May 24, 2020
Passage: Matthew 25: 1 - 13

Our theme today urges us to be ready and wait wisely for the second coming of the Lord. Of all the things we are waiting for, this is one event that is certain to happen.

Our scripture reading for today contains some important lessons that can help us be ready and wait wisely for the Lord.

First, we see that this parable describes what the "Kingdom of Heaven,” will be like at the time of the second coming of Christ. Secondly, we should observe that for some period of time, the five foolish virgins were almost indistinguishable from the five wise virgins. The five foolish virgins had looked just like the five wise virgins. They all were invited to the wedding celebration, and they all came, expecting to participate in the wedding. The five foolish virgins were not different from the five wise virgins, except for one thing; the foolish virgins brought their lamps but no extra oil.

Thirdly, none of the ten virgins knew when the groom would arrive, and all slept when he took longer than expected to arrive. We do not find only the five foolish virgins asleep, while the five wise virgins were busily at work. All of them slept, and all were awakened by the news of the groom's approach.

Fourthly, we are initially surprised and even disappointed that the five wise virgins will not share their oil with the foolish virgins. This is not because the five virgins were selfish. In the context of the story, sharing their oil may have meant that all ten would run short of oil. But when we come to the interpretation of this parable, we can see that the saved cannot share what they have in Christ with the lost on the day of the second coming. The lost will not enter heaven based on the salvation others have received before the second coming. Each person is accountable for his/her own choices.

Again we find it emphasised here that, once our Lord returns for the second time, there is neither the time nor the opportunity for the five foolish virgins to change their course of unbelief. There is a "point of no return," after which one's rejection of Christ cannot be reversed. In the text, the five foolish virgins are not given the time to reverse their folly once the groom had come.

They had their opportunity and they lost it. Now it is too late. When Jesus comes, our fate is sealed, and there will be no opportunity to change our fortune then. We must, therefore, be prepared now by acknowledging our sins, our helplessness, our need for salvation, and by trusting in the death, burial and resurrection of JESUS in our place.

Being ready means, among other things, trusting in Jesus, and having our sins forgiven. The coming of our Lord Jesus will be sudden and unexpected, and when He comes, all chances of changing our course have been forfeited.

The coming of our Lord ends our opportunity to turn to Him in faith, and that seals our doom. So the ten virgins actually had more similarities than differences. The only difference between the wise and foolish virgins was that the wise had extra oil for their lamps, whiles the foolish did not. These virgins were so alike, so similar.

They both appeared to have the attributes, character and conduct of people that are heavenly bound, but something important was missing from the lives of the foolish virgins. God has a different "marking scheme, "from ours. By our "marking scheme, "that is by our own human standards and judgment, so many people we think are going to heaven are not really going to heaven. The danger of focusing on people is that you may fall into the same error or mistake of the person you are focused on. But if you are looking to Jesus the Author and Perfecter of your faith, you cannot fall into error, you cannot end up in the wrong place- hell (Heb.12:2).

The Holy Spirit is the oil that keeps our lamps on; the Holy Spirit keeps our relationship with God on and working. Our relationship with God is as good as dead without the help, presence and power of the Holy Spirit..

Let’s note the following. Without the help of the Holy Spirit, we cannot pray rightly (Rom. 8:26-27). Without the help of the Holy Spirit, we would not feel any remorse when we sin. He is the one that convicts us of sin (Jn. 16:8), purges, cleanses and sanctifies us when we sin (2 Thess. 2:13).

Again without the help of the Holy Spirit, we will be in a state of perpetual confusion. He is our guide, the still small voice telling us, this is the way, walk in it (Isaiah 30: 21).

Further, without the help of the Holy Spirit, we cannot even understand the Scriptures. It will just be an ordinary storybook to us. It is He who opens our eyes to wondrous things in God’s Word (Psalms 119: 18; Jn. 14: 26).

Also without the help of the Holy Spirit, we cannot endure the hardships and trials that come with the Christian life. The Holy Spirit is the one who strengthens us in our inner being and comforts us at trying times, so we can keep pressing on and not give up (Eph. 3: 16).

Let me repeat, lamps cannot work without oil. Without the oil of the Holy Spirit, there is no way our relationship with God can work. The foolish had to go get oil so their lamps could work. This in itself was a good thing. They were doing a good thing by trying to get the oil of the Holy Spirit into their relationship with God, but they should have done that before the bridegroom arrived.

May God helps us to redeem the time so we do not end up doing the right thing at the wrong time.

The Holy Spirit is the Seal or Stamp of God’s ownership placed on us. No one, no matter how much that person loves you, can borrow you the oil of the Holy Spirit.

May our lives be filled and overflowing with the help, presence and power of the Holy Spirit. I pray that Jesus would not meet us with lamps lacking oil, but our lamps will be burning bright because we are filled and overflowing with the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

The foolish virgins called out to the Lord, pleaded on Him to open the door for them. There was nothing at all wrong in that. It was their timing that was wrong. So one prayer we must keep praying if we do not want to be unwise but wise, is; "Lord, help me not to be found doing the right thing at the wrong time, help me to redeem the time. Lord, remove from my life every misuse of time that can shut me out of the wedding banquet with my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Now, while we have the time, we must get into the Word and spend the effort necessary to get to know it and to get our lives well soaked with the Word. Let us have a hunger for God's Word always. We must also learn to walk in the spirit and keep our relationship with God intact until the second coming of JESUS CHRIST!

The King Is coming, be ready!!!

AMEN!!!!

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