Summary: How can we be Ready for Jesus’ return? This message looks at the first way Jesus teaches us by having a Personal and Persevering faith.
Prepared for Jesus’ return: a Persevering Faith
A. A couple weeks ago I taught about Jesus Keeping His Promises from Acts 1:1-11.
Jesus Promises us:
To send us the Holy Spirit – Promises kept, Acts 2
To Empower those who follow Him with the Holy Spirit. The HS is there to comfort, convict, sanctify, guide, teach, remind, intercede for us and help us to be a Witness for Christ to others. We see Jesus kept His promise as you see how the Lord has done things in your life.
Jesus also Promised us that we would return: that He would be crucified, resurrected and that He would return. In Acts 1:9-11, after Jesus taught the Disciples, He ascended right before their eyes back into heaven. Two men (angels probably) told the Disciples and us that this same Jesus would return in like way.
So we learned: Jesus will return Personally; He will return Visibly ( every eye will see Him), and He will return Suddenly (just has He suddenly was taken up before them) – Maybe Today!
So the big question for us to consider in light of this Truth that Jesus will return, is this: What should we do?
B. Matthew 24 (and some other passages of Scriptures) teach us that we need to Keep Watch (vs. 42) because we do not know when that Day is going to come.
So Keep Watch for what? The Signs of His Coming:
For a multiplication of false religions and people claiming to be the Christ.
For an increase in natural disasters (famines and earthquakes).
For nations to rise up against others nations and wars.
For Increased persecution, even death towards those who follow Jesus.
For an increase in wickedness and love that is cold.
For the Gospel to be preached to all nations.
C. But we are also called to be Prepared for Jesus’ 2nd Coming – remember: Maybe Today!
As I was studying about Jesus’ Return it occurred to me that Matthew 25 teaches us 3 specific things we need to do in order to Prepare ourselves for Jesus’ return.
Today, let us look at a key part of our being Prepared for the greatest in History – Jesus’ Coming Back. We know how from Acts 1:9-11. We know He promised to Return. We know some of the signs and that we need to keep Watch – Be Alert. But let us learn specifically what we need to do in order to be Prepared.
Here’s the Goodnews: This great event in History of Jesus’ return is not something that the Lord wants to Surprise us with. No, He wants us (and everyone) to be Prepared. So as we look at Matt. 25:1-13 we learn a specific way that Jesus tells us to Prepare ourselves: Have a Personal & Persevering Faith in Him.
D. Matthew 25:1-13 – Have a Personal & Persevering Faith in Jesus! That is the key message of this passage – this parable that Jesus teaches us.
- Jesus is the Bridegroom and the Ten Maidens don’t know for sure when He is coming. The traditions of the Culture was such that the Bridegroom made the preparation for the Wedding celebration.
- There are 10 Virgins – Maidens, each with a lamp that is burning with oil. They each were going to meet the Bridegroom.
- Finally – at Midnight (vs. 6), the cry that the Bridegroom was here went out. (Our denom. Use to have a publication called “The Midnight Cry”).
- The ten Maidens went out but only 5 of them had enough oil to keep their lamps burning to get through the night.
- The 5 foolish Maidens tried to borrow and buy the oil to keep their lamps burning. But no go.
- Finally the Bridegroom arrived and the wedding banquet began. The Door was shut, vs. 10.
- When the 5 foolish Maidens came to get in they were refused and heard – “I tell you the Truth, I don’t know you!” That would be the worst thing anyone could possibly here – that when Jesus returns He would say: “I don’t know you!”
Lessons from this Parable:
1. The wise and foolish are together.
It becomes clear in Jesus’ teaching here that even when Jesus returns that there will be those who appear to be His People and ready that really are not.
That is why you have to have a personal Faith in Christ – you can’t just hang around with those who do. You can’t just do some of the things that those who do trust in Jesus do – you have to be Personally in relationship with Christ and ready.
2. The foolish Maidens wanted to be with the Bridegroom – Jesus but had no personal relationship with Him.