By Chuck Williams
Interim Pastor, First Baptist Church, Milan
Weddings are great occasions. In Jesus’ day the whole village or town would turn out for the week long event. No one wanted to miss this joyous festival.
One of the exciting parts was when the groom is coming down the road with his entourage at night to ‘surprise’ his bride-to-be with his arrival. The job for the virgins was to light the way for his arrival. In this parable we see that things didn’t go so well. There is one major warning here.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Waiting till the last minute (vv. 1-5) rarely works. Waiting until the night before an exam to study rarely works. Waiting until company has arrived rarely produces a good meal.
Waiting until later in life to work on building godly character is a good thing, but it could have been so much better. Waiting until the deathbed to turn to Jesus may be too little, too late.
The wise virgins had their act together. They were on high alert, their lamps were ready for the go signal and their eyes were searching for a glimpse of the groom.
The 10 virgins represent professing Christians. Their torch represents their profession of faith. They have the outward marks of believers, but something is missing.
The five foolish virgins forgot their oil. They have an outward profession but it is without an inward possession. The five foolish virgins look and blend in with the others, but will be deeply disappointed when the Lord returns.
Those without the oil had no light. Jesus stated that He was the light; that we are to let our light shine and without the light men will stumble along in darkness.
The salvation He gives cannot be borrowed, duplicated, or fabricated. II Corinthians 13:5 tells us to “examine ourselves to see whether or not we are in the faith.” The virgins were deceived, they couldn’t light their own lamp. Simply put, it means salvation is non-transferable. I cannot lend my salvation to my family, friends or enemies. Only Jesus can bring the oil of salvation.
Matthew 25:11-12 gives a dire message. There will come a day when the door of salvation is closed.
Right now the door is open, but there is coming that time when it will be shut. In chapter 24 and 25, He has given five warnings about being alert.
Many will not be ready because they foolishly refused to make preparation for their soul. Matthew 7 says there will be those who prophesied, preached, and cast out demons yet He will say to them, “Depart. Leave. Go away. I never knew you. You ignored my love and patience for too long. Your deceit worked with people but not with me.”
Right now there is uncertainty and fear. But one day, possibly soon, all that will give way to unspeakable glory. Until then, is your lamp filled or empty? Are you waiting till the last minute to borrow, buy or beg for some oil? Seek the Lord now and be properly prepared. B&R