THE TEN VIRGINS
Matthew 25:1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
Our Lord had just finished a marvelous discourse concerning the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem and of his second coming in chapter twenty four of Matthew. That word, “Then,” which begins this chapter, reveals that this parable is set forth as an illustration of that doctrine. And the key to this parable is found in Matthew 24:44, which reads, Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. For the parable clearly reveals to us that there will be no opportunity for any preparation once the Bridegroom comes!
We presently have the opportunity to judge ourselves by attending to the gospel, and agreeing with God against ourselves. 1 Corinthians 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
But that opportunity is only for the present! For there will not be a single second provided for preparedness once the Lord suddenly appears! Revelation 22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. Romans 2:5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; 6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
Therefore we are strongly cautioned to take every advantage afforded us in order to be ye also ready! Hebrews 3:13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. 2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
Romans 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
And here are the Lord’s own words of strong warning to us all: Luke 21:34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, (‘over indulging, so as to cause sickness’), and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. 35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
The Lord warned some six times with the words, I come quickly in the Book of the Revelation. (2:5,16; 3:11; 22:7, 12, 20.) And Strong’s Concordance informs us that word, quickly means “(by surprise) suddenly.” For it is our sin and unpreparedness that brings judgment upon ourselves even closer! Proverbs 29:1 He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. Amos 6:3 Ye that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near;
And one thing most certain is set forth in this parable, which is, preparedness is not transferrable! The foolish virgins, being without proper love and respect to the coming Bridegroom fail to prepare for his coming, and bring no oil. And that is the only reason given for their description as foolish! They seem to expect to obtain their oil from the host at the wedding house, or, as we read in verse eight, borrow it from the wise virgins. Yet in verse nine the wise tell them what the true gospel ministry has always informed mankind – you must believe in the Lord yourself, with a personal faith!
For it must be “your light” that shines and brings glory to God! Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Many, like the foolish virgins think to associate themselves with the local church, assuming that ‘churchanity’ will make them acceptable with the Lord! But it is a personal association with the Lord Jesus Christ, not association with the local church which brings regeneration! Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Make no mistake about it. You MUST be borned again! For without this birth from above, by the Holy Spirit, one can neither see, nor enter into the kingdom of Christ! (John 3:3-8). Consider these verses which show that salvation does not, and cannot come laterally, from other believers. It only comes vertically, coming down from God! Psalm 49:7 None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: Proverbs 9:12 If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.
To both the wise and foolish virgins, the time of the Bridegroom’s arrival was unexpected. But only the foolish were unprepared. They finally did go to buy for themselves. – Did they obtain any oil then? – It really doesn’t matter, because the opportunity to use the oil was past! The whole purpose of the lamps was to lighten the way with the Bridegroom back into the bridal house. And by the time these foolish returned, not only was the festive procession over, but the door of the house itself was shut!
They had no light in which to fellowship with the Bridegroom as he came to the wedding house! Therefore, when they did arrive, upon their knock on the door, they heard the awful words, I know you not. For they had not walked in the light with him. They only had a walk out into the darkness in order to try to purchase oil! 1 John 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
Even all believers, before they received life and light from the Lord were at that time darkness! John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. Ephesians 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: Notice that it does not say, “ye were sometimes IN darkness!” But it says, “ye WERE sometimes darkness!
Just as in the natural creation, darkness was upon the face of the deep. And in both the physical and spiritual creations, until the Eternal Son is brought to bear upon them, there cannot be life! The sun, moon and stars were not created until the fourth day. (Gen. 1:14-19). So that light which appeared on the first day brought the introduction of the glory of the Eternal Son to bear upon the world! (Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world:) And it is the same with the believer. He is darkness until Christ, the light of life, is brought to bear upon him by sovereign grace alone. 2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Christ is the sun of righteousness! Malachi 4:2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. For like the s-u-n, the S-o-n is the center of the true believers universe. Revelation 1:13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
Dear Reader, we must associate ourselves with the grace of God, and always seek its development. For then we shall continuously seek to grow thereby, and will have the grace of God provided at the end of our days making us ready to meet the Lord of Glory! 2 Peter 3:17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. 18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
1 Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
We must not fall into the error of the foolish virgins. For we must go to Christ ourselves to obtain the light of life in the Holy Spirit! Grace does not nullify the responsibility of the individual to come to Christ, nor the responsibility to grow in that grace! Listen to these instructions concerning our responsibility regarding God’s grace. 2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
No one else can do these things for us. And to fail to do so is to deny Christ, which will cause his denial of us before his Father and the holy angels! Matthew 10:33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
The foolish virgins only identified with the other virgins and with the pomp and traditions of the wedding rituals. Their error, like the servant who only received one talent and buried it in the earth, lost their eternal souls, due to their failure to relate to the Bridegroom! It does not matter how well you are thought of in a local church! It does not matter if you are faithful to all the traditions of your religion! It only matters if you have a personal love for, and relationship with, the very Son of God, Jesus Christ! Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
And listen to the instruction of the One with the only name given for salvation. Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. He says, “Come unto ME.” – Not to your pope, or priest, or bishop, or clergy, or elder, or pastor, or teacher! And he states, “I will give you rest.” There will be no personal rest for you except there is a personal relating to the Lord Jesus Christ by you!
The fate of the entirety of the human race will be determined by each individuals relating to the Lord Jesus Christ! John 3:35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. 36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
And it is not a matter of “if,” but of “when” your very tongue shall confess him to be Lord of all. Nor is it a matter of “if” your very knees shall bow to him in submission to his sovereign will. Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Today is your day for salvation. For when the Lord returns, he shall not have provision to pardon another single sin! Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin (that is, without any more provision for the pardon of sin) unto salvation. Remember – Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
May God have mercy.
Pastor Gene Breed
January 22, 2015