1Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. 6And at midnight a cry was heard: Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him! 7Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8And the foolish said to the wise, Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out. 9But 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. 10And 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. 11Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us! 12But he answered and said, Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you. 13Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.
This is probably one of the most powerful little stories that Jesus spoke to His disciples concerning prophecy about the church. It does not refer to the state or people of Israel directly but to all those who were and are called by His Holy Spirit to take part in the new covenant promises made to those who have been called to be with Him in eternity.
There are numerous passages which speak of Jesus' return for His bride, known as the Church. There are many people who call themselves Christian and they are right ... but one must understand that knowing you are a Christian and being the bride are two different things though related.
the similarity ... All who profess a belief and have faith that Jesus is the Messiah (Christ), the son of the living God have stepped over the threshold that separates the lost from the saved. This step begins a journey which many call the 'christian walk'. These are represented by the ten virgins spoken of in verse 1 above. We begin to walk, as new believers, by the light that we see and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit as best as we are able. The main purpose of the Holy Spirit is to prepare a bride for the returning Son. All who profess His lordship, that of Jesus, have a duty to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and the word of God. All who embark on this journey are the saved in the Lord.... yet....
the difference... Verse 2 distinctly shows a difference in those who are saved. There is a separation which is based on the simple fact that five were wise and five were foolish. Now understand that all ten are saved, each having a light, but there is a difference between the two groups. This difference is great enough that the five foolish virgins did not enter into the wedding party but were left outside... and Jesus (the bridegroom) told those who did not make it... He never knew them!
The five foolish virgins are not unbelievers. They were waiting for the return of the bridegroom as were the five wise virgins. All professed Peter's confession. Yet... the foolish ones fell short.... not having enough oil for their lamps. They were not ready for His return. The five wise were ready, having oil in their vessels as well as in their lamps.
the oil? ... What is this oil that the foolish virgins did not have enough of? It was the oil of the Spirit of Life... Light... Love... God! These four are one and the same... the Holy Spirit.
1/ Jesus said that He came that you might have life and life abundantly.
2/ Jesus said that you are the light of the world.
3/ John said that they will know you are christians by your love.
4/ Paul said that you are the sons of God.
From start to finish, this is the work of the Holy Spirit of God. Part of His task is to anoint and raise up others to help in the perfecting of the saints, but without Him there is; no life, no light, no love, no God within you. It is the one and the same Spirit that gives all these to us. They are a free gift to all those who believe, yet...
the five foolish... Their lamps were going out... they had little oil in them and brought no additional supplies. In the course of time they flickered and were on the verge of going out, they had no way to replenish their diminishing supply but had to leave to try and make quick preparation... but it was too late. There are many today who have the faith to accept God's gift and pass from death to life... and then sit. They go to church... perhaps, read their bibles... perhaps, tithe... perhaps, do some good works... perhaps. Many can do all these things and yet that does not mean that they are what the Lord is seeking for.
You should know that the sign of maturity is to love, regardless of any circumstance, to pay any price, to do all that you can, and still stand in faith. That takes growth. That takes time. That takes circumstances. Only those who continue to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit can grow, for the Holy Spirit leads you to and through these things to strengthen you.
I believe that it is wonderful when the Spirit of God comes upon people. They speak in tongues, heal the sick, raise the dead, and many other great things can occur... But... this is not a sign of maturity... But... the power of God. It is activated by faith... but not necessarily by love. It is Love that the Lord is looking for in a person, because love transcends all else.
the five wise ... knew that God's love is the light that shines in the darkness... and Jesus is the light of the world... and His bride are those who reflect that light from within. Only they are fit to enter the wedding door... because they have made themselves ready, making Jesus their goal.
The difference... the five foolish thought...
we cast out demons... feed the poor...
speak prophecy... have great faith... make all
...... the five wise thought .... 1Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
..... because.... 4Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8Love never fails. (1 Cor:13)
My friends... There are many today who do little to
prepare... there are others who do much, but have regard for the
wrong things... they have as their goal the kingdom of God...
Rather prepare yourself as a bride, dressing yourself in white with a heart full of love... having as your goal Jesus on the wedding day. Be one of the wise. Amen!
May the Lord open your heart to receive an abundance of oil that your light may never dim, but always shine in the darkness, til all is made light.
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