ARE YOU PREPARED?
God……. pictures Himself as the “husband” of Israel, and in the New Testament (John 3:27–30; Matthew 9:15; Mark 2:19–20). Christ….. is pictured as the bridegroom of the Church. The Church…… is described in Scripture as the bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:25–32). What will the Groom reveal when He pulls back the veil of your life? Is He going to see the bride that has been waiting for Him all these years? Or is He going to find you lacking and not one He came for?
Jesus tells a parable that will help us answer
The professing church is compared to “ten virgins” who took their lamps and went forth to meet the Bridegroom. They all had lamps but only five had oil for their lamps for burning. All of them professed to have one object in view but only five were truly born again and ready. This parable reveals the consequences for the unbelievers who are not ready, but think they are ready, or better yet never were ready at all.
Are you devoting all your time and energy to
the Lord Jesus Christ
Devotion mean? A profound dedication, or a passionate attachment or loyalty. The Bible teaches us that we can devote our lives to a particular task for God. Ezra devoted himself to the study and obedience of God’s law. Ezra 7:10. Nehemiah devoted himself to the work of rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem Nehemiah 5:16.
The Bible also speaks about people’s hearts being devoted to idols. Ezekiel 11:21, 20:16, their devotion to idols brought God’s judgment down upon them. Acts 5:1-11 when Ananias and Sapphira sold a piece of property and pretended that they had devoted all of the proceeds of the sale to God. However, they had secretly kept some money back for themselves. God took their lives because they had lied to Him and kept back some of that which they had said was devoted to Him. Jesus said that we cannot serve two masters. “Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other” Matt 6:24
The bible also encourages us that devotion is something we are to pursue towards one another. “Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves”. Romans 12:10. The bible also says that devotion is an act of joyful obedience. “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” John 14:17
I have 3 thoughts we need to think about, when it
comes to Devotion.
1. It’s A Spiritual Thing, Not A Physical Thing. “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matt 6:33-34
2. It’s A Listening Thing, Not A Talking Thing. “for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it. Matt 13:17
3. It’s A With Thing, Not A For Thing. Prime example of this! “Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me." And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her." Luke 10:38-42
The physical “was distracted with much serving”
The Talking “tell her to help me”
The For “Lord do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone”
The spiritual “Mary sat at His feet’
Hearing Him “heard His word”
With Thing “Mary has chosen the good part”
When He Pulls Back The Veil Will He Find A Faithful Life That Was Determined To Please Him. ( v6- v9)
Are you determined to live a life of holiness and obedience so that when He comes you are ready to meet the Love of your Life. “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." Rev 19:7-9
We see of the virgins were ready for their Groom in this way and other 5 that 5were never ready! “Give us some of your oil” (v8)
The foolish virgins….. All about outward appearances! They never took this gospel confession seriously. They never saw Jesus as extremely valuable and worthy of dying for. They were never devoted nor had any determination to be, live, a godly life. They represent a great multitude in the church of God. Jesus said, they appeared clean, but inwardly a rotting corpse. "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also. "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness.” Matt 23:25-27
Doing all the things that God hates, but professing Jesus as their Lord. Outwardly playing, saying the right things, as if the Christian life is one big game of deception and strategies. Inwardly never converted by the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Never ready, just like the world we live in today! Not prepared, uncaring about the things of God. Not determined to live for the Lord Jesus Christ. Seeing this life as a means to conquer and destroy.
The wise/ the true born again believer is determined to always be prepared at all times for the coming Groom. (v 8-v9) says ‘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.'
What is Jesus saying in this part
of His parable?
Go seek the Lord while He may be found before He comes again. Believe on the Lord Jesus and you shall be saved from destruction. Confess with your mouth that he is Lord and believe in the finished work of Christ. Repent and find rest for your eternal soul in the Lord Jesus Christ A great example of this when Peter rebuked Simon the Sorcerer. But Peter said to him, "Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.” Acts 8:20-22. No one can buy his or hers salvation, or work for it. You cannot buy it from those who are born again. You must seek first Him for forgiveness of sins through repentance and faith in Him
We must be ready for the His glorious return for His bride
Jesus said there is going to be a cost for the child of God who is devoted and determined to meet the Groom. “Then He said to them all, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. Luke 9:23-24. The foolish had no desire to die for this Groom or His gospel. Why? This life this journey the Christian takes leads to….
But ends in the Presence of His glory!
Which is where the wedding is going
to take place!
The foolish virgins stayed for a while, but left when times get tough or difficult. A great example of this is the parable of the Soils. "Therefore hear the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. 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. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.” Matt 13:18-22
The wise virgins were always ready, no matter what happened, because they put their faith and trust in the Risen Savior. They received the gift and treated as their greatest joy despite the road ahead. Their eyes were fixed upon Jesus as He explains about the ones that fell on the good soil. “But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty." Matt 13:23
When He Pulls Back The Veil Will He Find A Faithful Disciplined Life. (v10- v13)
A Life that is separate from the world, a life of discipline, even when you don’t want to! It’s a life that Paul said, “casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,” 2 Cor 10:5
This is casting, throwing away every Human…..
Casting down all humanism that distorts the true Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Christian life.
A disciplined life bringing every thought
Captivity means: “to lead away, to make captive or bring into captivity.” Metaphorically this means to capture one’s mind and to hold it captive, This requires discipline because we can be so easily captivated by other things or people. There are many things we need to be disciplined in…..
Manhood and Womanhood
Kent Hughes says “The disciplined heart says `I will do this thing because I love God and I want to please Him.”
Paul is a prime example of someone lived a disciplined life, because he knew what was at stake. “And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” 1 Cor 9:25-27. I will bring my body under submission; I will discipline my body for the joy that I will receive in Heavenly places. The 5 wise virgins were disciplined because the Bible says, (v10) ....those who were ready went in with Him to the wedding.... The 5 foolish virgins never cared about a disciplined life. The Bible says…The door was shut. (v10)
What does that mean, ‘the door was shut’?
It is final; there is no hope for you! This is something that should make each and every one of us weep bitterly. This could be a loved one, a friend, a school mate. a co-worker. This door is going to be shut, closed sealed forever as God shut the door for one man and his family. “And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him. And the LORD shut him in.” Gen 7:16. All things are final as when the Lord sealed the Ark door. The bible declares, "Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open for us,' and He will answer and say to you, 'I do not know you, where you are from,' then you will begin to say, 'We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets. But He will say, 'I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.' There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out.” Luke 13:24-28
This passage of Scripture has joy for the believer but this portion “the door was shut” doesn’t make me rejoice as I should. This verse grieves my heart, there are many who are being deceived by a false gospel in believing they are saved because some preacher said they were, or worse their own heart deceives them. Jer 17:9
What's even sadder they are filling many
churches around Canada today!
See! The door being shut for the Christian when He returns means….
The door is shut to all our pain and sorrow.
The door shut on illness, this ill-natured world system.
The door is shut on a tempting devil.
The door is shut on all doubts and fears.
Shut, to never open again any more. Are you ready? The overall thrust of the parable is that Christ will return at an unknown hour and that His people must be ready. “became drowsy and slept” (v5) Being ready means preparing for whatever arises in our lives and keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus at all times while we eagerly await His coming. When you’re ready it doesn’t matter what we are doing when Christ returns. We may be working, eating, sleeping, or pursuing leisure activities. The believer is anticipating and waiting, with the fullness of jo, for the return of her King.
Here is the warning! If you are playing the professing game, you’re playing A DANGEROUS ONE! And the Bible says “The Door is going to be shut on you!” Are you truly prepared? Have you been Born Again? For the unsaved there are no surprises when the unregenerate stand before His in judgement as the 5 foolish virgins. But what about the wise, the called, the saved virgins who were preparing for this day! He said He would return again, “And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven." Acts 1:10-11. Someday the Trumpet will Sound. “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thess 4:16-18
So what are we to do in the
We are to eagerly wait as the Hebrew writer so eloquently put it. “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. Heb 9:27-28. The believer may have much tribulation, but he has before him abounding solace. “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Psalm 30:5. J C Ryle wrote in his commentary, “Let us leave this parable with a settled determination, never to be content with anything short of the indwelling grace in our hearts. The lamp of the name of Christian, the profession and the ordinances of Christianity, are all well in their way, but they are not the one thing needful. Let us never rest until we know that we have the oil of the Spirit in our hearts.” Are you prepared for the Groom? "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming. “ Matt 25:13. It could now, it could be tonight. Be ready, full of grace in truth as He appears.
Come Lord Jesus Come!