Jesus was full of comparisons. In Matthew 22:1-14 He compares the Kingdom of Heaven to a wedding banquet (see 6/2/14 blog post) then in Matthew 25:1-13 likens it to ten virgins. Only Jesus could do such a thing and make it work.
So what do we know about these ten virgins? Well, for one, “they took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom.” But not all ten were equal. In fact five were wise and carried an extra flask of oil while the other five were foolish and did not. So when the bridegroom “was slow in coming” they all fell asleep and while they slept their lamps ran low of oil. Finally, when the shout announcing the arrival of the bridegroom is heard, they all quickly rise to tend their lamps. But the foolish virgins realize their oil won’t last and ask their wise counterparts to lend them some. Being sensible and intelligent, the wise virgins know if they share they wouldn’t have enough oil for themselves, so they promptly tell the foolish ladies to “go instead to the dealers and buy for yourselves.”
And so off the five fools go, and while they are away the bridegroom comes. And here’s the sad part, “those who were prepared went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut.” When the other five returned they couldn’t get in and cried, “Lord, Lord, open the door to us!” To which he replied, “I do not know you.”
The parable ends with the admonition to watch carefully and diligently for we don’t know “the day nor the hour when the Son of Man will come.”
So what does all this mean for us? It means that not everyone in the “church” (the virgins) will partake of the marriage feast. Those who are carnal and not guided and empowered by the Holy Spirit (the oil) will miss out. Remember what Jesus said about Laodicea? That lukewarm church that was neither hot nor cold? He said He would vomit it out of His mouth. Just because a person sits in a church pew every Sunday doesn’t mean he is a follower of Christ. Many will sadly realize that when the “door is shut.” But those who have accepted what Jesus, the bridegroom, did for them, His blood sacrifice, those who remain His disciples by following His word and living by it will enter into the feast.
I believe in the pre-tribulation rapture and I believer that this is just one of the many “types” and “shadows” speaking of it. It will be the true followers of Jesus that will enter into the marriage feast not those who merely fill a pew. But here is where God’s love and mercy comes in. Yes, I believe these carnal pew sitters will miss out in the rapture and have to go through the tribulation, but during the tribulation they can truly come to the Lord and by doing so will be with Him forever and throughout all eternity.
But my question is, “Why wait? Why go through the tribulation at all if we can be spared it by accepting Jesus NOW, by living for Him NOW, but being led by the Spirit and not our carnal nature NOW?
Truly, NOW is the time!
Until next week,