blessing. The Savior’s redemption offers rest from the captivity of sin. Jesus said in John 8:32, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” This means being loosed forever from the bondage and slavery of iniquity.

There is also the blessing of rest from the consequences of sin. As I Corinthians 15:57 describes it: “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

And just as there is rest from the burden of sin’s captivity and consequence, so there is rest from the burden of sin’s condemnation. In fact, Romans 8:1 guarantees those who come to Christ, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus…”

Henry Drummond, the friend of D. L. Moody who wrote the classic book on I Corinthians13, The Greatest Thing in The World, went for some days of rest and relaxation to the home of friends high in the hills of Scotland. When the time came to resume his ministry and he climbed into the carriage to be taken to the railroad station, his host and hostess apologetically asked to be excused from going with him. They explained that their coachman, who had once been a very gifted and talented scholar until ruined by drink, was very discouraged and in despair about his condition. They felt Drummond could help him if they were not present.

Immediately, the gracious evangelist/educator crawled out of the carriage and climbed up to the seat where the driver was prepared to start the journey. In his gentle, compassionate, winsome way, he gained the confidence of the man and, in no time at all, the latter was describing his slavery to booze.

Drummond responded by making up an illustration: “What if I were the world’s greatest horseman—one who could handle any team, not matter how wild or strong—and suppose this team were such. In addition, shall we say that they became frightened and started racing down the hillside completely out of control and you were helpless to stop them. What if I said, “Man, give me the reins and I will control the horses for you? What would you do?”

The man saw the analogy immediately and exclaimed, “Is that all Jesus Christ wants a man like me to do, one who is so defeated and despondent? Is He merely asking me to turn over the reins of my life to Him?”

“That is it exactly,” responded Drummond. And in a matter of minutes the coachman had made the great surrender to Christ. The shackles of sin fell off and the man was immediately liberated.

Only a short time later he had risen to one of the chief positions of responsibility and trust in all of Scot

land. And what Jesus Christ did for that man is what He can and will do for all who turn over the reins of their life to Him.

To quote Watts again,

At the cross, at the cross,

Where I first saw the light,

And the burden of my heart

rolled away.

It was there by faith I received

my sight,

And now I am happy all the day.

 There is also,

 

The Blessing of Rest In the

Bond of Service!

 

This is summarized in the Savior’s words, “Take my yoke upon you,” and again, “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” At first this may sound like a contradiction of terms, but it is not. One actually, delightfully discovers rest when he takes up His yoke. It is not long until he discovers that His yoke indeed is easy, that His burden is light.

The Apostle Paul found this to be true. Even in persecutions, beatings, shipwrecks, imprisonments and other trials, he found God’s grace to be sufficient. His strength was made perfect in weakness and he was able to rejoice in the Lord always. In fact, so much was this true that he testified in II Corinthians 12:10, “Therefore, I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

R. E. Hudson, to the delight of all, put music to the words,

His yoke is easy,

His burden is light,

I’ve found it so,

I’ve found it so.

He leadeth me by day and

by night,

Where living waters flow.

There is also,

 

The Blessing of Rest in the

Bitterness of Sorrow!

 

Remarkably, those “in Christ” sorrow not as do others who have no hope (I Thessalonians 4:13). If it comes in the form of a disappointment, the Christian realizes it is His appointment. If it is some heartache, or some physical suffering, or even the loss of a loved one, there is still “rest” in the moment of anguish.

Peace, always perfect peace, is the believer’s portion when He is near. Philippians 4:7 expresses it like this: “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

To mind comes another one of George W. Truett’s inimitable stories. A young Dallas businessman called him excitedly to say that he would be at the front of the church in ten minutes to pick him up.

When Dr. Truett climbed into the cab moments later, the young husband buried his face in his hands to cover the grief he was feeling. Between sobs, he told the pastor that his beautiful little blonde daughter was at death’s door and the doctors had given up hope. “You must pray, as you have never prayed before, and ask God to spare her,” he pleaded.

The wise pastor replied that he would pray, of course, but not in that fashion since he would not even pray for his own children in that manner. He said, “I will ask that the will of the Lord be done and that He will receive glory through it all.”

“But,” the grief-stricken father replied, “It is not for myself that I ask this.You know that my wife is an invalid and the shock of this loss, if our baby dies, would be more that she could handle.”
Truett assured him that he knew his wife and because she was a committed Christian, there would be no cause for alarm even if the worst happened.

When they arrived at the home and entered the nursery, they saw the young mother seated beside the crib, stroking the golden curls back from the forehead, quietly talking to God at the same time. The father turned to Truett and said with a sob, “My baby is dying right now, isn’t she?”

Receiving an affirmative reply, the distraught father fled from the room and in just a little bit the angels had borne the baby girl into the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. At the request of the mother, Truett went to find the father and located him behind the house, almost wild with grief.

He faced Truett with the charge, “This will finish my dear, invalid wife.”

“No” responded the preacher. “She has an inner strength you know nothing about. You do not need to worry about her.”

The two returned to the house and when they arrived at the nursery, they found the young mother on her knees beside the lifeless form, thanking God for giving her such a precious charge even though only for three or four years. She was telling Him she would always be a better woman and a better Christian because of the child, noting that it was “better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

When she arose from her knees and saw her husband, she went to him quickly and threw her arms around his neck, seeking to comfort him by saying, “My poor, brokenhearted husband. I am so sorry for you. My own heart is swept with peace and little bits of Heaven have come down, but I am so sorry for you.”

It was then that the young businessman turned to Truett with tear-filled eyes, sobbing, “If Jesus Christ can do that for my invalid wife, let me kneel beside my dead baby and tell Christ that I will give up to Him right now.”

Thank God, Jesus Christ is abundantly able to meet the needs of every hour, whether it be at the time of death or whatever. In fact, where else could a soul find rest in such an hour?

Again, there is also:

 

The Blessing of Rest in the

Blackness of the Shadow!

 

Naturally, we are thinking of what David wrote in Psalm 23:4,Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

Note the words: “They comfort me!” This is another way of saying, “They give me rest!”

When fadeth the day

And dark shadows draw nigh,

With Christ close at hand,

It is not death to die.

He’ll wipe ev’ry tear,

Roll away ev’ry care;

We’ll say ‘good-night’ here,

But good-morning up there.

The man under whose preaching I came to Christ told of a chaplain who wrote to tell how one of our Christian lads died during one of the global conflicts. Torn apart by shot and shell, dreadfully wounded in the head, he nonetheless remained conscious for some time. Eventually his condition worsened and, at the threshold of eternity, his mind began to wander.

In his hallucinations he imagined that the chaplain was his mother and he pleaded, “Mother, put your dear, soft hands under my head. It hurts so and your gentle touch will make it better.”

The chaplain clumsily, as any man would have been, nonetheless tried to imitate the touch of a mother. Then the dying boy said, “Mother, lean over. You taught me how to live and so I am ready to die. Just kiss me once more, mother, and then I will pray my last prayer and leave it all to Him, for I am not afraid to die.”

The chaplain did what any godly man would have done. He leaned over the lad and kissed him nearly like a mother as possible. Then the young soldier, his voice fading, said, “Thank you, mother. Now I will tell Jesus that I am dying and I will just lean on Him, since I leaned on Him back yonder years ago, and now I am not afraid.”

We have sung with tears rolling down our cheeks many times,

“It will do when I am dying,

It will do when I am dying,

It will do when I am dying,

And it’s good enough for me.

“It will take us all to Heaven,

It will take us all to Heaven,

It will take us all to Heaven,

And it’s good enough for me.

“’Tis the old-time religion,

’Tis the old-time religion,

’Tis the old-time religion,

And it’s good enough for me.”

Thank God, this is true!

Which leads us to our final word, relating to

 

E. The Blessing of Rest in the

Bosom of the Savior!

 

We think of what the apostle said in Hebrews 4:9-11. “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”

The final blessing of rest relates to Heaven, our sweet “home, sweet home!” There are all the other blessings of rest – and then Heaven, too!

The Savior told His disciples in John 14:1-3, “Let not your heart be troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in me. 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.”

 

Conclusion

 

The vital question for each reader is this: have you anchored your soul in the Haven of Rest? Psalm 55:22 says, “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee; he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” That burden of sin can be removed now and forever through a surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior.

One of the delightful stories the late John R. Rice told about his boyhood on a West Texas cattle ranch related to the beautiful thoroughbred greyhound his father purchased in a battle against the coyotes who had been killing calves. Since he was coal-black in color, they called him “Coaley.” When he was not battling for coyotes, however, Coaley loved to chase rabbits.

While all the other dogs on the ranch chased jack rabbits too, only Coaley had the speed to successfully run down the quick jack rabbit. Rice noted that although the prairies were dotted with badger holes, prairie-dog towns and other hiding places, the proud jack rabbit never ran into a hole, trusting instead upon his own ability to outrun the greyhound. But the fastest jack rabbit in West Texas was no match for the speedy Coaley. Often in a matter of minutes, the greyhound caught and killed large jack rabbits weighing eight or ten pounds, consisting mostly of pure running muscle.

One day when the nine-year old Rice was riding his horse, Coaley trotting at his side, a tiny cottontail rabbit suddenly bounded from the brush. The dog was off like a shot and Rice thought, “Poor little rabbit, you haven’t got a chance. If those long-legged jack rabbits can’t outrun Coaley, what hope do you have?”

But suddenly, off to the left, Coaley’s bark changed from triumphant baying to one of frustration and disappointment. Dismounting to check it out, Rice pushed his way through the brush and found Coaley howling and scratching and whining at a huge rock. Under the overhanging ledge, not more than four inches above the ground, the little cottontail had run. He was as far back under the rock as he could get, trembling with fear and breathing heavily, but perfectly safe. He had the good sense not to depend upon his own speed, but to run immediately to a place of safety.

And Rice well observed: “Those two rabbits picture the two attitudes of sinners, the long-legged proud, independent jack rabbit that never seeks a place of safety, and the timid little cottontail, who immediately runs to a safe refuge at the first alarm. Some men say, ‘I’ll take my chance. I am not afraid.’So they try to outrun sin and save themselves. They depend upon reform, on morality, while sure and certain their sin is on their trail and must find them out. But some others, thank God, see their danger, and run to Christ for mercy and salvation.”

Which rabbit represents you? The proud, self-satisfied jack rabbit who is willing to trust his own ability? Or the little cottontail who, realizing his utter helplessness, runs to a place of refuge?

Isaiah 10:3 asks some sobering questions: “And what will ye do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation which shall come from far? To whom will you flee for help? And where will you leave your glory?”

Flee at once to Jesus, the Haven of Rest, the Ark of safety – before the day of visitation arrives and it is eternally “too late!”

 

Decision for Christ

 

If you have never entered the rest He has available for sinners, will you not do so today? Thank God, the matter of eternity can be settled favorably for you this very moment if you are willing to trust Christ and accept His Word that “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). If you will trust His work at Calvary, including His death and resurrection, salvation will be yours today. Simply call right now and tell Him you will trust Him – and only Him – to get you to Heaven.

If you will make that surrender right now, write us a letter and let us know so that we can rejoice with you. You may either write in your own words or use the form below.

 

Dr. Robert L. Sumner, Editor

THE BIBLICAL EVANGELIST

5717 Pine Drive

Raleigh, NC 27606

 

Dear Bro