What needs to be done to be ready for the end of our age? Being prepare to PROSPER during a time of confusion was a key message of Jesus. Maybe the best thing you will ever do, you haven’t thought of yet.
Sermon Notes: “Looking for More than a Virgin” – 7/8/12
Matthew 24:3 “As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” NIV
At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight the cry rang out, “Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!” Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out. “ No”, they replied, “there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.”
But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
Later, the others also came. “Sir! Sir!” they said. “Open the door for us!” But he replied, “I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.” Therefore, keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” NIV
The wedding day has always been a great day of joy and celebration in honor of the bride and groom and their commitment to each other. As customary for those days the wedding party could last anywhere from 7-10 days. The party would celebrate with music, dancing and feasting; making preparations for the day the groom would arrive and receive his bride.
The wedding party had to be prepared and ready at any given time, waiting for the arrival of the groom. The bridesmaids had to be responsible virgins ready to cater to the needs of the bride to be.
Jesus used this parable to answer once again the question concerning the signs of the end of time. As with the bridesmaids in the parable who had to be ready at any given time, so too are we called to always be on watch for the coming of the Savior. The parable is a caution that not all will be ready. There were ten virgins who had to keep watch and be prepared to light the lamps to lead the bride to the groom. One of the most important preparations they had to make was to have enough oil for their lamps. Of those ten only five were prepared. They knew their purpose and the importance of being ready. The five foolish did not consider the cost their lack of preparations would have on them. They were caught off-guard and their only hope was to depend on the five wise virgins to help them. The wise knew that if they helped the five foolish then they also would be left behind. In the end the five foolish virgins were denied and not allowed to be a part of the celebration.
Matthew 5:14 & 16 says, “You are the light of the world…..In the same way let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.” NIV
Also, in Luke 12:35, we are told, “ Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like men waiting for the master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him.”
The oil in the “lamps” signifies the Holy Spirit living in us. The Holy Spirit is a light that shines forth for others to see Jesus. This is our calling while we are here on earth. Without the light of Christ shining the world is full of darkness. At His return, there will not be time to make ourselves ready. We have to live our lives as such that we are full of the Spirit at ALL times. In the end, it is by our own measure that we will be judged. We cannot depend on others readiness to help us along!
When the time comes you will not be able to depend on anyone else to help you “get ready”. Throughout His teachings, Jesus teaches us the importance of being ready.