Summary: In Jesus’ parable of the wise and foolish virgins, we are challenged to get ready for the second coming of Jesus.
THE STORYTELLER: THE PARABLES OF JESUS #7: THE SHUT DOOR
INTRO TO TOPIC: Can you imagine spending your whole life climbing the stairway to heaven, only to reach the top and find that the door was shut to you? What a tragedy that would be! In today’s parable, we learn how we can make sure that we won’t be shut out of Heaven.
THE BIG IDEA: In Jesus’ parable of the wise and foolish virgins, we are challenged to get ready for the second coming of Jesus.
1. THE TEN VIRGINS:
“1 "Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.” (Matt. 25:1-4, NKJV).
QUOTE: “It was a custom sometimes used among the Jews on that occasion, that the bridegroom came, attended with his friends, late in the night, to the house of the bride, where she expected him, attended with her bride-maids; who, upon notice given of the bridegrooms’ approach, were to go out with lamps in their hands, to light him into the house with ceremony and formality, in order to the celebrating of the nuptials with great mirth.” (Matthew Henry, Bible Commentary).
THE SIMILARITIES OF THE TEN VIRGINS:
• Each had a lamp and was dressed in the garment of a bridesmaid.
• They all acted like one another and had the same purpose.
• None suspected that there was anything wrong with the others.
• This is a picture of the visible church today. People who claim to be Christians look the same outwardly. They say the right things and do the right things – on the outside.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE WISE AND FOOLISH VIRGINS:
• The foolish bridesmaids had no oil. Oil in the Bible is a symbol of the Holy Spirit.
• “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.” (Eph. 1:13).
• The five foolish bridesmaids did not have the Holy Spirit – they were not true Christians.
• “Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.” (Romans 8:9b).
2. THE DELAYED BRIDEGROOM:
“But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.” (Matt. 25:5).
• Notice both the wise and foolish virgins all slept. This is a picture of the church today.
• The church has gone to sleep and has forgotten the promise of the Lord’s return.
• It’s time to wake up!
• No one knows when Jesus will return, our job is to watch and be ready at all times.
• “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:11-13).
“6 And at midnight a cry was heard: 'Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!' 7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' 9 But the wise answered, saying, 'No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.” (Matt. 25:6-9).
• We can borrow many things from one another, but we cannot borrow a personal relationship with God. Your parents can’t give it to you. Your spouse can’t give it to you.
• One day soon we are going to hear the cry, “The bridegroom is coming!”
3. THE SHUT DOOR:
10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. 11 Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open to us!' 12 But he answered and said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.' 13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.” (Matt. 25:10-13).
• Right now, Heaven’s doorway is open. But after we die – or Jesus returns – it’s too late!
• There is no second chance after you die. No such thing as purgatory.
“The vain confidence of hypocrites will carry them very far in their expectations of happiness. They go to heaven-gate, and demand entrance, and yet are shut out; lifted up to heaven in a fond conceit of the goodness of their state, and yet thrust down to hell.” (Matthew Henry).