We all know the funny little story: How do you boil a frog?
You put him in a pot of cool water and then gradually increase the temperature. He’ll continue to feel comfortable in his water, too comfortable to care about the temperature change.
And then the water reaches boiling…and he still hasn’t hopped out.
And then — I don’t know — I guess you can eat him then.
That funny little story is meant to be an object lesson for us, of course. But I was thinking, if the story were about a human in that pot, there’s a point where just as he realized things are getting dangerously hot — you slam the lid down on the pot. That will finish him off!
I just came home from class tonight. I took the class through a couple of those cities that St. John writes about in the book of Revelation.
That’s the ruins of Sardis. It was once a prosperous little city with a thriving Church. They had a good life. No perils were mentioned. No persecutions, no difficulties. They had a reputation of being a good Christian community there.
Then the Lord says: “… but you’re really dead.”
The Lord would know.
So how could that happen? How could they not know what trouble they were in? The answer lies in the “remedy” that the Lord told them about. He says: “Be watchful!” (Pay attention!) (Observe!) “Strengthen the things that remain.” And: “Repent!” Or else you’ll die. Judgment will fall suddenly “like a thief in the night.” Like the lid slamming down on the pot of boiling water.
We can say: “Complacency leads to death.”
There is no Church at Sardis anymore. They couldn’t pull themselves out of the danger they were in.
I think about that frog. I think about Sardis. And I think about America.
Recent articles have been written about how many rights we have lost in the last couple of years that had been guaranteed to us under the Bill of Rights. One man on the radio said he printed out that list of rights lost, and it was 18 pages long.
As a nation, how could we not know the danger we are in? How soon will that lid be slammed down on us?
It happened to Russia.
It happened to Germany.