Summary: Incorporates and adapts “The Parable of the Ten Virgins...", a sermon by Joseph Wallis, to whom credit is hereby acknowledged. The intent of my adaptation is to promote an "Extended Season of Advent" focusing on preparing for the Second Coming of our Lord

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A Sermon for Beginning the Celebration of “Extended Advent”

Text: Matthew 25:1-15

(This sermon incorporates and adapts “The Parable of the Ten Virgins—A Picture of the Second Coming”, a sermon by Joseph Wallis, Sermon Central, Jan. 2002, to whom credit is hereby acknowledged.)

During Advent, we read from the Old Testament prophecies foretelling the birth of the Lord. Many other prophecies from the Bible have been fulfilled. Despite this fact, the prophecy which is very likely the next prophecy to be fulfilled is ignored or given too little attention. I am speaking of the Second Coming of Christ, the next event on the calendar of God. There are many verses in the Bible which speak of the Second Coming. Today, during this first Sunday of “Extended Advent”, we will look at a few. When Jesus was here on earth he promised that at the end of time he would come again.

The doctrine of the Second Coming is the object of derision and ridicule among some people, and yet it is one of the most important doctrines of the Bible, and therefore something that we should take a closer look at, especially during Advent which is the season designated as the time we consider both the birth of Jesus which fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies, and the promise that Jesus made in John 14:3 where he tells His disciples, “I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

The parable of the 10 Virgins in Matthew 25:1-13 which we read this morning is an excellent and illustrative example of Christ’s teaching regarding his return. As is the case for all the parables, it is written in metaphor form. Commonly understood circumstances are used to point to a little understood truth so that we might learn something about God, His methods and purposes, from the parable. Let us look for a few minutes into this parable this morning, and see God’s message for us regarding the second coming of Our Lord.

As the story opens, we see the similarities of the people involved.

Notice that in this case all were young women invited to a wedding celebration, all had lamps, and all went out to meet the bride-groom, which was customary in those days. These young women were "bridesmaids", so to speak. Their job was to attend to the bride and keep her company until the bridegroom arrived.

One of the most exciting elements of the wedding in Bible times

was the arrival of the bridegroom. The bridegroom kept the time of his arrival secret. There was a festive game-like atmosphere at the wedding because the bridegroom tried to arrive at the wedding at an unexpected time, while the wedding party of bride, bridesmaids, and guests tried to be on the lookout for his arrival and catch him coming into the feast.

Here are ten bridesmaids -- they all looked alike. Each had a lamp. Each dressed in the garment of a bridesmaid. Each claimed to have been invited. They all acted like the others. They all had the same purpose.

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