Summary: Delays have dangerous ends!
The Fate Of The Unprepared
In this parable of the Ten Virgins Jesus is continuing the solemn declaration of the uncertainty of the time of His return and of the necessity of being ready for such an event. This is why the opening word "then" is important. It is the link binding the previous chapter and this one together. There was no break in our Lord’s discourse. In the preceding chapter the certainty and the suddenness of the Lord’s coming has been solemnly stressed.
Delay has often the downfall of countless individuals and nations. An army delays its attack an hour and loses the battle. As Douglas MacArthur once said, "In war all tragedy can be summarized in two words, ’too late.’"
Shakespeare once said, "Delays have dangerous ends."
In early 1874 an inventor named Elisha Gray transmitted a few musical notes over a telegraph wire. He thought to himself, "If I can send music, perhaps I could send the human voice." The NEW YORK TIMES reported predictions of a "talking telegraph", and the public began to grow eager for it.
Just one-year later Gray believed he had the answer. Tin can like voice chambers connected by a wire in a liquid that could turn vibrations into signals is what came into his mind. However, he did not put his idea on paper for two months. After finally making a sketch, he waited four more days before he went to the patent office.
When he arrived, Mr. Gray was told that just two hours earlier a school teacher had come through that same door with his own sketch and had already applied for the patent. His name was Alexander Graham Bell.
When you compared the sketches, the voice chambers, the wire, and the liquid everything was identical.
The reason we know the name Alexander Graham Bell and until today, never heard the name Elisah Gray is simply because one man seized the opportunity when he could. The other one waited until it was too late.
Man’s history is filled with the wrecks of delay. ONE MOMENT’S DELAY MAY USHER IN AN ETERNITY OF REGRET.
Delay poses so serious a threat to mankind that Christ offered up this parable on the danger of being unprepared at the coming of Christ.
I. The CERTAINTY OF HIS RETURN
Matthew 24:3 “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”
By preaching and by parable the Lord granted thier request and insturcted them regarding His return. In the end of the parable, Jesus sums up the reason for the parable. “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” This is the scope and design of this whole parable. This is the great truth Jesus wished to stress, and all parts of the parable are to be interpreted in reference to this admonition. JESUS IS COMING AGAIN.
As you well know you certainly cannot always believe everything you read in the papers. Some of the headlines in papers are absolutely astounding. Listen to a few of the actual headlines that have run in American newspapers.