Read: Matthew 25:1-13 |
Have you ever run out of gas while driving your car?
What was your thought process? My guess is that given that the fuel gauge and/or the warning lights in the vehicle were operational, you elected to keep on driving while you rationalized your distance to empty. Consequently, a slight miscalculation led to the realization that you were unprepared for the moment. Does that sound about right?! That’s how I explained it one time!
Do you have “extra oil”?
In the Parable of the Ten Virgins, each virgin brought their own lamp. The lamps would be used to illuminate the wedding procession. The five wise virgins brought extra oil in jars for their lamps; the five foolish did not bring any extra oil.
Biblical Scholars have collectively noted that the extra oil brought by the five wise virgins represents the Holy Spirit. If we have accepted Christ and believed in our hearts that He is the Son of God, we have the “extra oil” of the anointing of the Holy Spirit. [Romans 10:9,10] The Holy Spirit leads believers into all truth and “anoints” us continually with His grace and comfort. [I John 2:20] Believers, like the five wise virgins, can draw upon this source, which will never run dry as our lights shine.
Based on this, one could say that the five foolish virgins oil gauge was on “E” – Empty, for they did not possess the Holy Spirit. Thus, they could not bring what they did not possess.
Why didn’t the wise virgins share their oil?
When the bridegroom arrived and the foolish virgins realized their lack of preparation, they begged the wise virgins to help them by sharing their oil. The wise virgins did not share their oil. They replied “NO” and told them how they could get their own oil.
The spiritual point that Jesus is making here is that we each should accept Christ now, “before” He returns. Only those who have accepted Him and believed in Him will be ready when He returns. [I Thessalonians 4:13-18; I Corinthians 15:50-54]
Accept Christ today, serve Him now and prepare for His return, for Jesus is coming back! Hallelujah!
Obstacles to our Preparation
Just as the wise virgins could not supply oil for others, neither can your grandma or your preacher pray you into heaven as a “plus one.”
Pseudo believers, those who profess to “know” Christ, but discount the need for a full commitment to Christ, are at risk of being left behind. Each believer must confess and believe for themselves in order to truly be prepared for the day that Christ, the Bridegroom, returns.
Nevertheless, these pseudo believers may feel that their current commitment level carried them far. However, the problem is that it will not carry them far enough. Hell will be full of such as these essentially good people, who did not believe in their hearts and fell far short of Heaven’s gates.
This group has sentiments similar to the 5 foolish virgins. The Bible consistently records what will happen to them:
- Matthew 8:21-23 – Accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior is the only way to gain eternal life; Not everyone who says “Lord, Lord” will enter Heaven.
- Matthew 24:40-41 – We are urged to keep watch and stay ready. At the hour of judgement two men will be in the field working. One will be taken and one left standing.
- Luke 13:22-28 – Some may call out that they fellowshipped with believers, but He will not know them because they never believed in their hearts.
In order to be ready for His return, in order to be prepared for judgement, in order to be properly dressed in righteousness, accept Him today. Then live life each day as if He is coming back within the next hour.
1. Discover –
A. Romans 10:9-10 is a great scripture that helps us understand how to accept Christ. It says that we must confess with our mouths that “Jesus is Lord” believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Have you ever confessed and believed? Do you recall the day or the hour when you were spiritually reborn?
B. If you have never confessed and believed, take a moment and speak to God and let him know that you believe! Share in the comment box, if you just accepted Him today!
2. Develop –
A. How prepared are you to share the gospel with someone who comes and asks, “What must I do to be saved?” What scriptures would you use?
B. Do you know any pseudo-believers? How can you tell?
C. Do you give the appearance of a pseudo-believer by believing one thing and doing another? How will you remedy this?
3. Demonstrate –
A. Does your light shine everywhere you go? Or, do you have to leave it outside sometimes so that you can do some things that you know Christ might not agree with?
B. It is very difficult to describe the difference between false and true believers—true Christians and professing Christians.
Scripturally, we are saved by faith, but how do we describe the nature of “saving faith” as opposed to all the common uses of the word faith? Only the Spirit of God knows ‘saving faith’. When He recognizes it (or gives it), then He does his regenerating work. Many of the saved know when this happens because of the changes that take place within their being, but how does one explain this spiritual work to those who attend church and think they have ‘faith’ but never have experienced the work that only the Spirit can do within them? Does your life demonstrate “saving faith”?