Matthew 25:1-13 – Are you ready?
We are going to go through the parable of the Ten Virgins in the book of Matthew. This parable is being told by Jesus to the disciples.
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The reason Jesus is telling this parable is because at the beginning of Chapter 24 it tells us He was sitting on the Mount of Olives and the disciples came to Him privately and asked 2 questions:
Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
The disciples want to know when & how all of this is going to happen. My best guess in them asking these questions is because they want to be READY & prepared for it!
Verses 24:1- 9
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 [a]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.’
In this parable there are 10 virgins/bridesmaids – They are all there for the same reason.
All 10 showed up to await the bridegroom (which is Jesus!)
All 10 of these ladies had Lamps.
From the outside looking in – ALL of these ladies looked ready to meet the Bridegroom…. They knew enough to know where to be and what to bring. From the outside looking in, they all appeared to be READY.
The only thing the Lord said to describe how these 10 virgins were different, was 5 were wise (wise enough) and 5 were foolish.
So what was the factor made them wise and what made them foolish.
The Wise brought oil the foolish did not.
So when it was announced that the bridegroom was coming and it was time to prepare their lamps- 5 Virgins got right to work and prepare themselves for Jesus and 5 didn’t. It was at that moment where each bridesmaid was determined to be wise or foolish. my guess is there was a bit of chaos & panic among the 5 foolish (if this was a real story)
All this time the unwise virgins either thought they were ready, or that they would have another day to get oil/to get ready. So imagine the panic of thinking that all this time you thought you were going to with the bridegroom to the wedding, and you just realized your not. Or the chaos of thinking, I was going to get ready tomorrow and now the realization that there are no tomorrows just sunk in. I’m sure there were lots of feelings and emotions going on at that moment!
Now before I truly understood what it meant to be READY for the Bridegroom, I always thought that it was pretty selfish that the “wise” virgins didn’t share their oil with the “foolish” – like how hard is it to put a little oil in someone’s lamp? I was thinking literally, not spiritually.
Because the reality is what the foolish virgins asked for was impossible. In this part of scripture – the word oil is referring to the The Spirit of God Himself. The wise virgins knew that there was no way they could give what they needed. People can’t give God’s spirit to another. We can be a light and example, but only God Himself can place His spirit in people. The wise knew this. So they weren’t being selfish – they wise were telling them you have to go get if for yourself.
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.
They are telling them you have to get if for yourselves, we can’t do this for you.
As much as we want everyone to know Jesus, they have to make a response to Him – Only He can save a soul.
We can pray, be an example, show them lovingkindness, share the gospel, do say & be all of it – But they have to say yes to Jesus, they have to respond to Him. They have to ask for “Oil” – His presence in their life.
The unwise virgins were waiting for someone they knew about but didn’t know.
It is not enough to know about Jesus……..
So with all this said,
We have to GET READY, and by GET READY I mean GET SAVED! We have to do more than “know about God” – we have to know Him and invite Him into our lives.
I grew up going to church every single Sunday –
I went to Sunday school, youth group, sat in service, sometimes read my Bible, prayed, served, loved people and the list goes on – I’m grateful for this good foundation…
However, I knew all about God, but I didn’t know HIM. I didn’t have a relationship with Him. And since I didn’t have a relationship with Him, there is no way I could possible could have known Him personally.
It appeared on the outside I was ready – I was at the right place, with the right stuff doing “the right stuff” – but I had no oil in my lamp – no presence of God in my life. I was a foolish bridesmaid… I was living out these verses–
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
When I was 20, I found out I could have a personal relationship with Jesus. When I found this out, I had a decision to make…. I had a response to make. So I decided to respond to the Lord, I prayed the prayer to give my life to the Lord. I had the revelation that I was a sinner in desperate need of a Savior.
I was a lamp with no oil.
I repented, asked for forgiveness and gave my whole life to Him. It was an intentional decision I made. I wasn’t caught up in my emotions, I wasn’t doing it to please anyone but the Lord. Since that day, my life has never been the same. I Got READY!
Today is a GREAT day to get READY for the Bridegroom – To Get SAVED – To give your LIFE TO THE LORD! To get some oil for your lamp!
In the next part of this parable verses 10-12 says
0 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.’
It says THOSE WHO WERE READY went in with Him to the wedding!
NOT everyone gets to go to the wedding – of Jesus and His Church. Only the Saved do! Only those who are ready! Only the wise bridesmaids go, only those with oil – God’s presence!
The last part of verse 10 says, “and the door was shut. “
This part really shouted to me – And the door was shut!
The door is really going to shut!
I think we forget this sometimes, even as believers – the Door is really going to close at some point – We are either going to die or Jesus will come back. At some point our time here on earth will be done.
I love Colossians so much because it reminds me every day that heaven is real!
2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
I’m to set my mind on things above…. A heavenly mindset…. My life is in Christ…. The things of the world will pass…. Be ready for Heaven…. Prepare for Heaven…
There is really going to be a REAL day that Jesus comes for His Bride.
There is really going to be a real day that the Lord shuts the door and no more are allowed in.
This is really going to happen!!
When I read this, it made me think of Noah’s Ark – there came a time where the door had to be closed. For 100+ years Noah was building the Ark, talking about what is to come and sharing about God. I know most thought he was crazy, but I’m sure some had to be intrigued by what he was doing. And how could it not been mind boggling to watch all the animals come to the boat and get on, without fighting or eating each other! I would think that would make one think twice.
Eventually God tells Noah to get in the ark and when God is ready God closes the Door.
So those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the Lord shut him in.
Noah was ready – Noah obey God when He said get in the Boat. Noah was ready when God Himself closed the door.
Noah – had a choice to get on the ark. He chose yes. He was ready.
God gave that generation 120 years to repent…. I wonder if they thought they had 121 years? Only 8 people were ready for the door to be closed….
This is going to happen to Heaven’s door. It is open now, but there will be a time when it closes for eternity.
Which side of the door are you going to be on?
Sometimes I picture God standing at the doorway, holding the door with His arm, saying come on, come on, the door is closing. He is waiting till the last possible minute, but eventually, like the ark, the doors of heaven will close.
So we have to be ready!
Also thinking about Noah – is he stayed ready – he stayed prepared
Noah had a long life…. The Ark story was simply part of His life – he had a good 500 years of life before he even started building the ark and a good 400 years after. And it was before the Ark that God saw him and called him a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time.
How did Noah do this? Two words come to mind.
Time & Consistency.
What do I mean by this?
It takes time and consistency to stay ready.
When we get saved, that is the moment when we respond to God and say yes to him. That is one moment. This moment can be called when we became justified with Christ, a one-time event. Then what happens every day after that till Jesus takes us home, is call sanctification. Sanctification is the process of growing & maturing in the Lord.
It takes time and consistency to grow/mature in the Lord and stay close to Him.
Noah couldn’t live a blameless life if he didn’t spend time with the Lord consistently.
Noah couldn’t obey God without a consistent prayer life.
He had to consistently give of his time to be with the Lord. Remember, he didn’t have the Bible that shows all the pictures, plans & dimensions of the ark. He had to consistently go to the Lord, take time to listen to his instructions and then of course obey all that the Lord told him.
Noah couldn’t build an ark, raise a family, stay holy amongst the mockers in his own strength, Noah had to consistently call upon the Lord and walk in God’s strength – there was no other way.
Time and consistency – are two words that I heard A LOT growing up – My dad taught us this principle with money – to grow your investments it takes time and consistency. This principle can be applied to all areas of your life – if you want to learn something new, make a new habit, break an old one, it will take time and consistency. The new years goal you made today, to achieve them it is going to take time and consistency.
if you want a good marriage it takes time and consistency. The 23 year version of Jay and I looks a lot different/better than the 5 year version of us. But it took 23 years (time) and consistently attending to our marriage – to get us where are today, and I pray that in another 20 years we are not the same but a better version of us. We don’t want to stay the same, we want to grow and flourish. Same in our walk with the Lord.
If we did nothing over the last 23 years to grow our marriage, after we said I Do, I would hate to see what the quality of our marriage would look like, or even if we would still be married?
You can have a moment with the Lord and be saved, but if you don’t put in the time and consistency it takes to grow, you won’t grow. God has plans for each of us, but we have a part to play. Christianity isn’t a spectator sport – if you want to grow, you got to dig in and grow. No one can do that for you. It’s exciting to be a part of doing the work of the Lord, but it takes work on our part!
It’s interesting that the next parable after this one is the “Parable of Talents” Where God gives the example about an owner giving talents to his servants before he is to go away for awhile. The owner comes back and has an expectation that his servants did something with the talents he gave them while he was gone for a long time.
In Matthew 24 Jesus tells the disciples The temple is going to be destroyed, He talks about the second coming and what that will be like, then Jesus goes right into the parable of the 10 virgins – Get Ready- and then right after that, the parable of the talents, and then after that Judgement.
He tells us what is going to happen, then He tells us to be wise and get ready, and then to do something with the talents He’s given us while we are waiting for His return, because Judgement is coming. He lays is all out there for us. He isn’t trying to trick us – it’s not like some game show where He says pick door number one or two – and we hope by chance we pick the right one…. The doors are open, He describes each one in detail, and then he lets us choose which door we will walk through. But we have a choice and response to make!
God didn’t just declare Noah righteous – Noah lived a life that was blameless… and he used the talents God give him. He didn’t have some secret only given to him. How did Noah live a blameless life, He just simply lived it!!! He consistently said no to the things of the world and yes to the things of God. He did this consistently over time.
We have the ability to do this too… How do you live a life ready & prepared for the Bridegroom? – one day at a time. When you fall, get back up. When you mess up, repent and keep going.
Time & Consistency will help you stay prepared for the Coming Bridegroom.
It is one of those concepts that is really simple yet challenging to actually do.
We love our time and love to fill our time with our will and our way….
But Again – we have a choice – Our will or His? Be prepared or not?
Getting back to the last part of this passage
“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 [b]in which the Son of Man is coming.
I wonder if in the days of Noah, people thought I’ll live my life the way I want, and then at the 1st sign of rain, I’ll run to Noah?
Well, the door was closed before the flood came – There was no sprinkling to give a warning, to let people know that now is the time to get on the boat, They did have a warning – the warning was the 100+ years of Noah building and preaching!
The Bridesmaid didn’t have time to “go buy oil” before the Bridegroom arrived that night…
No one knows the day or time. And we know this, because God’s word says that we don’t know.
36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of [a]heaven, but My Father only.
44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
Then again –
“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour [b]in which the Son of Man is coming.
We know that we don’t know!!
We think we will have this warning period to have last minute repentance. We do –IT IS RIGHT NOW!! It’s today!! God is generous and He has given us more than a moment, He has given us every day of our life so far! Not only has he given us time, but He has given us His WORD.
Because God gave us His word, we know the end, we know all of it – He is gracious to give us the parable of the 10 Virgins – saying GET READY – I’m giving you a big clue – BE READY Because you don’t know when I’m coming back, but I am coming back! That’s the beauty of the Word – He tells us it all.
Not only to we have the Word, God gave us the Holy Spirit!
We have Pastors, we have churches, we have smart people interpreting the Word for us, We have it all – God gave us it all – Can’t really think of anything else. We are left without excuse.
Some have this idea of waiting to repent till they are on our death bed. Here’s the deal, we are on our death bed!! WE are dying – we are all on our spiritual death bed – No one knows the day or time – So we need to be ready!
I do believe people can repent before their last breath, I believe the criminal on the cross is in heaven, I believe my Grandma who prayed the prayer days before she passed in Heaven. I believe all of that.
But what I do know is we all don’t get those moments. Our last days of death aren’t always laying in a bed waiting to meet the Lord. As a chaplain, almost all of the families I serve, are surprised by their loved one’s death. Some new it was coming, but didn’t think it would be that day, and the others are totally in shock because the death was untimely & sudden. Not only do we not know when He is coming back, but we don’t know when our last day will be either! We got to be ready!
This is the time to repent before your last breath. Today is your Criminal on the cross moment.
Wrapping up I want to encourage you to
- Get ready. Make a response to Jesus. Say yes to Him. Ask for His presence in your life
- If you are Ready – stay ready & prepared. Remember time & consistency. Let the Lord grow & Mature you
- I encourage you not to wait. Don’t think you have more time than you do. Surrender today, Get ready today.
Pray, Salvation, Redication.
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