Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Waiting for Jesus return can make people grow complacent about the fact that He IS indeed coming back, and it really will be soon.

Ready and Waiting? by Steve Keeler

Matthew 25:1-13

Jesus is telling a story about ten virgins who are like

bridesmaids at a wedding. In order to make sense of

Jesus' story, we need to understand a bit about Jewish

wedding customs.

Traditionally, the groom would leave from his house

and travel, after sun-down to the bride's home, and

then he would take the bride back to his house, where

the ceremonies and celebrations would continue for a

couple of days.

The ten virgins in this story would be waiting outside

the bride's home for the arrival of the groom but

would not know exactly at what hour he would arrive.

"Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten

virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the

bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were

prudent. For when the foolish took their lamps, they

took no oil with them, but the prudent took oil in flasks

along with their lamps. Now while the bridegroom was

delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. But at

midnight there was a shout, 'Behold, the bridegroom!

Come out to meet him.'

Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps.

The foolish said to the prudent, 'Give us some of your

oil, for our lamps are going out.' But the prudent

answered, 'No, there will not be enough for us and you

too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for

yourselves.' And while they were going away to make

the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who

were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and

the door was shut. Later the other virgins also came,

saying, 'Lord, lord, open up for us.' But he answered,

'Truly I say to you, I do not know you.' Be on the alert

then, for you do not know the day nor the hour."


Procrastination. It's a universal part of the human

experience isn't it? We put off doing the things we're

supposed to be doing because we figure we have time

to get to it later. Some people seem like professional


For some reason, when we think we have lots of time,

it creates in us a feeling of laziness and a bad habit

that can be hard to snap out of when it is time to get

busy again.

Jesus lived and walked this earth about 2000 years

ago. That's a long time ago.

When He was on the earth, one of the things He talked

about with those who were closest to Him was the fact

that he was going to leave them, but then would soon

return again and receive them to Himself, that where

He is, there they may be also.

You find this throughout His teachings in the gospel

and throughout the New Testament.

But another thing that Jesus taught was that no one

really knew when this soon return was going to take

place. And so, for 2000 years now, believers have

been in the difficult position of having to live life as if

Jesus might return at any moment, and yet with each

passing year having the knowledge that it's been

another year and He still hasn't returned.

My Grandfather was a preacher and my Mother was a

church planter so since I was a young boy I've been

hearing people say that Jesus is coming back any day.

You've got to be ready. I'm sure that those of you who

are older than me have heard such statements for

much longer.

History shows that for 2000 years people have looked

at what is going on and felt sure that the 2nd coming of

Christ was imminent.

This waiting can make people grow complacent about

the fact that He IS indeed coming back, and it really

could be soon.

Jesus knew this would be difficult for those He walked

the earth with, as well as for those of us who would

follow thousands of years later. And He told stories or

parables to help us think through the way we should

live our lives in the light of His mysteriously long


His point which He makes throughout these stories, is

that people need to be living as if they are ready and

waiting for His return.

If you have your Bible with you please turn with me

Matthew 24. Context: In this entire chapter Jesus has

given some of the "signs of the times" when the end

would come.

Matthew 24:42-51

"Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which

day your Lord is coming. But be sure of this, that if the

head of the house had known at what time of the night

the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert

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