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October 9, 2020 8:00 am
Hundred years ago the Boy Scouts adopted their motto be prepared a couple thousand years before that Jesus told a parable with much the same message the players in the parable are five young women who are prepared five who aren't in a bridegroom who seems to be running late for his wedding banquet welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet program with Dr. James voice preparing you to think and act biblically today. Dr. Boyce looks at the first of four parables about wisdom and foolishness. Jesus uses these stories to answer the rather selfish questions.
All of us ask like where's the benefit and what's in it for me. Let's listen now to Dr. Boyce's an interesting mark of our Lord stooping to human weakness but often in his preaching, he appealed to what we would have to call rather low human motives mean by this.
He often appealed base self-interest.
I think for example of that time when he was urging discipleship on his hearers and he said what good is its doorman of you gain the whole world and lose his own soul. I kind of question is based upon simple calculation of the advantages or disadvantages of a course of action gain the world now would lose your soul later or seek righteousness now and lose some of the things you might prefer to have in your sinful state but gain your soul later I was a special category of these sayings of our Lord.
That had to do with the parables because in the midst of these many parables had to do with salvation. The kingdom of God and the Christian life and judgment in such things. There are these parables which I call parables of wisdom and folly talk about how foolish some people are in a particular story, and they say don't be like them, or on the other hand, they say look how this wise person behaved emulates him number in this category.
There is this parable of the five whys in the five foolish virgins which we have in Matthew 25 the first 13 verses there's the story of the rich fool Jesus uses that very word. Luke 1213 to 21 is a story of a shrewd man of the world was calculating and provided for his future.
Even though we did it in a dishonest way find that in Luke 16 verses one through nine.
And then there's that well-known story of the wise and foolish builders. Those who built upon a good foundation and those who built upon an adequate foundation, which you find in Luke six and you have the same thing alluded to in other places in each of these cases are artists. I know what you think it over. Use your mind doesn't weigh the advantages of living is the world lives over against the advantages of living as a child of God lives and what I want you to do our Lord speaking now is live according to the ethics and the standards of my kingdom of the story is remarkable is really a masterpiece as Bible readers and others have long recognized details are exact. It's just the perfect flavor of an oriental wedding poignant and feel for the people involved this point comes across clearly in certain ways its simplicity itself. Our Lord said there was a man being married, and he invited number of his friends to the wedding and among those friends were these 10 young women fiber wise, and five were foolish. The wise showed how wise they were by providing the future it was possible to bridegroom would be delayed so they had to wait and it got dark I wanted to be sure they had enough oil for their lamps and so they took not only the oil would fit in the lamp. They took extra oil along in case they needed and the five foolish women neglected to do that well. It was as allies anticipated. The bridegroom was delayed, it got dark while they waited they became drowsy.
They fell asleep. Suddenly in the midst of their slumber. The cry went forth, the bridegroom is coming suddenly they sprang to their feet. They rub the sleepiness from their eyes.
They trimmed their lamps and the lies recognized they needed more oil which they applied to the foolish women recognize that they were without their lamps were burning out. I said to the wise women give us some of your oil, because I lamps are going out though. I said no we don't think we have enough to go around just go myself and so their friends started off but while they were off trying to buy more oil, the bridegroom came with his wedding party and the door was opened and they all went in to the wedding feast of the door was shut. After the door was shot. The foolish women came and they knocked on the door and they said, Lord, open to us, but he said no. I don't know you and then our Lord made the conclusion keep watch, because you don't know the day or the hour when you're Lord appears now as I said, that story is simplicity itself and the points of the story are likewise obvious. The first is the obvious difference between these two groups of women one wise and the other foolish, the wise, why said were prepared in the foolish were foolish, and therefore they were not prepared.
I think it enhances the point that Arnold wants to make recognize and many other respects these 10 women were all alike slink over the ways in which they were aligned.
First of all, they had each received an invitation to the banquet. The wise as well is the foolish, there may have been many other people never did get an invitation to the banquet but these at least and receive them and so they were like in that respect.
Secondly, they had responded affirmatively to the invitation. When I got that little RSVP in the mail that said come to my banquet.
They did not write back as did some of the others in another one of Christ's parables to say all were too busy. I bought a field I have to attend to that I bought yoke of oxen I have to try them out. I just married a wife, I can come and do that. All they wrote back and said so-and-so accepts with pleasure your kind invitation to the wedding feast on such and such a day and so they had accepted and they were ready, and they were in joyful anticipation of the festivities. Moreover, I think you would have to say that they even had each one a certain affection and perhaps even love for the bridegroom because when the invitation went out they were glad to respond when the evening came, they got there early, they were waiting before the bridegroom even arrived at some point at which you get into the story.
Jesus says that time the kingdom of heaven will be like 10 virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. They were like all of those things within suddenly, the bridegroom came in all of the similarities faded away in the nothing in the one difference quickly.
March 5 and prepared for the event and they were ready in the other five had not prepared and they were not ready and on that essential difference turns the whole meaning of the story. I was on how to apply that that applies to the church people sitting in the church people going through the motions of Christianity, easy to understand. This applies to the church age people take the parables in different senses, but there's no question but this one applies.
Still, because in these last chapters of Matthew noticed talking about the period between his crucifixion and his ascension to heaven in the time when is going to come again. He talks about the signs of the end of the age. He talks about how people are to behave in the interim, he says, watch for my coming this last chapter gives several parables, all of which deal with that theme talking about this age is talking about us the way we live, the things we do and we take that compliance in any reasonable way we would have to say that the art within the church of Jesus Christ today. Those who think they are Christians would hurt the invitation of the gospel will respond to it in a certain sense of even in a certain sense have an affection for the bridegroom but who are not going to be ready for him when he comes.
I might have all of the external appearances of religion, but inwardly are going to find themselves unfit before the bridegroom came, you wouldn't have known any difference between these women were wise and those who were foolish no difference between them at all.
But when the bridegroom came, it was evident so Jesus is saying is that within the church of Jesus Christ. There are going to be those who were not regenerate my change within but hello if you look at them from the outside appear exactly the same as those with the children of God.
They profess Christianity they sit there. They were something never say anything bad about Jesus not atheists with no inward change. So when Lord returns as he will.
I will not be ready splurge and was very eloquent at this point and I can avoid reading something he wrote. He said a great change has to be rotten you far beyond any power of yours to accomplish before you can go in with Christ to the marriage, you must first of all, be renewed in your nature or you will not be ready must be washed from your sins or you will not be ready. You must be justified in Christ's righteousness was put on his wedding dress or you will not be ready.
You must be reconciled to God. You must be made like to God or you will not be ready to come to the parable before us. You must have a lamp and that lamp must be fed with heavenly oil and continue to burn brightly or you will not be ready. No child of darkness can going to that place of light must be brought out nature's darkness and the gods marvelous light or you will never be ready to go in with Christ. The marriage had to be forever with him. See what Jesus is saying, Jesus is saying you must be born again must be the soil in which the seed is fallen. The good soil where the seed springs up strongly and bears good fruit is warding many mere professors of religion that in the day of judgment. It will be shown that they are not among God's people.
Let's first point second point is also clear that is that the true state of affairs was revealed by the bridegroom is coming and I set up to that point. These two groups of women would see much alike, but suddenly the bridegroom appeared. It was evident which ones were ready and which were not. It was the crisis that brought out the essential difference in the Ottoman sense a crisis is as the story obviously makes clear the time of Christ's return. That is, it's the final judgment is when the opportunities of this life the past when we are confronted with reality in the starkest form when we stand before the Lord of glory.
Jesus in his holiness, and it will be revealed forever to ourselves and all other people. What kind of men and women we are is the crisis above all other crises that would judgment means the word in Greek for judgment just crisis since the dividing of the LaserWriter in one camp or the other you go to the writer to the laughter among the sheep of the goats are a faithful servant and faithful servant your are prepared woman waiting for the marriage feast for your on prepared you are going along blithely through life thinking all was well and suddenly you're struck down with some kind of disease. Some problems and illness of accident, something the troubles you and makes the outcome of your life. All of those things you anticipated without any doubt. Suddenly come into doubt and things are all changed back on those experiences. When that happened, how did you react if you react is one who is unregenerate and you forget everything that you have been taught about Christ in these things that you profess Sunday by Sunday in church or the Sunday school class are in fellowship with Christian friends turned out to be nothing to you or by contrasted that experience merely went away the chaff of your life revealed to you that new life that Christ himself is placed within and did it draw you closer to the Lord Jesus Christ for your strength, sustenance. That's the way Christians respond. If you gone through crises and not whether the storm and now is the time to prepare. Now is the time to get ready. The Bible says, behold, now is the day of salvation I was a dater own opportunity is of the two main lessons in the story with her three more and I want to treat them just briefly first lesson of these.
Lastly, I would phrase like this. It's clear in the story and I explained why wife life of the Lord Jesus Christ within one individual is not transferable to another as I say that I want to explain what I mean. I'm not saying that one believer cannot be used of God to share the gospel with another soul through that means God brings forth new life in the one was caring. That is the way the gospel sprints. What I don't mean to say is that you are faith if you're a believer is not transferable to another if they are not a believer in other words, you can't be saved by other Christian, even if they been very close to you sometimes use that question which we can suppose God to say when we stand before him in the day of his judgment. What right do you have dinner in that I haven't hear some people talk.
I would think they'd answer it this way.
That's rather difficult question you asked Vincent you speak of rights. I don't really know what to say about a lawyer after all. And I don't know whether I actually have a right or not but you considered my mother. My mother was a godly woman and I I want you to know that she lived before you in a very faithful way and she prayed for me and she taught me all sorts of Christian things. And the Lord would say I'm not talking about your mother. I'm talking about you, what right do you have dinner in the my haven't well Lord, have you considered my Sunday school teachers I had very good Sunday school teachers and I was in that Sunday school for years and years and they shared all kinds of good truths with me and I would be a far more ignorant man in religious things today than I am and I know that they unregenerate and Jesus would say what right you have become in the my haven't you seen is not donning you in that day, it will not be transferable to you from someone else. So the conclusion is to search out these matters send prepared by the grace of God. Now the next lesson is simply this loss. Opportunities cannot be regained. I think you have an illustration of that in the story Seif.
Once the bridegroom was coming and the oil wasn't there.
The five foolish women went off to buy more, but it was too late. The time for buying the oil was passed.
Bridegroom was already on his way while they were off trying to make up for past efficiency.
The bridegroom came in the door was locked, so only put it that way.
This is the day of opportunity and if you pass by the day of opportunity. You lose an opportunity and there is no guarantee all that you will ever have another opportunity.
This may be the very last time you'll ever hear the gospel, but even if it isn't the last time that year. The gospel even inherent next week the week after that. The week after that week. After that, even if you hear it for 30 or 40 years.
The fact that you turn the gospel down now prejudices you against any future receiving of the gospel scene hardens the heart that you won't have the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now what is the make you think that you will think differently 10 years from now. As a matter fact, the opposite is the case, you will be harder 10 years from now than you are now. You will be harder next week and you are now urgently God is a strong nutcracker ready to crack many strong knots and he may yet get through to you through misery or depression, tragedy, or some such thing, but is no guarantee that whatever the case the opportunity you have in this hour is lost if you do not respond to the moving of the Holy Spirit. Now then there's this last lesson simply this, Lord always comes without warning he just comes. This is certainly true, the second coming. This is what the Lord says is the way the parable ends watch because you don't know the day of the hour when another day or the hour were not going to know and suddenly the Lord will be there I will be caught up to meet him. I will face and prepared are unprepared. Not only is it true that our the hour of his return culmination of all things.
It's also true in a more personal individualistic sense in terms of our own death. We don't know the hour of our death that comes upon us. Suddenly it's a rare case when we know exactly when it's coming even with a long, lingering illness, where the plan of illness can be projected. Someone still don't know when it's coming.
The people kid themselves about these things, especially when they're not prepared to die.
The conclusion is that if that's is the case is not a minute to spare this on a moment to lose. Now is the day. Now is the time to prepare my coming to God in the ways provided through Jesus Christ. Just as week I called a friend of mine who had been in seminary with me years ago he had made contact with me just a number of weeks ago because he was having difficulty in his church and he wanted some advice came from Wyoming was a real cowboy is to go out and shoot elk in the summer and he would freeze it and bring it to seminary because the food was so bad the way he kept himself alive in seminary was by cooking elk steak.
Everybody knew him and when he finished he went back to the Little Valley in Wyoming where he brought up. I haven't heard from him for years and years. But here by three weeks ago. He called me and as I said we talked a little bit.
I gave them what advice I could. I sent him some literature that I thought would be helpful and I decide to call them back and see how he was getting on and I called and I did get an answer to cold again.
I didn't get an answer. Finally, just this week a day before the preparation of this study. I finally did get through. A woman answered the phone turned out to be his mother ask about my friend. She told me was dead and had a stroke, totally unexpected. He lingered in the hospital in a coma for 10 days and 99 that come suddenly our of our confrontation by the Lord Jesus Christ will come upon us unawares and today is the day to prepare for my God give you the grace to be prepared through the way he has prepared, namely, through faith in Christ, who is our Savior on a spray our father, bless these words to our hearts. Above all, take the message of this passage of Scripture and carry it home to our minds and hearts in such a way that nobody hearing his words of Christ may allow a moment to pass by. Rather, will ask you to blasts and enter and fill the when that time comes, as it inevitably will, whether that be sooner or later, that they stand before the judgment bar of Christ, my stand there transforming from within by the power of the Holy Spirit alone makes us alive and the salvation granted that work might be done in this hour in the hearts of many, by the power of your spirit.
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