Summary: Behold the Bridegroom Cometh, Go ye out to meet him. Jesus is coming soon. Are we ready?
Shut Out of Heaven
By Pastor Jim May
Matthew 25:1-13, "Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh."
The Second Coming of Jesus is the single greatest event of the future of planet earth. As we draw ever nearer to that great day, all eyes are focused on the eastern sky for the scriptures say in Matthew 24:27, "For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." As with many of the prophecies of the Bible there is a lot of controversy concerning this second coming. The controversy isn’t about “if” Jesus is coming, but “when” that day might come.
Of course we know that we cannot set a date and a time, but we can certainly recognize the season, and we are not seeing the fulfillment of the prophetic word. We are living in the days of Matthew 24 waiting for the coming of the Lord and the rapture of the bride to meet Jesus in the air, and finally for the culmination of human history as the terror of John’s visions in the Revelation begin to unfold one by one bringing us ever closer to that eternal age.
We of the church must look toward that eastern sky with great hope and with joy in our hearts for our redemption is getting closer all the time.
It has been said by many people, even some that I talked to this past week, who have begun to relax their views on the Second Coming of Christ. “I’ve heard it all my life, so what’s new? Jesus hasn’t come yet, and I don’t think he’s coming that soon. After all, one day with the Lord is as a thousand years, so it may be another thousand years.”
This is the kind of attitude that will cause us to miss the rapture. We can’t afford to let our guard down. In the verses we read above, that’s exactly what happened. 10 virgins waited, watched and prepared themselves for the wedding feast, but only 5 entered in. If we are to take this literally as a description of the condition of the church at the time of the rapture then it would mean that fully 50% of all Christians are going to be left behind. Of course these numbers are figurative and not literal. In my opinion, far less than 50% will be ready on that day.
I can’t help but think of the mixed feelings that must be a part of Jesus at the moment of the rapture. First there is great sadness in his heart, just as it was on that day when he stood on the hillside above Jerusalem and wept over the city that he had tried to reach out to for so long, but had been rejected. Because of their rejection, they would not see him again, and would not recognize him as their Messiah until the Second Coming of the Lord. Oh how much would Jerusalem suffer! How many Jews have died in their sin since that day! How many more will go into eternity without God because they missed their chance!
Jesus will look upon his church, upon those of his own people, whom he had called out of darkness into his marvelous light, and he will weep over them as well. Many of them will be left behind to face the wrath and judgment of God on this sinful world, all because they failed to watch and wait to the end. They will see the Lord return to this earth as King of Kings, but they will no longer be a part of the bride, but disobedient servants filled with fear and dread for the judgment to come.