Summary: Preparing oneself for the Second Coming.
B.Y.O.O. (Bring Your Own Oil)
INTRODUCTION... B-Prepared.com Offerings
There is no doubt that 9/11 changed our world and changed how we think about our national security and our lives. Most phone books now contain a section on national security and what to do in such a crisis. The hurricanes in Louisiana and Alabama have shown the country and those in authority that cities and towns need to be more prepared when disaster strikes. We need to be more prepared for these things in the event that they happen again.
In looking at being prepared, I came across b-prepared.com on the internet. They offer several items to help you be more prepared. Some of the items seem like they would help and other items I really have a question about.
For your automobile, they have (among other products) a charger that will charge your battery in 5 minutes. That could be very helpful. They also sell an ‘Urban Road Warrior- Roadside Survivor Kit’ that is a backpack filled with items for any roadside emergency. They even have a 6-in-1 shovel! I guess that means you can dig holes in 6 different ways (I’m kidding of course). They also sell, I promise, a 2 person Economy Emergency Port-a-Potty kit. This item was actually on sale the day I looked at the website. Yet, perhaps the best item on sale on the whole b-prepared.com site was a can the size of a soda filled with clean air. It is a must have for everyone in the family for $88.95. You can be prepared for any and all circumstances that life throws at you.
The word ‘prepared’ in the Bible can be found many times in the Old and New Testament. It takes you to some interesting passages, especially in the New Testament.
* Matthew 25:34 and 41 tells us that Heaven and Hell have been prepared as the inheritance for the faithful and unfaithful since the creation of the world.
* Luke 1:17 describes John the Baptist and the work he would do in preparing the people for the Messiah.
* John 19:19 records the words of the sign Pilate had prepared and nailed over Jesus: Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.
* 2 Timothy 2:21 commands us to cleanse ourselves and prepare ourselves to do good work for God.
* 2 Timothy 4:2, perhaps the most memorable verse in the bunch, Paul commands Timothy and us to "be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction."
* 1 Peter 3:15 is also one of those verses that we remember, "But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have."
Who is known best for being prepared? I first think of the military and those that are soldiers. If you are a soldier, you must be ready at all times to defend this country. In fact, the US Coast Guard’s motto is ‘Semper Paratus’ which means ‘Always ready’ (http://www.military-quotes.com/mottos/USA.htm). When I think of someone who is prepared, I also think of a boy scout. It is there motto after all, "Be Prepared."
ILLUSTRATION... Boy Scout Motto (http://www.usscouts.org/usscouts/advance/boyscout/bsmotto.html)
That’s the motto of the Boy Scouts. "Be prepared for what?" someone once asked Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting, "Why, for any old thing." said Baden-Powell.
The training you receive in your troop will help you live up to the Scout motto. When someone has an accident, you are prepared because of your first aid instruction. Because of lifesaving practice, you might be able to save a nonswimmer who has fallen into deep water.
But Baden-Powell wasn’t thinking just of being ready for emergencies. His idea was that all Scouts should prepare themselves to become productive citizens and to give happiness to other people. He wanted each Scout to be ready in mind and body for any struggles, and to meet with a strong heart whatever challenges might lie ahead.
Be prepared for life - to live happily and without regret, knowing that you have done your best. That’s what the Scout motto means.
The passage that we are going to look at today is all about being prepared. It is a parable of the kingdom. This means that Jesus begins His parable with the words, ‘the kingdom of heaven is like.’ Jesus is describing for us and teaching us about our faith and about our attitudes as we wait for Jesus to return.
READ MATTHEW 25:1-13
I. THE WOMEN
The beginning of this parable describes for us a group of ten women who go to meet a bridegroom. I guess if he were a rock star or a celebrity we could call them his groupies, but that is simply not the case. Actually, it was a normal marital custom among the Jews that when the bridegroom came with his attendants to the house of the bride, her bridesmaids would be watching for his approach. The women were to go out with lamps in their hands, to light him into the house with ceremony and formality, in order to begin the celebration.