TEXT: Matthew 25:1-13
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.
— PRAYER —
The Tragedy of Not Being Ready, Part 2
Charles Spurgeon said, “I do not know any more terrible words than those, ‘Our lamps are gone out.’ We once rejoiced in our lamps; we knew we had a bright future. But, it is an awful thing to find the lamp of Christianity burning low, one’s hope of heaven going out, like the snuff of a candle.”
In this parable, Jesus tells a tragic story of five foolish virgins who were not ready for a wedding and the bridegroom’s arrival. In the same parable, He tells the wonderful story of five wise virgins who were indeed ready for the wedding and the bridegroom’s arrival. The question for us is whether our story, our eventual history, will be one of tragedy, or the wonderful story of being ready for our bridegroom, Jesus Christ, and being united with Him at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb in Heaven.
To understand this parable and its meaning for us today, we must think of the marriage process from the perspective of those who first heard Jesus’ story. Dr. Warren Wiersbe explains, “An oriental wedding had three stages: first, the legal marriage arranged by the parents of the bridegroom and bride; second, held about a year later, the ceremony in which the bridegroom, accompanied by his friends, would go from his home to the bride’s home and claim her as his own; and third, the marriage feast held at the bridegroom’s home. As the year drew to a close, all the participants in the ceremony were to be on high alert because only the father of the groom could make the official announcement to commence the ceremony. This call to preparedness was especially important for the wedding party.”
Another especially important point is found in the church being allegorized as virgins. The Greek word translated as “virgins” means “a marriageable maiden who has never had sexual intercourse with a man”; it is also a person “who has abstained from all uncleanness, whoredom, and idolatry, and so has kept his chastity.” The significance of this is that, it is not enough for us to merely anticipate Christ’s return; we must also live in a manner worthy of Christ’s return.
In the marriage traditions of the ancient near east, once a man and a woman were betrothed to each other (what we would call “engagement”), the man would set out to build or prepare a house where he would live with his new wife. Sometimes, this would take weeks or months. Every night of the betrothal period, the woman would light a candle and put it in her window. The man would go by the house at night to see if the candle was there. A burning candle meant that the bride was keeping herself pure and had not given herself to another man.
The question for us saints is: Are we keeping our candle burning? Jesus, like the bridegroom in His parable, has gone to prepare a place for us. Can we be considered virgins prepared for His second coming? Or have we given our hearts to worldly pursuits, to idolatrous worship of some other person, philosophy, or material gain? How devastating it would be for us if the Lord were to come and our candles not be burning. Like the foolish virgins, there will be no recourse. The most important thing we can do is to keep our candles burning as we await the Lord’s return.
Barney Warren wrote:
Let your light so shine that the world may see
How to come to Christ who will set them free;
Let its rays gleam bright when the darkness falls,
Till each sinful soul for the Savior calls.
Let your light so shine every day and hour,
That the truth be clothed with divinest pow’r;
Let it brightly shine and promote God’s cause,
To exalt His name and His holy laws.
Now, if you are not a believer in Jesus Christ, I urge you to trust in Him because He is coming again and you do not want to be left behind. Here is how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and the consequences of sin.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “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… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.