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April 29, 2022 8:00 am
The main point of what Jesus is teaching here is that he is telling us what to do in light of his future return. Christ is coming, what does that mean for today welcome once again to the pulpit with gone green founding pastor of truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio today as he continues in his series titled reflections on our Lord. Don will share with us the appointments of being ready for the return of Jesus Christ and how to continue teaching God's people.
God's word here is done green with part one of a message called be on the alert fear of a truthful look at second Peter chapter 3 with me when Peter says the day of the Lord will come like a thief in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat and the climate and its works will be burned up. Got a biblical look at what real climate change will be like in that passage, and it won't be the kind of thing. The people are fussing about in our day and age it will be supernatural and it will be final. Verse 11 sense all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat, but according to his promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things. Be diligent to be found by him in peace, spotless and blameless.
These future events. Peter says are coming. Therefore, there is a way for you to live in response. You are to consider these things. You are to live in holy conduct your to live in godliness.
You are to be found in peace, spotless and blameless pursuing sanctification, pursuing a holiness of life. If you know the Lord Jesus Christ and you confess these things so these things have a profound impact on the way that we think about the purpose and the way in which we are to live even think about this of you ever thought about the consequences of that the fact that the earth is going to be destroyed and Christ is going to return means that there's a way in which we hold this life loosely realizing that it's all passing and transient very environment in which we live is passing away, to say nothing about the fact that our lives themselves are are transient and passing away. Will this has great consequences.
Then, in terms of what we set our affections on what we give our time and our resources and our love to Jesus taught a parable to impress the importance of this upon us to impress that view of life upon us and it's found in Matthew 25 that will be our text for today. Matthew 25 I invite you to turn there with me. Matthew 25 becomes in the midst of a text and chapters 24 and 25 that are known as the Olivet discourse dealing with future things to come in.
Jesus taught his disciples a parable to help them understand how they should think and live in response to the reality of his second coming in verse one of chapter 25 it says this were going to read through verse 13, then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to 10 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 arose and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the prudent give us some of your oil, for far lamps are going out but the prudent answered no, there will not be enough for us and you to 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 beyond the alert then for you do not know the day nor the hour. Now if you're not familiar with the background of this parable that the cultural matters that gave context to what Jesus would say this might sound like a little bit of a strange, strange parable, but when you look at the background, it all becomes clear it all becomes very obvious what Jesus is saying, and as with any of the parables Jesus is teaching one primary point. There is one main point that is to be derived from the parables were not supposed to foster look for great meaning in every single detail of what a parable, says the main point of this parable.
The main point of what Jesus is teaching here is that he is telling us what to do in light of his future return. Christ is coming that what does that mean for today. What does that mean for the way that you use your life and the way that you use your time and so Jesus is teaching his disciples what to do in light of his return and the answer simply speaking the answer that were going to see is this, there is a spiritual urgency to the matter is urgent spiritually for you to take these things to heart and to do something in response, it is urgent for you to prepare now for what will surely happen then you must prepare now while you have opportunity, you must prepare now while you have breath in your lungs. You must prepare now and take spiritual matters seriously. You must respond to the gospel of Jesus Christ and live in a life that's bringing forth fruit of repentance, to prepare yourself for that coming day if you foolishly disregard the warning and you foolishly go about your life and foolishly give yourself over to the things of this world and letting the things of this world with no regard for the things of Christ. Something bad is going to happen. Christ is going to return at the time when you don't expect it and then it's going to be too late and when Christ returns and your unready at that time. Perhaps it's as simple as when you're the day of your death unexpectedly comes if you are not ready to meet Christ.
All the horror of the loss. The horror of the loss. It's unspeakable.
And so what a wise person does in light of the certainty of these truths is that they prepare while they have time for that great coming day. Well, that's where Jesus is going here. Let's consider the background of the context of the parable a little bit of cultural background and then all of these things will be opened up to your understanding.
As the Holy Spirit helps us in this hour back in Matthew 24 verse three turn back there with me. Back in Matthew 24 verse three and were doing a rapid review here. The Disciples of Christ had earlier asked him about the sign of his coming. They were interested in future events is not that interested in future events is bad, it's good to know these things the book of Revelation promises of blessing on those who read and consider its approach to future matters, and so the disciples are are interested in.
As verse three as he was sitting on the Mount of olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, tell us, when will these things happen and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age. That is a very crucial verse to understand what follows in the remainder of the Olivet discourse that the passage is framed by the question that the disciples asked help us understand things about the future and about your second coming. Help us to understand that.
And so, in what follows in the rest of chapter 24 and in chapter 25, Jesus is answering their question. He is explaining to them things about his second coming. So look at chapter 24 verse 30 actually go to verse 27 will start their and we just want to see the emphasis that is woven throughout chapter 24 to see what the emphasis that Jesus is giving to it. So in chapter 24 verse 27 he tells them just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be. Verse 30 then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. Verse 42 therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. Verse 44. For this reason, you also must be ready for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think he will. So my friends they asked him a question about his coming and you can see by the subsequent repetition in Jesus is words that followed, he is emphasizing to them the coming of Christ.
His his coming return his future return and so what you find as you read it and and as we saw even there in in verse 44.
The Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think he will. Here's what here's what we find.
And here's a place where those of you who are not in Christ and you are not Christians. God's word is showing you the profound place of utter vulnerability that you are in the coming of Christ will be unexpected. It will be sad then and what's going to happen at that time is Christ will separate believers unto his presence and unbelievers will be separated unto judgment, there will be a great division taken between humanity and Bo and my friends. It will not be based on the modern preoccupation with black-and-white and other matters of skin color is going to the separation is going to take place based on whether someone is in Christ, or outside of Christ. Whether someone is a Christian or is not, and that is going to be the determining factor, and there will be people of all kinds of skin colors in both groups.
Skin color is not the primary issue that we have to face. We have to face the reality. The thing that we most need to deal with is that there is a calming appointment of appearing before Christ and judgment. Scripture makes this abundantly clear. It says in Hebrews 9 verse 27. It is appointed for man to die once and after this comes judgment, and so whether you whether you die and face Christ in judgment or whether you're living at the time of his return and face him and judgment. Either way, there is a calming appointment with Christ that you must take into effect, you know, and I'm I'm reminded of the preacher. That said, I preaches a dying man to dying men. You know that you know were all were all mortal here wall passing away, and we should not presume upon the fact were going to have another opportunity to hear truth and be able to respond to it.
It's that urgent. We can't presume on these things spent spent a good bit of time this past week. Speaking with people who are on the doorway of death.
So these things are fresh and urgent upon my mind and they should be on yours as well. The coming of Christ, and that judgment, beloved is going to be a cataclysmic event for us all, the whole earth is going to burn out. Peter says, and so there's this sense of sobriety that comes upon us. It says will then what does that mean for me. What does that mean for my soul. What should you know and what should you do, what does this parable teaches for going to break it into 22 principles here this morning and the first one is this is that Christ is certainly coming Christ is certainly coming and the parable that Jesus is teaching here in chapter 25. He is referring to what at the time would have been a very familiar marriage custom among the Jews, Jewish marriages at that time were arranged by the family and couples had actually very little say in whom they would marry. They certainly couldn't count on it in all the ideas you get married in love comes after ricotta flip that script release try to the Jewish marriages were arranged by the family and there was a lot that went into the wedding. It was a big event that took 12 months of preparation. In order for it to take place.
So after the arrangements had been made. There was a a formal period of about 12 months.
That led up to the actual wedding called the betrothal.
This was more binding to the couple and to the family. This is more binding than the engagement periods that were used to in our days, we need to kinda set aside what we think about engagement and weddings and stand on different ground here. So a lot of things happened in that intervening 12 months, the groom, the future groom would prepare the home that he and his bride would would one day live in the bride during that 12 months would be preparing her wedding clothes and making preparation for for the gallant affair. The bride's family would be preparing the wedding feast in the wedding festivities. So once the marriage had been arranged. There was a lot of it. Anticipation and X expectation that was going into it. A lot of work going into making it the special time that it would be when the wedding itself came it was it was an elaborate and elaborate fare at the bride and groom are like a queen and a king in their attire and in the royalty so to speak, metaphorically speaking, the Royal projection that was made of a couple to emphasize how how important this moment was how sacred the institution of marriage was and what a what a profound moment.
It was for the couple to be embarking upon a new life together so there's all of this going together to make it really, really special and you know we don't. Sometimes we lose that you know people get so casual about weddings and about marriage that that the event loses some of its significance because it's treated with such a casual attitude and and so forth, not in their day in their day.
This was a big deal. And so the wedding takes place and as we enter into the custom that Jesus is alluding to in verse 25. Here's what happened after the wedding. After the wedding occurred there would be a procession kind of think about it like a little bit of a parade that would occur in the village at the end of the day, the bridegroom and his groomsmen would go to the bride's house, they separated for briefly after the service and made whatever preparations they they made the, the groom would then take his attendance go to the brides house. The bride's house, meaning her house with her parents. He would go to the bride's house, meet her pick her up and then they would proceed to go to their new home and this was at.
This was a huge village event. This was a this was a great celebration taking place and so there would be a procession from the bride's old house as her groom took her to the new house where the feast in the festivities and the celebration would take place. You must understand, this was a huge community deal in celebration and so this procession would occur toward the end of the day. As darkness is starting to descend upon the day and what would happen.
It is as they were making this progression from her house to their new combined house. Is it that the people of the village would have liked torches. It's described as lamps here, but think about them as torches, torches that would like to procession and give light to the way so there is a practical function of the light helping people see where they were going join with the celebration of joining in the celebration of this couple having just been married and making their way to their new home. And so everybody wanted to participate in this event but you needed to have a lighted torch you needed to have your lamp lit in order to enter into the festivities at at the at the bridegroom's new home and so everyone would proceed to the bridegroom's house for the festivities and the celebrations. Let me just repeat and emphasize only those with a burning lamp could march in the procession and share in the festivities.
Now when it's such a big deal and there's just this great event taking place. What should you do well, you want to be ready. You want to make sure that your lamp is ready you want to make sure that you've got oil to fuel the lamp so that it can burn and that it that you can participate in the way that's expected and required of you to not do that is of the most foolish consequence. It was crucial to have your lamp prepared for you would miss it all. You would be excluded. You would be outside looking in know what this parable Jesus teaches is its focusing on the preparation of the vergence those young ladies who would be a part of the procession going on. Who knew that this was coming and one of the other aspects. I suppose I should say is that it was not uncommon for the bride and groom to be delayed in making the procession so that they never knew precisely what time they were going to come. They knew that they were going to come but sometimes the time wasn't exactly what they expected sometime as it was delayed so you had to be ready for when ever it was, even if there was a time of delay and so now with that background, let's go back and review the first five verses here now is freedom again, the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to 10 virgins. In other words, Jesus is making a comparison between his second coming and what it is like at a wedding procession.
He's making a comparison going from something familiar. Watch this. This is very important he is.
In order to teach. He is bringing them to something that is familiar to draw principal out, that will apply in spiritual matters that are unfamiliar.
You reason from the familiar to the unfamiliar so that the mind can absorb the comparison and see the obvious implications of it and so he says in verse 25. The kingdom of heaven will be comparable. It will be like 10 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 unthinkably stupid. The word therefore foolish means stupid.
I'm not speaking out of turn for you homeschool moms verse four, 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 and so there's a contrast that is being made here Jesus is teaching. By comparison, and, by contrast, and is contrasting the foolish virgins with the prudent ones. The word foolish comes from a word that we get our English word moron from the Greek word Mo Ross is the word that we get our English word moron. These five virgins are behaving like morons are being utterly ridiculous in their lack of preparation word can mean dull ice.
As I said earlier can mean someone who is sluggishly in their thinking that there stupid. This is just inexcusable neglect in light of a certain event that is coming. This is foolish contrasted with the prudent one, which is describing someone who who has practical wisdom. There is common sense involved in the way that they are responding to the events of the day. They say they say there's this procession coming I want to be a part of it for me to be a part of it.
I have to have a burning lamp if I want my lamp to burn. I have to have oil that means I'm going to make sure I got the oil now her hand so that I'm ready when the time comes.
Just commonsense. This is exactly what the foolish ones refused to do that's nongreen, reminding us to remain ever vigilant as we await the return of the Lord will friend your listening to the truth pulpit and Don will bring us the conclusion of today's message. Next time, if you'd like to find out more about this ministry go to the truth. Pulpit.com once they are just click the free offers button to find all of Don's lessons including messages on important and timely topics that affect all of our lives. That's the truth. Pulpit.com now before we close out our time today. Here again is done. While I hope that the truth pulpit is a source of strength to you as you live for Christ and if it is would you do us a favor would you return the blessing by dropping us a note at the truth. Pulpit.com look for the contact us link in the upper right hand corner.
Your brief greeting can assure that we keep the broadcast on this outlet as we continue to minister to. Thank you so much and God bless you. Thanks Don and Fred will continue in our series called reflections on our Lord. Next time as nongreen continues teaching God's people. God's word on the truth