This week during a discussion with a fellow believer about the rapture I was shocked to hear David did not believe Jesus would return in his lifetime. Convinced he would not witness the rapture David continues to live a lukewarm life not concerned about the final judgment that awaits him.
Though David believes in Jesus Christ, he assumes he will be judged according to his works. A generous person, he puts in one day per month volunteering at church, gladly opens doors for the elderly or mothers with their children when out shopping and each Christmas, picks an angel from the orphans tree and spends a few dollars on a toy. When asked why he does this David responded “I do it because it’s the Christian thing to do”.
While this is certainly a good start, it is clearly not enough for someone who’s been a Christian since childhood. To me the Christian walk is like a marathon. Each step takes us closer to the finish line where we get to rejoice with our Father in heaven. Much like a long distance race, the path toward eternal life is a progressive one where participants can occasionally look back and clearly see the place they were ten, twenty or fifty steps earlier. As Christians we must be able to do the same.
Our works must increase according to our faith as Christians. As we mature spiritually, we are called to prepare for Jesus’ second coming. This is at the root of this’s week’s message about the Parable of the Wise and Foolish virgins.
“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be compared to ten maidens who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those maidens rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise replied, ‘Perhaps there will not be enough for us and for you; go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast; and the door was shut. Afterward the other maidens came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he replied, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” (Matthew 25:1-13)
In this parable, the ten virgins were waiting to accompany the bride to her groom’s home. This was a nighttime procession requiring lamps to light the bride’s way since there were no street lighting in ancient days.
The delay in the bridegroom’s arrival tells us we will require patience as we await His return. We all know good things come to those who wait, in this parable, though all the servants “slumbered and slept” waiting for the bridegroom, only the wise ones prepared before resting.
Dividing the foolish and the wise, Jesus explains the foolish servants took no oil with them. Not having oil for the bride’s procession can be compared to a believer not preparing for Jesus’ return. In this parable, believing in Christ is clearly not sufficient and guarantees nothing. This illustrates the concept that those who do not prepare according to God’s commands will not inherit a place in His kingdom.
Indicating strong emotion, the words “Lord, lord” are desperate cries attempting to convince God to open His door to the unwise. In this parable, much like others, the door of heaven is shut to those who failed to prepare for Jesus’ return.
Are you in danger of being cast out of God’s kingdom? Have you prepared for His return? Be certain to have more than enough oil since no one truly does know the day or the hour when Jesus will return or worse yet, when our preparation is cut short through sudden unexpected death.
I truly feel sorry for those among us who will be told “Truly, I say to you, I do not know you“. I can’t imagine the immense despair that will come over believers who will be cast out where the bible tells us there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth“.
What’s the only way to prepare yourself for Jesus’ return? First familiarize yourself with His word the bible. Then as you grow in Christ, honor God by your words and by your works. In plain English, don’t just talk the talk but walk the walk. Submit yourself entirely to Jesus Christ and walk in His footsteps. Do as He did, act as He would. Spread the good news about His second coming, minister to those around you, plant and sow seeds of eternal love.
A great way to help you prepare involves life and bible study groups. Another effective way to stock spiritual oil for the walk ahead is through missions. The important thing is that you are involved and purpose driven, bible in hand. If you do not know how to prepare yourself, are not in a position to participate in a small group or cannot reach a pastor for answers to your questions, I invite you to contact us so that we may pray with you and assist you further. Whatever you do, do not delay!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives
And for all that you provide us with
Each and every day.
God we pray you will continue to look after us
Also our families, our friends and those in need,
And ask you to guide our footsteps and help us prepare
For your second coming or for death.
Lord we know you will be there for us
In challenging and difficult times,
And we thank you for your generosity
For your unconditional love and your forgiveness.
God we love you and thank you for all that surrounds us!
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre