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Summary: The most important thing that Jesus tells us about His second coming is to be ready.

Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning

Text: Matt. 25:1-13

Introduction

1. Read Matthew 25:1-13

2. Illustration: Three athletes are about to be executed.

One is a short dark haired hockey player; one is a bald headed tennis player, and the third is a tall blond haired soccer player.

The guard brings the dark haired hockey player forward and the executioner asks if he has any last minute request. He replies ‘No’ so the executioner sets him up and then turns and shouts to the firing squad: “Ready! Aim…”

Suddenly the hockey player yells out: “Earthquake!” Everyone is startled and starts looking around, and in the confusion the hockey player runs away and escapes.

The guard brings the next victim along: the bald headed tennis player. The executioner asks if he has any last minute request. He answers in the negative, so the executioner gets him ready then barks his order to the firing squad: “Ready! Aim...”

Suddenly the tennis player yells loudly as he can: “Tornado!” Everyone is distracted and starts to look up at the sky, and the tennis player quickly makes his getaway.

By now the tall blond haired footballer has got it all worked out. The guard escorts him forward and executioner asks if he has any last minute request. He replies ‘No’ and the executioner turns sharply to the firing squad and shouts: “Ready! Aim...”

And the soccer player bawls out: “Fire!”

3. On the day when Jesus comes for His own there will be no escape, there will be no last requests. You will either be ready or you won’t.

Proposition: The most important thing that Jesus tells us about His second coming is to be ready.

Transition: At the second coming there will be...

I. Two Types of People (1-4).

A. Foolish

1. In verse one, Jesus says "Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom."

a. The word then refers back to the Lord’s return discussed in Matthew 24.

b. He is telling His disciples what it will be like at the second coming.

c. He was saying, "Then [when the Lord returns] the kingdom of heaven shall be like ten virgins [believers]."

d. Five are foolish and five are wise, and there is going to be a separation of the wise from the foolish.

2. The foolish bridesmaids were unprepared; they took no oil for their lamps.

a. If their lamps burned out, they would be unable to light them again.

b. The word "foolish" in Scripture often has a moral connotation to it.

c. Their sin was a lack of heart preparation for the coming of the Bride Groom.

3. They have no provision of righteousness beyond themselves. They have no supply of the Holy Spirit.

4. Mark 7:6-7 He answered and said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ’This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’

5. There are people today that want to talk out the Second Coming of our Lord, but they don’t want to talk about:

a. Prayer

b. Fasting

c. Righteousness

d. Holiness

e. Commitment

6. On the day that they want to talk so much about, I am afraid that they are going to be sorely disappointed.

B. Wise

1. Illustration: I read this humors account of the Wise Men (obviously written by a woman):

If it had been ‘Wise Women’ instead of ‘Wise Men’, they would have asked directions, arrived on time, helped deliver the baby, cleaned the stable, made a casserole, and brought practical gifts from Baby’s-R-Us, including diapers, wipes, bibs and formula.

2. The second group of people are the wise.

a. The wise bridesmaids had brought along extra oil.

b. The "wise" are called such because they are prepared for the bridegroom’s delayed coming. - Expositor’s Bible Commentary, The, Pradis CD-ROM

3. The wise virgins take oil; they do not depend upon what they have in their lamps.

a. As they go forth through life to meet the bridegroom (Christ), they lay hold of additional oil, the provision of righteousness, the supply of God’s Spirit.

b. They took care to make a proper provision beforehand, and left nothing to be done in the last moment.—Adam Clarke’s Commentary

4. The difference between the foolish and wise virgins is that the wise did what needed to be done and the foolish did not.

5. Ps. 45:7 You love righteousness and hate wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.

6. If we want to be considered among the wise we need to constantly hunger and thirst for more of God.

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