Color Changes

Color Changes

Text

When the sun was up, they were scorched: and be­cause they had no root, they withered away (Matthew 13:6). Read the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13.

Purpose of the Illustration

  1. To show that some people who have very little spiritual root are unable to withstand the influence of others.

  2. To point out the power of an evil influence over people.

  3. To indicate that Christ's influence is powerful
    upon Christian lives.

Apparatus

  1. Several sheets of paper of ordinary size.

  2. Strong electric light bulb, or some other means of heating the paper without scorching it.

  3. A piece of permanently dyed blue ribbon.

Chemicals

  1. Strong solution of cobalt chloride.

Method of Procedure

  1. Saturate several sheets of paper in the chemical solution.

  2. Dry them thoroughly. This should be done before you perform your experiment,

  3. If you have time to let the paper dry, you may wet it in the solution before the audience. Or, you may wet one sheet before the experiment and use it while you are wetting the other sheets.

  4. Touch the paper during the experiment with damp or wet fingers. This makes the places touched turn pink.

  5. Dry the paper over the light bulb or by any other source of quick heat.

Chemical Reactions

  1. When wet the paper is red or pink.

  2. When touched by wet fingers it turns pink.

  3. When dry it returns to the first blue color.

Caution

  1. If you saturate the paper during the experiment be careful of the pulpit or table on which you work.

Jesus indicated that people who receive the divine seed of truth differ in their ability to produce the fruit of Christian living. Some who listen and receive the Word are easily influenced by unfavorable circumstances, and these are spoken of as having no root in themselves.

People who work with certain chemicals and dyes become almost permanently colored. The color works into their skin, and they take on the coloration o£ the chemical or dye.

In the same way there are people who easily take on the coloration of the crowd with which they associate. They are unable to withstand change of environment or influence. Peter—before Pentecost—is a classical example. While warming himself at the devil's fire, he denied even having known Jesus, and swore violently. The group with which he was surrounded at the moment changed his spiritual coloration. Proceed with the experiment as you talk.

This paper, as you see, is blue, a beautiful representation of loyalty. Apparently, this was the color of Peter's heart and life before the trial of Jesus. Christ wants loyal followers and not changeable ones. He wants us to be the same in whatever crowd we may be thrown. But let us say this paper represents one of you. You are with a warm, spiritual group and the blue of your profession as a Christian stands out. People say, "How firm the foundation on which he stands!"

Now see the change. Touch the paper with damp fingers. You go to the office, or to the shop, or to the assembly line where you work, and the crowd curses, drinks occasionally, uses vile language, tells smutty stories. If the Christian root which is within you is not deep or is not strongly attached to Jesus, you follow suit. Maybe you do not go so far as they do, but you listen, smile and finally enjoy the crowd.

See, you have turned pink; a sickening weakness has shown up in your character and life. You could not stand because the root of Christ had not gone down deeply into your soul.

Now, I am going to bring this paper, which represents you, back to the warm spiritual atmosphere of the church group. Dry the spots. Well, you are back in church and you are all blue again!

The paper-you certainly did a quick-change act, did it not? This is an indication of a shallow-rooted Christian. God wants us to be able to take the winds as they blow and still remain firm in Him.

Christ wants us to take deep root, and remain in a true-blue atmosphere. Use several sheets of paper, and wet them to various degrees. You will find that, if I wet these papers too frequently, there will come a time when it will be more difficult for the natural blue color to return. The solution with which I first saturated them is washed out. So it is with Christians. It is easy for them to return to the true-blue of the church environment at first, but by degrees all the loyalty-blue is washed out of their souls by evil environment and associations, and the color does not return.

Now I want to show you a contrast. Here is a blue ribbon, and I am going to touch it with wet fingers. See, it is still blue. Even when I wet it completely, it remains blue. The dye is set and permanent. This represents a whole-hearted Christian, who is thoroughly consecrated to Jesus, and who has lived so closely to Him that he cannot be changed by the winds of evil influence.

How can the changeable blue-red-pink paper-you become permanently loyal-blue? By remaining on your knees until your sins are forgiven, by seeking the cleansing and empowering and abiding of the Holy Spirit in your life, by thoroughly consecrating your life, body and soul to the Master. Then live in the church, literally on your knees. Be a praying, Bible reading Christian. Take time to feed your soul daily by communion with God.

You will find that the loyal-blue of your soul becomes permanent, and that it does not turn pink or red when you come in contact with a group of worldly-minded people.

This will not only make you an honor to your church and a light for Christ, but you will be able to lead others to the Master.

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