Summary: A brief study of the Ten Virgins and the need to be ready
The Ten Virgins
Grady R. Henley
Much has been stated and said over the years concerning the parable of the 10 virgins of Mat. 25. On the whole, and speaking from my personal opinion, probably more false teachings are proposed as truths in this one parable than any of the others spoken by our Lord.
I recall as a lad hearing sermon after sermon on this one parable. Those sermons all went something like this: “Of the ten virgins, the five wise were saved and the five fools were lost.”
For years I believed it this way. I was and still am Baptist. One night I heard a sermon on this parable that caused me to change my way of thinking about the foolish virgins.
After hearing the sermon I was so bold as to question the preacher about his theology concerning the foolish virgins. He informed me that he also had heard all his life of the ten virgins that half were saved and half were lost. After he further expound his position to me, he asked me to go home and pray about it get back with him.
I did and then we did. I cannot recall our exact conversation. I do know that God opened my eyes to the truth about this parable. My prayer is He does the same to you.
In understanding this parable each verse is looked at in context. The quotes are from the God ordained King James Text.
Please note first of all that there are 13 verses to this parable. This alone should send up a red warning flag. If the number 13 is involved, more than likely, a misunderstanding is forthcoming or, there is evil lurking.
THE 10 VIRGINS OF MATTHEW 25.
Mat 25:1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
The first thing we note about this parable is it is a parable concerning the Kingdom of Heaven. Eleven times Jesus made references to the Kingdom of Heaven, saying “the kingdom of heaven is liken” or “the Kingdom of Heaven is as...” When He says such, He is drawing us a picture. He is not saying that this is EXACTLY what the Kingdom of Heaven is.
Furthermore, when the Lord says, “A certain man…” He is talking about a real life person. If I told you a certain man had a field for sale, I am talking about a man that has a field and is willing to sale at the right price.
When the Lord tell us that a certain man has…He is talking about real flesh and blood. The rule of first mention bears out this truth:
Gen 28:10 And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran. Gen 28:11 And he lighted upon a “certain” place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.
Fifty times the word certain appears in the gospels alone. Each time a real person, place, or thing is mentioned. In this parable we find Jesus saying: Mat 25:1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. If the Lord does not state a definite thing concerning this parable, neither should we.
I have listed 15 things about the Kingdom of Heaven. This is in no wise all the points. These are just some that came to my mind. Notice what is said about the Kingdom of Heaven:
1. Repentance is a requirement for entrance, Mat. 3:2, 4:17,
2. The Kingdom was imminent, at hand. Jesus and John said so, Mat. 3:2, 4:17. (If something is at hand, it is within your reach! The Kingdom of Heaven was a hand at the time Jesus made that statement for He is on earth. If the Jewish Nation had reached out, they could have grabbed the Kingdom of Heaven and made Jesus their King. Instead, they grabbed Jesus and crucified him.)
3. Jesus said those that entered were blessed, Mat. 5:2, 5:10.
4. There are positions of authority in the Kingdom of Heaven, Mat. 5:19, 11:11, 18:1, 18:3, 18:4, 20:1,
5. Instructions given on how to enter, Mat. 5:20, 18:3, 18:4, 19:14,
6. Some professed to own but did not possess, Mat. 7:21, 18:23,
8. Jews and Gentiles are in this kingdom, Mat. 8:11,
9. Preached by the disciples to only the nation of Israel, Mat. 10:5, 6, 7.
10. Signs followed those that preached, Mat. 10:8,
11. Jewish King Jesus was ready to reign after it was preached, Mat. 11:12,
12. National rejection, Kingdom takes on a mysterious form, Watch out for # 13. Mat. 13:11, 13:24, 13:31. 13:33, 13:44, 13:45, 13:47,