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Summary: In the parable of the 10 Virgins, Jesus uses a wedding to describe the excitement about the Rapture. But it's also a warning. Half of the community of believers will not be ready when He comes. The Midnight Cry should wake us all to preparation.

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THE MIDNIGHT CRY

Mt. 25:8

INTRODUCTION

A. HUMOR: Appearances can be deceiving

1. A film crew was on location deep in the desert. One day an old Indian went up to the director and said, “Ugh. Tomorrow it rain.” The next day it rained.

2. A week later, the Indian went up to the director and said, “Ugh. Tomorrow it storm.” The next day there was a hailstorm.

3. “This Indian is incredible” said the director. He told his secretary to hire the Indian to predict the weather for the remainder of the shoot.

4. However, after several successful predictions, the old Indian didn’t show up for two weeks.

5. Finally the director sent for him. “I have to shoot a big scene tomorrow,” said the director, “and I’m depending on you. What will the weather be like?”

6. The Indian shrugged his shoulders. “Ugh. Don’t know,” he said. “My radio broken.”

7. We’re going to read about some who looked better than they actually were.

B. TEXT

“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. 6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ 7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ 9 “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those

who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. 11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ 12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ 13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”

Here, our Lord speaks of His Second Coming and our READINESS for it, in the figure of the Jewish wedding.

C. JEWISH WEDDING CUSTOM

1. On the Wedding Day, the party would begin at the Groom's house. Then the Groom and his attendants would go – at dusk – with torches, to the Bride's house. People ran before them to announce His Coming.

2. The Bride and her maids would go out to meet the Groom.

3. And He would conduct them back to the Groom's house for the Wedding and Feast. (See John 14:2-4; "I go to prepare a place for you…").

D. IDENTITY OF PARTICIPANTS

1. Bridegroom = Christ.

2. 10 Virgins = Professing Church, real or counterfeit, sincere or insincere. The bride = the Church, but maids = individuals within the Church.

3. So this Parable is about Us! The rapture is like a wedding. Title: “The Midnight Cry”

I. A WEDDING: HOW EXCITING!

A. WEDDING HUMOR

1. How do most men define marriage? “A very expensive way to get your laundry done free.”

2. Rita Rudner said, “I love being married. It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.”

3. Love is one long sweet dream, and marriage is the alarm clock.

B. ASSOC. W/ THE HIGHEST DEGREE OF JOY

1. If there is ever any joy on earth, it is associated

with our wedding day.

2. Looked forward to with great expectation.

3. And often look back to with fondest memories.

4. However difficult life is, the wedding = an emblem of joy.

5. Characteristics of Brides: (bf wedding)

a. Deeply in love with their grooms;

b. Want to spend the rest of their lives with them;

c. The dates of their wedding and their union with

their groom is the #1 focus of their thoughts, and they spend a whole year getting ready for that great day.

C. PICTURE OF BELIEVER & RAPTURE

1. Jesus gives this parable to encourage our joy, and our excitement about the great day of the Rapture.

2. Our focus, preparation and longing for that Day (of Rapture) when He takes us to the Father's House, should be like that of a bride with her approaching wedding.

3. But there is a Problem in the Parable.

II. THE GROOM’S COMING IS DELAYED

A. CHURCH MEMBERS BEGAN TO GO TO SLEEP

1. Warning to us: In the time of delay before Jesus’ Coming, there will be a tendency for people to get sleepy in their faith.

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