Tuesday, September 22, 2020
When Jesus sat down with his closest disciples to answer their questions about the last days, he told some stories to illustrate significant truths that He wanted them to understand. The Gospel of Matthew chapter twenty-five contains two of those parables.
The first parable is about ten virgins who are preparing to meet the bridegroom. Because the story is a parable, and not an allegory, we must look for the one main point that Jesus is teaching rather than try to figure out the significance of every detail in the story. It is obvious that Jesus is teaching one principle –
Those who are not prepared for His return will be left behind and have no further opportunity to enter His Kingdom.
When Jesus came to earth the first time at His incarnation, He came to open the door to the Kingdom of God and declare that He was the door through which all must pass to enter. When Jesus comes to earth again at the end of the age He comes to shut the door to secure everyone who by faith entered into an eternal relationship with Him. In this parable Jesus declares that those who are His true disciples will be prepared for His coming and will enter into His presence for all eternity. Those who are only passive followers, who want to enjoy the benefits of the wedding feast but aren’t willing to invest in preparation will be left behind.
This is serious stuff for the present-day church. It is fair to ask if we are prepared. Are we filled with the oil of the Holy Spirit so that the light of the Gospel is shining through us as we wait for the Bridegroom? Or are we only casually connected to the church, hoping to get in on the celebration, but not investing our resources into being prepared for the wait? Do we believe that when the time comes, we will be able to put everything in order at the last second and still be included?
My friend, Jesus is coming. It is time for His true followers to live every day fully prepared for His return. Be prepared by being righteous. Be prepared by being fully invested in God’s redemptive mission in your local church. If your local church doesn’t have a clear redemptive vision, find one that does, and join in the work. Invest your time, your energy, and your resources in bringing more light to a dark world. Then, when Jesus returns, you will be known as one of His own and welcomed into His Kingdom.