Summary: Prepare is our focus in this second week of Advent. Preparing ourselves for His second coming is very important.
Are You Prepared?
Pastor Glenn Newton
MT 25:1 "At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
MT 25:6 "At midnight the cry rang out: `Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
MT 25:7 "Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, `Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
MT 25:9 " `No,’ they replied, `there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
MT 25:10 "But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
MT 25:11 "Later the others also came. `Sir! Sir!’ they said. `Open the door for us!’
MT 25:12 "But he replied, `I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’
MT 25:13 "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
In April, 1988 the evening news reported on a photographer who was also a skydiver. He had jumped from a plane along with several other skydivers and filmed the group as they individually dove out of the plane and opened their parachutes. As the video was being shown of each member of the crew jumping out and then pulling their rip chord so that their parachute opened to the wind, the final skydiver opened his chute and then the picture went berserk. The announcer reported that the cameraman had fallen to his death, having jumped out of the plane without a parachute. It wasn’t until he reached for the ripcord that he realized he was free falling without a parachute. Up until then, he was enjoying himself and was absorbed in what he was doing. But tragically, he was unprepared for the jump. It did not matter how many times he had done it before or what skill he had. By forgetting the parachute he made a foolish and deadly mistake. Nothing could save him, because his faith was in a parachute which he had never taken the trouble to buckle on.
It is a story not unlike the parable which Jesus told about the foolish bridesmaids forgetting to bring something very important and necessary. He was not ready. He was unprepared. It would do no good to try and borrow a parachute of someone else on their way to meet the ground. He was not prepared and he passed the point of no return.
Today we can learn some valuable lessons from this passage….
The first fact is: You must be spiritually ready. If there is one thing that Jesus consistently and continually preached it was that we need to be ready. Over and over again we hear him say, “So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him” (Matthew 24:44).
Probably the most frustrating aspect of ministry in our society today is the fact that we live in a culture that gladly accepts spirituality, in fact, over 80% of the population would claim to be Christian, or at least religious. For many people, the term being a Christian means, just believing in a higher power, believing in something outside of yourself.
I hope you know today that just believing in something, does not make you a Christian. Jesus knew that there would be many false prophets, many who claimed to have the answer to our spiritual questions, so He made it clear that there was only One way to reach our Goal as Christians when he said, JN 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
So the question is, What does it mean to be ready?
Dennis was a guy from Katy, Texas who had an emergency and needed his suit dry cleaned before he left on a trip. He remembered one store with a huge sign, “One-Hour Dry Cleaners.” It was on the other side of town, so he drove out of his way to drop off his suit. After the clerk filled out the necessary information, he told her, “I have some errands to run and I’ll be back in an hour to pick it up.” She said, “I can’t get this back to you until Thursday.” “I thought you did dry cleaning in an hour,” he said. “Oh, no,” she replied, “That’s just the name of the store, we don’t actually do that.” There are many folks today who wear a sign saying they are a Christian, but they fail to deliver the goods.