Events worldwide reflect Matthew 24 more and more, so I keep examining myself to see if I am in the faith. How about you? We are all waiting, and waiting is hard. It’s also easy to become more lax while waiting if we let ourselves. There’s biblical precedent and example for that.
The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins
25 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
6 “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ 7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.
11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’
13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.
The parable of the 10 virgins is instructive to us all. All these women were believers. Some were adequately prepared to meet the bridegroom, while some were sadly lacking everything they needed. The wise 5 didn’t share their oil with the foolish five because they knew that what they had was sufficient for them but would not be if they gave to the others. Note that they all slumbered and slept. They were where they were supposed to be to wait for the bridegroom but were not yet in the place where He would be.
When the time came, all trimmed their lamps. Then the five foolish ones noticed they didn’t have enough oil to light their lamps. That’s important. They hadn’t been preparing for the groom’s arrival adequately enough. For us believers, that means we haven’t lived our lives with a Godly focus. Believers follow Jesus and live His way, meaning we live God’s spiritual law of love towards Him, others and self. The virgins who got shut out had literally not examined themselves to see if they were in the faith and living God’s way as illustrated in Matthew 25:34-40, which is part of the parable of the sheep and the goats.
So that returns us to the question: are we individually ready for Jesus’ return? Have we been living in ways that please Him?
Brothers and sisters, please don’t be caught unprepared and resolve to live God’s way from this moment on. Ask Him to help you do so. As Him to send those divine opportunities across your path so that you can be love as He is. It is spiritual love that divides the sheep from the goats, and it is spiritual love that keeps our spiritual lamps shining brightly. May you heed these words so that we all can be with God for eternity. May none of us be shut out or rejected because we knew what to do and how to live but didn’t follow through. We all know living God’s way is not always easy or personally convenient. We also know its principles are simple. I wish I could do it for you but, like the five wise virgins, I can’t. You are personally responsible to God for how you choose to live your life. May you prioritize spiritually for your eternity’s sake.
Let’s pray: Father God, help all of us who read these words take to heart what’s written here and make whatever changes we need to make so that our lives reflect the 5 wise virgins and the sheep in the two parables. May we all yield to Your leading so that Your work in us can be complete and so that Jesus can say to us what He said to the sheep: “Well done, you good and faithful servant. Enter into the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world”. May Your will be accomplished in our lives. In Jesus’ name, amen.
copyright 2014, Pastors George and Sharon Billington, All Rights Reserved