Recently while in prayer and considering the current state of the world we live in, I felt led to revisit the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins. The How To: Series is designed to provide simple but effective biblical keys to show How To live and walk spiritually with God. We hope you will find this series a blessing and share it with those you feel may benefit from it.
Todays Scripture Reference
“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose 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 answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 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. “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming
"The Parable of The Wise and Foolish Virgins"
Biblical Foundations to Help Us Understand
(Ephesians 5:25-27) Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
(Ephesians 5:31-32) “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
*It is widely accepted that Jesus Christ is identified in scripture as the Bridegroom, while the Church is seen as His Bride. The spiritual union when the Body of Christ (Church) and Jesus the Head of the Body are reunited at the marriage supper of the lamb will be glorious.
(Matthew 22:30) For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven
* Another point it is important to understand is that in Heaven there are no sexual relationships or marriages apart from the spiritual union between Christ and the Church
Points To Ponder From The Parable
“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom
(2 Corinthians 5:17) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new
(Isaiah 1:18) “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.
All those who receive the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ are cleansed from their sins in the sight of God and have their inner (spiritual) life renewed and transformed through the working of the Holy Spirit. This cleansing and renewal qualifies every believer to be considered as a pure and holy virgin in the sight of God.
This renewal and transformation is only available to believers in Christ, leaving all unbelievers outside the blessing and covenant of God with the church. However even within the ranks of those considered virgins(believers) there was a difference, five of them were considered wise and five of them were considered foolish.
"But while the bridegroom was delayed,"
(Acts 1:6-7) Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority
(Ephesians 1:13-14) In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory
(John 14:2) In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you
It was customary in ancient Jewish culture for the betrothal and the marriage to be separate events. At the betrothal a bridal dowry was often paid and received between the families as a binding contract, and then the Bridegroom would travel back to his village and begin to build a home for his Bride.
The Bride did not know the exact day when their home would be complete and the Bridegroom return, so she was told to watch and be prepared for the return of her husband. Keeping oil in her lamp and having reserve oil enabled her to respond immediately even if it was night when her beloved returned for her.
The church has been waiting for the return of our beloved Saviour and Lord for 2,000 years and many believe that the day of His return is nearly upon us.
(2 Peter 3:8-9) But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance
They All Slept
"they all slumbered and slept."
(Psalm 127:2) It is vain for you to rise up early, To sit up late, To eat the bread of sorrows; For so He gives His beloved sleep.
(1 Thessalonians 5:6-7) Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night
It should be noted that both the wise and the foolish virgins slept, but the way they slept were completely different. We all need physical sleep to help us maintain our health, but going to sleep knowing that you are ready and prepared for the next day is much different than being careless and just hoping that it will somehow all work out.
The Wise and the Foolish
"Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps"
(Galatians 6:9) And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart
The wise virgins continued daily to be diligent to ensure that their supplies were renewed and that even if they dozed they could awaken fully prepared to go out and meet the Bridegroom. This diligence showed how seriously they took their responsibilities to prepare and the honour and respect they had for the Bridegroom.
The foolish virgins may have started off ready but over time their diligence waned as the Bridegroom was delayed and their preparations became inadequate, their oil supplies ran low and were not renewed. The foolish virgins haphazard attitude showed considerable carelessness and a lack of respect for the bridegroom and their future together as a married couple.
The Midnight Cry
“And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!"
(Matthew 24:42-44) Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect
(Amos 3:7) Surely the Lord God does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets
Down throughout history God has always had individuals prepared, whom He has called and empowered to deliver His prophetic word to His people. The midnight cry is a prophetic call that all of God's people need to be ready for, we must be ready spiritually for the return of our Saviour.
Lamps Going Out
And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’
(Matthew 6:11) Give us this day our daily bread
The foolish virgins careless attitude and lack of diligence was now bearing consequences and those consequences arrived at the worst possible time for them. At the crucial time, when they needed it the most, the light they required to go out to the Bridegroom was beginning to fade.
The spiritual oil that all believers require only comes through seeking God daily with all your heart. Just as the Manna that fell in the wilderness in the days of Moses only lasted for 24 hours before it needed to be renewed, so our spiritual lives need a daily refreshing in the presence of God.
Oil Can't be Shared
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.’
(John 1:12) But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name
A wise man once said "God has no GRANDCHILDREN" He only has children!
Each person individually must come to a place of personal encounter with Almighty God and either accept His gift of salvation through Jesus Christ by becoming a disciple, or reject it and live without God eternally.
We as individuals need to buy our spiritual oil daily by seeking God and rejoicing in His salvation. Spiritual oil becomes available to all believers with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
*However we can and should pray for those who don't yet believe, that God may grant them the gift of repentance leading to salvation, just as He did for us!
Wise virgins met the Bridegroom and went into the Wedding
And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding
(Revelation 19:6-9) And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”
(John 1:29) The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world
This wonderful fulfilment of the purpose and plan of Almighty God will surely be one of the greatest moments in history. God the Father presenting a wonderful Bride (The Glorified Church) to His Son.
The Door was Shut
(Genesis 7:13-16) On the very same day Noah and Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark— they and every beast after its kind, all cattle after their kind, every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, every bird of every sort. And they went into the ark to Noah, two by two, of all flesh in which is the breath of life. So those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the Lord shut him in.
Noah preached a message of righteousness for a hundred years but no-one listened to him.
When it suddenly started raining they realised too late that they should have acted upon his call to repentance. Noah couldn't open the door, because it was God who shut him in.
The times and seasons are directly in the control of our Heavenly Father, and in His mercy He gives us many opportunities to repent. However, if we continue to choose our own way rather than accept His Lordship, then ultimately we will miss out on the salvation He provided through Jesus Christ.
“The harvest is past, The summer is ended, And we are not saved!”
Lord Open To us!
(2 Corinthians 6:2) For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation
Many people tell themselves that there will be plenty of time to get right with God when they are old and have lived the life they chose themselves. Unfortunately none of us knows when our time will come, and the only day we are given is today.
What a tragedy to suddenly realise that you have fallen short of the standard required by God to enter His kingdom, when it was daily within your reach. When we have lived our lives focused upon worldly things rather than heavenly and eternal things we continually miss the opportunities that God has provided for us to enter into His joy and invest our lives in His Kingdom.
Bridegroom: I Do Not Know You
(Matthew 7:21-23) “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. 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?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!
The above scripture specifically identifies believers who have fallen away from walking daily in a love relationship with God and returned again to their worldly ways. They may have been in the midst of the wonderful miracles of God experienced within the church, but they never really yielded their lives to His Lordship and the will of God, and so eventually they fell away from their faith and back into the world.
(Matthew 13:20-21) But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while....
*There are many things that we could list here as benefitting our spiritual lives but I believe that there is one key that is overarching and undergirds all other aspects of walking with God spiritually.
(Revelation 2:4-5) Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.
The greatest thing any bridegroom desires is the wonderful love and adoration of His bride! Jesus Christ deserves our very best love and adoration, for He has proven Himself worthy of receiving it for all eternity. When our love for Him overflows each day then He will truly know us and our lifestyle will be filled with works befitting our glorified position as children of God!
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