Departure from Faith is Gradual
In the individual Christian, as in the church, departure from the faith is gradual. It is a psychological impossibility for a faithful Christian to suddenly make up his mind he will no longer serve the Lord. I realize that there are many counterfeit Christians who "joined the church" for some selfish reason; these will sell out as soon as the devil raises the bid. Then there are others who are very young in the faith, and who, through some great temptation or passion, are overcome. These are often ashamed to come back and face the humiliation. But people who know the truth and who have tried the Christian life successfully for some time, simply do not fall away suddenly. Their apostasy is always gradual; sometimes so gradual that they themselves are not aware of their change. We have doubtless read of the frog which was boiled in water without feeling the pain, because the heat was increased so gradually that he was not aware of the change in temperature. But he died!!! There is no doubt that the saints in Laodicia started off in the same manner as did those of Philadelphia and Smyrna, but when the Lord dictated the letter to that church in Revelation 3, these Laodiceans were saying of themselves, "we are rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing." But the Lord said they were "wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked." There was quite a contrast.
Truth Magazine XXI: 7, p. 98