"Beware of Dogs" is posted in many yards. May I encourage you to take note of the signs? Let me share an incident that happened to me while conducting an evangelistic campaign in Tulsa years ago. I was part of a team of leaders, each assigned to a church, working with the leadership to conduct a neighborhood survey. Based upon the information acertained from the survey, we would have a week of training, planning and implementing suggestions to improve their Sunday School structure. The format was simple: arrive on Saturday and speak at a leadership banquet in the evening. Sunday was busy: Observe the Sunday School (teachers/members arriving, greeting, starting on time, etc; Preach a message on the importance of the Great Commission; Meet with the leaders for a sandwich lunch, hand out survey assignments (teams of two), present a brief training session on "how to conduct the survey", then send them out for an hour or so.
The church did not adequately prepare for this event, and it was evident, but we took what was given and did the best in putting it all together. After getting the teams assigned, I covered one area alone. I was down to the last 2-3 homes on my list when I had an uneasy feeling as I unlatch the yard gate and begin walking toward the front door. When I stepped upon the porch, I thought I hear "rapid footsteps coming around the end of the house". Sure enough, as I began racing back to the gate, my fears were confirmed - a pit bull (AN ANGRY PIT BULL) was on my heels...literally speaking!
When I grabbed the gate latch, he grabbed my heel. I threw the survey cards high in the air and released a yell that was heard all the way to city hall, at least. After back-kicking as hard as I could for several minutes, I got enough leverage to get through the gate and slam it shut. It took a few minutes for my breathing to catch up with my heart-beat. Then I began to ask myself, "what shall I do? is there help nearby? how will I get those cards with the info"?
About that time, two men, working the next few blocks, came around the corner and saw me. I yelled for help and they came running. While one of the men took a stick and 'walked the dog around the fence to the backyard' (hitting the stick on the fence causing the pit bull to follow him', the other man and I cautiously entered the gate, retrieved the cards and headed to the church.
I was lucky no skin was broken, only a red spot on the ankle. One participant was a uniformed night guard for a power plant nearby. He took me back to the house to check the dog for rabies. After sharing with the lady what happened, she showed recent shot records. What a relief ! She then pointed to the sign on her gate: BEWARE OF DOGS!
Ever since then, I always look out for such 'dangerous' dogs. The Biblical references to dogs is not very complimentary. Those twenty plus times 'paint' an ugly picture of these animals For the most part they were referring to a wild pack of strays that proved to dangerous and greatly feared. Paul only mentions the word once (Phil 3:2-3). He refers to those who demand certain rites to be followed in order to be God's child. He says, 'these dogs--dangerous men--teach anything other than what Christ Jesus has done for us'. We cannot save ourselves by following man-made rules and regulations.
Throughout Paul's writings, he points out that In Christ alone, we find our salvation. He alone has the saving power to lift us up out of our sins and point us in a new direction. He alone can forgive our sins and separate them as for as the east is from the west.
In Romans 8 he presents a strong defense of the eternal security of the believer. V 3,4...we are not saved by knowing the commandments, it is through Christ, God's own Son, that allows the sin's control to be broken. V 9... We are now controlled by our new nature; V 18...what we suffer now is no comparison to the glory we will share with Him;
V 38-39....there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ.
The dogs of Biblical days ran in packs and were wild and very dangerous. And just like in Jesus' day, there are still dangerous people releasing frightening teachings in our society. We must be careful as we walk life's road. We must avoid those dangerous dogs!