"And Moses said unto Pharaoh, Glory over me: when shall I intreat for thee, and for thy servants, and for thy people, to destroy the frogs from thee and thy houses, that they may remain in the river only? And he said, To morrow." - Exodus 8:9,10
The frogs were everywhere! Frogs in the bedroom, frogs in the kitchen, frogs in the parlor, frogs in the oven, frogs in the kneadingtroughs! God had said, "If thou refuse to let them (the children of Israel) go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs!" (Exodus 8:2). God keeps His word! Look at that Egyptian woman opening her oven; she screams! out jump frogs! There's a fellow pulling down the sheets to get into a comfortable bed, and -- frogs are his bedfellows! Another is putting on his clothes: what's that in his pockets? Frogs! See those Egyptian boys kicking along the roads to school, squashing frogs (instead of mud) between their toes! Frogs in the palace, and frogs in the hut of squalor. Little frogs, big frogs! The din must have been deafening! Frogs in the house, frogs in the yard -- thousands of dead frogs heaped up in smelly mountains as millions more come from the rivers to take their places! Finally Pharaoh could stand it no longer. He called for Moses, the servant of God. "Intreat the Lord, that he may take away the frogs from me, and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may do sacrifice unto the Lord." !
Moses must have been overjoyed. At least Pharaoh had made up his mind. At last Pharaoh was to be converted! So Moses said, "Glory over me: when shall I intreat for thee, and for thy servants, and for thy people, to destroy the frogs from thee and thy houses, that they may remain in the river only?" And Pharaoh said, "To morrow!" I have never been able to figure that one out! Frogs in his food, frogs in his bed, frogs in his clothes, frogs all over the house -- and God was ready to remove the frogs instantly; the decision was up to Pharaoh. And he said "To morrow!" "Give me one more night with the frogs!" Why could he have possibly chosen one more night with those frogs?
Pharaoh said, "To morrow." But "the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts!" (Hebrews 3:7,8). Think of it: Pharaoh said, "To morrow!" The Holy Ghost saith, "To day!"
We are famous for what we are going to do TOMORROW!
Preach to the Christian about full surrender. He knows he should. He admits that he is bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20). He knows a consecrated, Spirit-filled life is the only honest thing a Christian can offer to God. So he plans to surrender, he plans to break with the world, he intends to become a soul winner - TOMORROW! Always TOMORROW! "Give me one more night with the frogs, one more night with my defeated, wasted Christian life!"
Plead with the backslider to come back to God. He will usually admit, "Well, Preacher, I surely ought to do that. God knows I've known nothing but misery and grief since I went back on God. I'm fed up with this wretched life. I've had sickness, sorrow, trouble, and defeat since I got out of fellowship with the Lord. I'm through. I'm coming back to God!" And you say, "That's wonderful! Let us just kneel in prayer and settle it right now." But the backslider says, "Well, not just now. I'll do it tomorrow!" He wants one more night with the frogs, one more night with his carnal cravings, one more night with his compromising and his carousing, one more night with the flag of loyalty drooping -- one more night with the frogs!
In New York City a fifteen year old boy was found living in a sewer pipe down underneath the streets of New York. He had had a falling-out with his daddy, felt that he was no longer wanted at home, and had taken up lodging in a huge old abandoned sewer. Police found him two weeks later sleeping on a dirty old mattress, trying to cook on a one-burner oil stove, keeping company with the rats in a sewer pipe! He had had two weeks of that! When the police carried him home, his father said, "Why, son, I would have forgiven you the very next day if you had only come home!"
And many a backslider has had many more than two weeks down in the sewer pipes of an ungodly world, while the Heavenly Father longs to forgive him and kiss away his tears! Come one home to God right now! "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9). The lost sinner, too, begs for one more night with the frogs!
The soul winner says "Why not come to Jesus? He will forgive your sin, He will solve your problems, He will lift your burdens, He will save your soul!" And the sinner often will admit that what you say is true. He ought to be saved, and he's going to be -- TOMORROW!
Jesus had an experience with three of these "tomorrow" men in Luke, chapter 9. One fellow said, "Lord, I will follow thee whethersoever thou goest"! That was a daring promise, wasn't it? But when Jesus said, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath no where to lay his head," the man is heard from no more. He had not thought of sacrifice and privation. So it is "one more night" on my comfortable "Beautyrest" at home!
He said to another, "Follow me" (vs. 59). But he said, "Lord, suffer me first..." (right there was his trouble -- me first!"). "Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father." Now, there is nothing wrong with burying one's father -- if he is dead; but the point is Jesus should come ahead of every other affection. And I have an idea this man's father was not dead. I have known many people who were more devoted to their parents of other relatives than they were to Christ; more concerned about pleasing man than God! Many use the Lord's Day to take off on an exodus from church and from God. Back to the old homestead, back to "lazy around" eating and gossiping on the Lord's Day while their souls shrivel up! "Suffer me first!" And you know, I have seen some of those people have to literally bury their parents or a little baby or someone else dear before they would ever surrender to the Lord and get right! So, Jesus said to this man, "Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God." And this man goes back for "one more night" with the tombstones and mortuaries of this world! Jesus can use only those who are willing to put God first, and He can save only those who truly repent of their unbelief.
The third would-be disciple volunteered, "Lord, I will follow thee: but....." This "but" was his trouble. Commenting on this verse Walter Hughes says there are so many "buts" around the average church you would think you were in a goat pen instead of a sheepfold! Every pastor has heard them: "I would sing in the choir, BUT..." "I would come to church regularly, BUT...." "I would repent and be saved, BUT..." You hear this from both saint and sinner. "I will follow thee, BUT..." So this man said, "I will follow thee, but let me first...(here we go again, - "me first"). That is why millions are still slaves to self and sin and Satan. How foolish to call Jesus "Lord" in one breath and plead for "me first" in the next! He said, "let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house." Jesus knew his family better than that man did, and knew (evidently) that if that crowd ever got hold of him they would talk him out of his decision. So Jesus said unto him, "No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."!
There is many a sinner like that man today. "Lord, I'm going to follow You, but let me have just one more fling, one more night at the country club, or the card table, or the dance hall, or the beer tavern, just "one more night with the frogs!" And the "one more night" stretches out into terrible, endless night, in "the blackness of darkness for ever"!
I like what Rebekah said when she was faced with the decision of immediately deciding about going with the servant of Abraham to become the bride of Isaac. (Just like the sinner is faced with the decision about breaking with the past and going to Him who is our heavenly Isaac, the Lord Jesus Christ!). The servant of Abraham had been led to Rebekah. Rebekah had drawn water for the man and for his camels also, (one girl who won a husband by hard work) and by this the faithful servant knew he had found the right girl. Rebekah and her family had seen some of the jewels which represented the great wealth of Isaac. They were sold on it. Rebekah ought to go and become the bride of Isaac. But that night Rebekah's mother and her big brother , Laban, got their heads together. The conversation must have run something like this: "Look here, now we can't let Rebekah just rush into this thing. After all, she hasn't even had her picture on the society page of the Mesopotamia Morning Messenger!" "That's right, and whoever heard of a girl of Rebekah's standing getting married without a hope chest, without even a wedding dress!" So at the breakfast table they were gunning for the servant with these words: "Let the damsel abide with us a few days, at the least ten; after that she shall go." (Genesis 24:55). (Just like ungodly relatives and friends are often on hand to try to talk a sinner out of coming to Christ!).
When the servant of Abraham refused to be hindered, they thought they could sweet-talk Rebekah into staying on with them; so they said, "Rebekah, honey, 'wilt thou go with this man??' " (Genesis 24:58). And Rebekah simply said, "I WILL GO"! No ifs, ands, nor buts about it! No pussyfooting around about it! "I will go"! I will arise and go to Jesus! "I will go!" No more nights with the frogs!
Thank God for a decision like that!
I preached this sermon in the First Baptist Church of a Florida town. Many young people were saved that week. A number of high school young people were saved the night I preached on the frogs. Among them was a bright, personable girl from another church. She was a leader in the high school set. After the service that night she was rejoicing in what Christ had done for her. As she left the church that night she said to me, with a twinkle in her eye, "Preacher, there'll be no more nights with the frogs!" I believe she meant that!
Now, I want to suggest three reasons why YOU dare not spend even one more night with the frogs! In the first place,
The Frogs May Not Leave Tomorrow!
They don't always, you know.
It looked like the rich young ruler was about to be saved. He seemed so near. But the cancer of covetousness was eating away at his soul. He turned and went away from Jesus, "went away sorrowful," but the next day the sorrow, the misery, the unhappiness, the emptiness was still there. The frogs didn't leave!
Jonah bought a ticket to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord (Jonah 1:3). God had said, "Go to Nineveh," but Jonah chose "one more night" on the deep blue sea, one more night going Jonah's way instead of God's way. That always means trouble. God sent a mighty tempest. The old ship was creaking and groaning, reeling and rocking. It looked like certain destruction -- until they threw Jonah overboard. God had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. So Jonah became the first submarine passenger in history! He took a sub-Mediterranean ride in the interior of a whale -- and was Jonah ever sick! But he did not get as sick as the whale did! A backslider is so nauseating that even the whale could not keep Jonah down. Jonah might be called the most indigestible person in the Bible! He finally began to cry unto the Lord. The Lord beached the whale and the whale beached Jonah! God pushed the button, the whale did the rest -- and UP came Jonah! He hit dry ground running -- for Nineveh! where God told him to go in the first place! But he surely could have saved himself a lot of grief if he had just minded God to begin with! The frogs didn't leave, and a lot of other troubles came!
I will never forget my first trip to the Pensacola jail -- not as an inmate, just as a visitor! The ladies in our missionary society went down on Mondays to talk to the women prisoners in the stockade, and this morning I went along with them to speak to the women in jail. When they said we were going in to the women's cell block I expected to find crummy hags, dirty old derelicts, who were wasting away after years of prostitution and vice. I was amazed to find a cell full of attractive teenage girls!
The youngest was fourteen. The average age was about seventeen. The "old" women in there were probably in their twenties. Most of them had been picked up on lewd charges around dance halls over the weekend. One beautiful fifteen year old had been found in the middle of the night with about ten sailors. (When I asked that one about how she got into such a life, she said, "Well, Preacher, I like to dance.") Well, there they were -- the dirty, crummy old jail, the filthy mattresses, the bedbugs, the rats (they said) running around under their feet at night, the open community toilet with no door in front of it (the stench was terrible!) And yet, when we preached to those girls and urged them to become Christians, when we told them what Jesus could do for them, how He could not only help them out of jail but get started right in life and know real happiness and forgiveness, they just grinned and shook their heads. They had tasted sin and the old flesh liked it. So, they as much as said, "No thanks! Give us one more night with the rats and the bedbugs, one more night in a filthy jail, one more night with the frogs!" But the frogs did not leave tomorrow. The girls were still in jail, still in their sins, still miserable, still in bondage!
Charles E. Fuller was preaching on the "Old Fashioned Revival Hour". A Christian woman who had been unable to get her sinner-husband to church had the program turned so high that he had to hear it no matter where he was in the house. He became so enraged at the Gospel that he finally picked up a kitchen chair and dashed it over the radio, breaking it to pieces. He silenced the voice of Brother Fuller temporarily, but he could not silence the voice of God in his soul! Stopping the sermon didn't stop the misery in his heart -- the frogs were still there! He couldn't shake off conviction and he finally got saved. Then the poor fellow had to buy another radio!
So many sinners say , "Just as soon as I get straightened out, I'll become a Christian." Or "You can count on it, Preacher; we're going to start going to church just as soon as we get all straightened out." And, you know, that is just when some of these sinners do come to church...when they are all straightened out, just as straight and stiff as a board. They are put in a box over six feet long, all straightened out, and they ROLL them into the church, right up to the altar at last, with flowers all banked up around them! They are straightened out, but it is too late to do anything about keeping them out of Hell! If you wait until things are all straightened out and the frogs all gone first, you will NEVER come to Christ! Surrender to Him. Let Him do the straightening, or you will be more crooked than ever! The frogs may not leave tomorrow. Again, you dare not spend one more night with the frogs because:
Something Worse May Come In the Place of the Frogs!
It was true in the case of Pharaoh. After the frogs came lice, flies, locusts, boils, fire, darkness -- and finally, the death of the firstborn in every Egyptian home! Stark tragedy. Oh, the miseries of the sinner! Pride keeps many a man from surrendering to Christ, in spite of the frogs that plague him. But one day "the lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down..." (Isaiah 2:11) The judgment of God must fall upon sin. Something worse than the frogs will come!
With many a sinner it is covetousness -- the love of money, and things! The Bible still thunders "The love of money is the root of all evil." (1 Timothy 6;10). For money a great many have "pierced themselves through with many sorrows." Today money-mad people, in order to accumulate possessions, will neglect home and health and their own children and morals and even God to get more money. They tolerate the frogs now, but one day something worse will come in the place of the frogs!
At a lovely farm we were entertained with a meal before an evening revival service. There was a picture of a pretty little curly-haired baby boy on the living room table. But no baby to be seen. No patter of little feet in the house. The parents seemed to be devout Christians, but there was an air of sadness. The house was nice, the barn imposing, nearly new. I learned later from the pastor that those people had been getting along so well, making money, prospering on the farm, and almost idolizing that curly-headed child, that they just did not go to church any more. They had become too busy, too well off, too self-satisfied. Then sickness came, but still rebellion. Then tragedy came.
The barn burned while the father was bedfast from an operation, and their little child had perished in the flames -- they did not know he was in the barn. Finally, the parents, brokenhearted, and greatly humbled, had come to God, yielded their lives, joined the church, and were serving Christ -- but what a fearful price to pay! They had claimed to have converted once. Maybe they had been. But God says, "Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord of hosts"! (Jer. 2:19). Oh, I tell you, something worse may come in the place of the frogs!
With Benhadad it was drink! He was drinking himself drunk in the pavilions, the Scripture tells us. Sinners just will not believe God when He tells us, "Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging..." (Proverbs 20:1). But the drinker always runs head on into the judgment of God. The Syrian army suffered defeat and later Benhadad himself was brought to crushing judgment. Something worse comes! Fool with drink and you will find out!
I heard Bill Rice tell about the debutante who had a "coming out" party in Chicago. In the middle of the night she and her drunken companions, wild for adventure, ended up at the zoo to play with the animals at 3 a.m. They began to tease the bears. This "deb" was waving her arm through the bars at a big old grizzly. The bear suddenly clamped down on her arm and hugged her to the bars as he began to chew the flesh from her hand and arm! By the time her drunken friends could get help and an ambulance the bear had torn the flesh from her arm clear up to her shoulder. Her arm was amputated at the shoulder. Through life she will carry an empty sleeve as a grim reminder that something worse may come in in place of the frogs!
The third and last reason why you are dare not spend one more night with the frogs is:
Tomorrow May Never Come! God says, "Boast not thyself of to morrow." (Proverbs 27:1)
The Bible says, "How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?" (Hebrews 2:3). America has become known as the land of sudden death! Some 831 souls were hurled into eternity over this past Christmas holiday alone in sudden, untimely deaths! Of that number, 621 of them were highway tragedies. I was surprised to read in the Atlanta paper recently that between 400 and 500 Americans are blasted into eternity by lightning bolts every year. When God calls your number, you are going to go! Tomorrow, for you, may never come! The safe thing is to repent and turn to Jesus Christ right now! He died to save you. You do not have to overcome God's reluctance to save you; you merely take hold of His highest willingness to save you! He is not willing that any should perish.
He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. But God's patience wears out! He says, "My spirit shall not always strive with man!" (Gen. 6:3). He will save you if you come to Him in simple faith right now! He promises, "...him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out" (John 6:37). God has done HIS part. He sent His Son. The blood has been shed. The price has been paid. The next move is your move.! Trust Him today. "He that believeth (trusteth) on the Son hath everlasting life."! (John 3:36).
In a Tennessee city a lady heard me preach. She had told the pastor and others that she ought to come forward in the revival. She had never made a public profession of faith. She sat in the service. She heard the Gospel. She raised her hand for prayer. But she did not come forward. The next day at noon the pastor was called from the dinner table, an emergency. That woman had been rushed to the hospital late that morning and had died just before noon! Tomorrow may never come!
In Chattanooga a sixteen year old boy was changing a tire. It blew up in his face. Two days later they held his funeral. In Birmingham a lady walked out onto her lawn and suddenly the TV aerial fell from her roof and struck her dead in her own front yard. In Pittsburgh the other day a trailer-truck jackknifed and threw a load of steel rods through a private dwelling, killing two women instantly. A pastor here in Jacksonville (where I am now in a revival) just yesterday showed me the seared, scorched spot where an airliner fell short of the runway last December, hurling seventeen souls into eternity! The land of sudden death.
While I was a pastor in a Florida city I talked to a lost man about Christ. His wife was a new convert, greatly burdened for her sinner-husband. He drank and caroused and lived a wild, rough life. I went to see him. He would not accept Christ then, but he did come to church the next Sunday. My good ushers seated him right down near the front. It was not unusually warm and he did not wear a coat; yet he perspired until his shirt was matted to his body. Conviction was written on his face. He raised his hand for prayer at the end of the sermon. He knew he ought to come to Christ. Others came. He held on to the seat in misery but he did not come. At the door as he left the church I urged him to stay with me then and there and get the matter of his salvation settled. I reminded him that he knew now that Christ had died for his sins and would save him then if he would call on the Lord in faith. All he would do was to promise to come back to church again. He was going to be saved later on. The Devil can usually get a sinner to promise anything when he is running from God.
He did not come that night or the next Sunday. I went to see him but missed him. I tried again but he was dodging me. They said he was drinking and "living it up" more than ever. And then it happened: One morning he was driving his car full of officers down to an air base forty miles away. That was part of his work. He was driving fast. He swerved to dodge a wild pig. The right front wheel struck a bridge abutment and the car began to roll end over end. The steering wheel almost went through him -- he was instantly killed. He had said TOMORROW -- but "tomorrow" never came!
"Behold, NOW is the accepted time...." The Holy Ghost saith, "TO DAY!"
You have heard this urgent appeal for you to trust Christ and be saved today. Now let me plead with you to surrender your heart to Christ. Won't you right this minute decide that you will not spend even one more night with the frogs of sin? Simply confess yourself a lost sinner and ask God to forgive your sins because of Christ's death on the cross.
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