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May 2, 2022 8:00 am
The foolish virgins are not a sympathetic figure here thought so sad they don't get to go in.
No, this is one of judgment. This is one of accountability. There is no excuse for what you have done and now you will bear dire consequences as a result they deserve to be excluded. Welcome back to pulpit with Don green founding pastor of truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio hello, I'm Bill Wright today as he moves forward in a series called reflections on our Lord.
Don will put the finishing touches on his look at the importance of being ready for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ right now. Let's join her teacher as he continues teaching God's people. God's word part two of a message called be on the alert there on the truth, called Christ is coming. The only question is when you will meet him will be really soon on your drive home tonight will be a few years from now will be trembling from your deathbed will be when Christ visibly appears we don't know but it is going to happen, you will stand before Christ, my friend and what is going to happen to you then. And so, in this parable, we see a group of young ladies who prepared beforehand, we see a group that did not and then suddenly things changed. While they're waiting verse five we saw the bridegroom was delaying. They all got drowsy and began to sleep. There's no moral culpability in the fact that they got drowsy and I did it been a long day. The night was getting long.
It's not about what they were doing at that moment in fighting offs understandable sleep was all about the preparation made beforehand. That is the point that is being made. Understandably, everyone got drowsy during the way the emphasis in the parable is a prior approach to preparation the Jesus is teaching and so understand this my friends. The bridegroom's return is certain but the timing is not the fact of his return is established when it will happen is uncertain and unknown in the bridegroom's return and that way pictures the return of Christ, my friends, Jesus Christ is coming again. He will return. The angel told the disciples that in acts chapter 1 he'll come in the same way that he went up. You see them going up visibly is going to return visibly. The only question is, is when you know what dropping some of the dropping the metaphors of the parable Jesus spoke on this very explicitly in the Gospel of John turn there with me. John chapter 14 John chapter 14, Jesus said this to not let your heart be troubled, believing God, believe also in me. In my father's house are many dwelling places. If it were not so I would've told you before I go to prepare a place for you to look at verse three and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am, there you may be also. He says I will come again. I'm going away to prepare a place, but my absence is temporary.
I will come back for my own and you will have a place with me, so Christ is certainly coming again. The Bible is clear on this Jesus was clear and explicit about this now. The question then becomes, in light of that, what does that mean for you today. What does that mean for you today brings us to our second point is that you use your lifetime to prepare usual life to prepare and in the middle of their sleep. Going back to Matthew 25 in the middle of their drowsy sleep. The inevitable shout occurs and shatters the slumber with the immediate reality that the time is now the time has come.
Verse six, but at midnight there was a shout, behold, the bridegroom come out to meet him. The time for preparation is over. At this point. Events are happening on the timetable of the bridegroom now and his actions are determining everything else and there's not time to do anything but respond with the preparation that you have at the moment. And so the bridegroom was present and they had to go out immediately to meet him now. At that point, the prior preparation or lack of preparation made all the difference in the world.
Look at verse seven then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps and the foolish said to the prudent give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out but the prudent answer no. There will not be enough for us and you to go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves. Now for hours if not days.
There had been all kinds of time to prepare and they were dilatory.
They did not care.
They did not act upon the information that they had in the moment came and now there wasn't time to get ready to join the procession. The prudent virgins. They let their lamps and they went out to meet him and they were part of the celebration. They were part of the custom and they shared in the joy of the celebration just like those who repent and put their faith in Christ now are going to join in the celebration that will accompany his return and his ultimate reign in glory great and marvelous things to be a part of the prudent virgins. They had no reason to give away their oil.
There was no reason for them. The custom of the day to share their wall if they give away their all.
Everybody's lamp is going to go out.
It's just impossible what the foolish virgins were asking them to do in that moment, their lack of preparation was morally culpable. They knew and refused to act the modern. The modern attitude for this kind of situation is expressed in the phrase that many of you probably heard lack of preparation on your part doesn't constitute an emergency on my part. The fact that you haven't done what you could've done to prepare doesn't mean that I have to immediately respond to your set your difficulty and situation that you knew was coming and failed to act upon. You got responsibility here. In other words, and sometimes they're going to be consequences if you don't act upon it. What Jesus is showing here in this parable is as of the consequences of vast their vast and so the foolish virgins had the same opportunity to beforehand, but they did not act upon it. In verse 10, you see the foolish virgins going away desperately hoping against hope to get some oil in time to join, but it's too late.
Verse 10 while they were going away to make the purchase. The bridegroom came in those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast and the door was shut. What's just happened here that had to shout the bridegroom's coming is he's on his way here.
He is the foolish virgins are having to go out and try to find toilet at midnight, hoping that 7-Eleven has something for them that they could use.
I don't know there was nothing while they were away bridegroom came, those who were prepared were welcomed.
Join the parade and entered into the festivities and then boom the door shut the doors closed. The opportunity for admittance was over at that point there weren't other guests to be added later on and so, the bridegroom, the bridegroom had his circle of celebration with him and who wasn't with him when he entered in when he came had no celebration once you were with them in the language of Jesus. These are the ones who were part of the kingdom and they entered into the joy of their master. What a blessing to be there. What a blessing to know now that you be a part of the kingdom. Then, without fear of being shut out and excluded, but the foolish virgins well they eventually arrived. As you see in verses 11 and 12 later the other virgins also came, saying, Lord, Lord, open up for us. Let us in.
In other words, we're here now we are ready now. But there is a devastating rejection to take place there in verse 12 he answered, truly I say to you I do not know you, you cannot come in. It is too late for you.
Your squandered opportunity that you knew was coming. Your squandered opportunity has led to immeasurable loss to you.
Now the door was closed and mission is refused the foolish virgins are simply left to bear the consequences of their own lack of preparation their own silliness their own foolishness, their own stupidity, their own stupidity led them to the consequences that they were now facing. They were missing the feast that they could have attended if only they had taken the simple preparation that others did in response to the event that they knew were coming no excuse for that there is no excuse for that there rejection is devastating. There rejection is final and there rejection is complete and those hearing the story in the first and the first century, when Jesus taught it was said yeah that's that's right, they would've understood the custom, they would understand. You prepare for an event like that and there is no excuse there's etc. foolishness if you don't there's no excuse there's no watch watch watch watch.
There is no misplaced sympathy for people who refused to prepare the foolish virgins are not a sympathetic figure here also said that they don't get to go in know this is one of judgment.
This is one of accountability. There is no excuse for what you have done and now you will bear dire consequences as a result, no false sympathy not in not not the flimsy reaction that would mark our culture today to a story like this. They deserve to be excluded. They didn't take it seriously. So you have the joy of the prudent ladies at the feast sharing in the celebration. You have the shock and rejection of those who are outside it and now the story of the parable Jesus is told the parable it's over now and he simply makes the point, he simply makes the point.
What is it that he wants us to learn from this parable that he just taught verse 13 be on the alert, then the word then indicating this is what you are to draw from what you just heard. This is the conclusion that I have led you to you be on the alert than for you do not know the day nor the hour you must be ready, you must be on the alert, you must prepare for my second coming. Remember, that's what he's been teaching about throughout everything leading up to this parable. My coming, my coming, my coming, my coming because I'm coming. You need to be ready.
You need to be on the alert. So Jesus makes it clear in light of my coming. You have a responsibility to prepare and to be alert you may return unexpectedly, you may meet him in death. You may meet them in the skies. Whatever the case, the circumstances don't matter of what it will be like. What matters is that you be wise and get ready.
Are you ready do you know Christ is there any sort of of anticipation in your heart is, or any any sense of responsibility to prepare your life.
Prepare your soul for that coming reality. How should we respond to the inevitable return of Christ. Listen, I don't overstate things, but in light of the certainty of the coming of Christ.
The most important thing in your life is to prepare for that ultimate reality. Everything else is passing. Everything else is transient. If Christ waits 100 years were all going to be forgotten by people who are living 100 years from now.
So this this little vapor of time that we have here.
Can't possibly be about what you know the ultimate, the ultimate legacy as we leave behind here on earth because that's all going to be forgotten. Most of us have no idea who our ancestors were 100 hundred and 50 years ago. If we know, under just a name on a ledger that's going to be us. Eventually, so what is it, if it's not a lasting legacy that we leave here on earth and what are we to do were to be ready use your life to prepare. Meditate on Scripture, pray to your Lord and if you don't know Christ understand that the preeminent responsibility that you have in light of his coming is to repent of your sin and to turn to him by faith to save you to deliver you to bring you into his kingdom, so that you will be safe in his hands.
When he does return. Nothing else matters.
Nothing else matters in comparison to that because my friend if you're not ready when Christ comes it will be devastating turnover to Matthew chapter 7 Jesus taught this early on in the Gospel of Matthew also and he makes the same kind of contrast we saw in Matthew 25 Matthew seven verse 21 Christ has now come. Verse 21. Not everyone who says to me Lord Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name cast out demons in your name perform many miracles and then I will declare to them, I never knew you same words as in Matthew 25. I never knew you depart from me, you who practice lawlessness. Therefore everyone, verse 24 therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house, and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. The prudent virgins.
The wise builder prepared for the storm of judgment that would come. Having turned Christ truly verse 26.
However, everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house, and it fell in great was its fall in the original language.
It reads like a thunderclap. It felt blue in a moment it was gone. Everything collapsed just like that condo tower in Miami Beach when they weren't expecting at the whole building came down on them. Will there is a picture of your life without Christ, there is a picture of your life when Christ comes.
And you've neglected him.
You've ignored him. You've mocked him, you been too busy for him and it turns out that the reason that you have manifested all of those attitudes was because you were never saved to begin with, you thought you were Lord, Lord Jesus, as I never knew you there was no place for me in your life and then suddenly the rumble occurs in the condo comes down and collapses into the sand, my friend, I ask you what's going to happen to you then kind of picture it this way, the outcome of this picture picture those prudent virgins knocking on the door. Let us then we got our oil now now were ready. Now we see that you come in. The answer from with within side says no. I don't know you.
It's too late. In the words of that reverberating. Put yourself in the shoes of those foolish virgins, recognizing that this is a picture of judgment.
The recognition dawns on you that you are being excluded from the kingdom of Christ does not recognize you. He does not accept you. He does not welcome you and your at the door so to speak. I'm speaking metaphorically here you're at the door of heaven and no one's opening from the other side, and it dawns on you that this is an unchangeable reality in your shoulders kinda drew in your head kind of bows down.
But that's not the end of it. That's not the end you turn to go. You turned to walk away and you realize that there's another angel waiting for you to usher you into a place that you do not want to go for you into judgment against her wishes. Not only are you being left out your being taken someplace you don't want to go and not have any control over it. Judgment has come. You've been rejected and now someone has come in your being carried away into eternal judgment where hell is real hell was painful. And hell is eternal.
00, the horror of being unprepared, my friends, those of you who truly know Christ by faith your secure Christ knows his own. Christ will gladly bring us into his kingdom.
He would never turn away one that was truly his, but the pretenders the indifferent ones.
Even the ignorant ones left to fate. That is very difficult to contemplate my friend. It doesn't have to be that way for you. You're here you have time, and Christ freely invite you to come to him for salvation. Now today you'll receive you this moment to feel truly turn to him. This is your moment. In other words, to prepare for the inevitable realities we been talking about here you been given yet another opportunity by gracious God, and the consequences of what you do with that opportunity have been laid out to you clearly, there is no excuse. Your blood will be on your own hands.
If you continue to reject Christ in this way I don't want you to be turned away.
So in the name of Christ on the authority of Christ on the authority of his word. I offer Christ to yet again he comes and invites you to come to himself now for salvation there still time for you.
For those of us that are in Christ. Sometimes it feels to me when these eternal realities are extra clear from God's word. Sometimes I have a you have the sense of you know what it's like when you just miss a really bad car wreck you slam on the brakes just in time and cargoes in front of you through the intercession that could've been me that would've been horrific but you realize how safe am okay thank God, beloved for those of us that are in Christ that took communion table today is our thank God moment to realize that God in his grace came to us in his amazing grace came to us brought the gospel to us the spirit worked in our hearts brought Christ to us and that our future our admission is safe and secure by the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
That's Dylan green, boldly declaring the power of the blood of Jesus Christ will friend were so glad you been able to study along with us here on the truth pulpit. Don will continue in this series called reflections on our Lord. Meanwhile, if you'd like to have your own copy of today's lesson or you'd like to find out more about this ministry. Just go to the truth. Pulpit.com once you're there, click on the free offers button to find all of Don's lessons including messages on important and timely topics that will affect your life.
That's the truth. Pulpit.com now before we close out our time today. Here again is Don to tell us how God is using this ministry will thank you, Bill. It's a great encouragement to hear how God uses his word to lead men to a saving knowledge of Christ and to build up the saints, you know, we don't see the full results here on earth, but that's okay God gets all the glory because it is his word and his spirit that cause the growth my friend, I ask you to pray for us as the word goes. Thank you and God bless you. Thanks God, and friend. There's more from our series reflections on our Lord. Hi Bill, right join us. That is Don green continues teaching God's people. God's word to run the truth