Object Lessons

Gold Fish or Frogs

Objects: Fish Bowl containing a Goldfish and some Tadpoles. Beautiful Dish—Plate or Platter

How many of you have a pet gold fish at home? Yes, some of you have. I have a beautiful gold fish here in this fish bowl. See how gracefully it swims around in the water! It is at home there. God made this gold fish to live in water. It would not be at home anywhere else.

Here is a beautiful platter, far more beautiful than the fish bowl, yet if I took the gold fish out of the water and placed it on this platter, it would soon die, wouldn't it? This gold fish was made to live in water and not on a beautiful platter. It is in its element when in the water in the fish bowl.

Now, this gold fish makes me think of some folks in the church, boys and girls. It pictures those who received the Lord Jesus as their Saviour in their early youth, and have always been at home in the church. They were made for the church and the church atmosphere. They feel at home with God's people. They find joy in attending the prayer meetings, the missionary meetings, etc. What the water and fish bowl are to the gold fish, the church and all of its activities are to these folks. From their earliest childhood they have lived in the church atmosphere, and would be happy in no other place.

The world and all its allurements have no charm for these gold­fish-folks. Like the gold fish on the golden platter, they are not at home in a worldly atmosphere. They would soon die if taken from the church realm.

What else do you see in the fish bowl, boys and girls? "Tadpoles," you say. Yes, there are several tadpoles in the fish bowl. Of course you know that these tadpoles will soon become frogs. As long as they are tadpoles they are quite content to live in this fish bowl with the gold fish—they seem to be contented and happy, don't they? But when they become frogs, out they will jump. They will no longer want to live in the gold fish realm.

These tadpoles are very much like some boys and girls I've known. While they were young they were quite content and happy to attend church and Sunday school along with the gold-fish-folks. They seemed to be right at home there—but after a while, a change came. Like tadpoles-changed-into-frogs, they jumped right out of the Sunday school and church. No longer were they at home in the church atmosphere. How sad that boys and girls could ever act like tadpoles, changed into frogs!

I trust that you, boys and girls, will always stay in the church and Sunday school—that it will always be home to you. In Eccles. 12:1, we find this verse, "Remember NOW thy Creator in the days of thy youth." This I believe is the secret of being like gold fish instead of frogs. Accept the Lord Jesus as your Saviour while you are in your youth, then you will never be like the tadpoles-changed-into-frogs, and want to leave the Sunday school and the atmosphere of the church.

A gold fish or a frog—which are you, boys and girls?

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