Dying By Degrees

In an experimental laboratory, a frog was placed in a container of water. The water was heated at the rate of 0.036 of a degree per second. The frog did not notice the change. When the water finally reached 140 degrees, the frog died. But, he had not been aware of any change in temperature. The frog died by degrees.

In the above story, by an unknown author, a spiritual principle is taught that we as Christians should give heed to. Like a lot of church members, the poor frog never did realize he was dying. He could have jumped out at any time if he had known the danger. Members of the Lord’s church can (and often do) stray far from God, but they never reach this unfaithful state in one night. It takes place by degrees.

A Christian begins to miss services occasionally and then a little more often, then soon he or she is completely out of duty and lost. Even then, they sometimes do not realize they are dead while they yet live (cf. 1 Timothy 5:6). Maybe others still attend services, but their lives lack that inner devotion and fervor they once had. How did they get into such a condition? Little by little they omitted prayer, Bible study, meditation, and personal consecration until finally there remained only a shell of a once faithful Christian.

The Devil doesn’t lure us into committing sin overnight, but tempts us by degrees. Therefore, let us listen intently to the Hebrew writer’s warning to, “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you and evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened though the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:12-13). Living a life of faithfulness can overcome any temptation the devil throws at us (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets