Monday, July 6, 2015

Parable of the Virgins - The Bridegroom Comes Quickly!

The Bridgegroom is coming quickly! Jesus is coming soon! This is a party you don't want to miss. Not only because the party will be so good, so astonishing beyond our present ability to conceive, but because getting shut out will be so bad. After the Bridegroom arrives to rescue his bride, the Great Tribulation on earth will begin in earnest. Read Revelation 8-11 and 13-16 if you want to know what it will be like.

The parable of the virgins is one of the most important messages for this moment in history, standing as we are on the doorstep of the end of the age:

"Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour."

 - Matthew 25:1-13

The wise virgins still have oil in their lamps when the Bridegroom returns. Their lamp is still burning and they are welcomed to the wedding feast. The other half of the virgins are turned away because their lights had gone out.

Please note the unwise virgins wanted to go to the feast but were not ready. Jesus said, "I do not know you." That's the difference. The wise virgins knew the Lord and He knew them. Not so the unwise virgins.

How can we be sure we know the Lord? Those who know the Lord are born of heaven, born again of the Holy Spirit of God:

"For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, 'Abba! Father!' The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God."
 - Romans 8:14-16

God himself replaces the worldly spirit of fear and slavery in our hearts with his own Spirit of sonship. We are transformed supernaturally in the core of our being. God's Spirit then testifies with our spirit that we are children of God. He affirms we belong to him in our hearts.

Jesus put this another way when He said:

"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand."
 - John 10:27-28

We who hear the Messiah's voice and follow him are the wise virgins who join the Bridegroom at the wedding feast.