Summary: A sermon that encourages those who are just playing Christian to be ready for Christ’s return
Tell Me a Story
The Ten Virgins
Can you believe the price of gas?
It is becoming more and more costly to go to the gas station.
So much so that I continue to delay buying gas, even when I am running low, and then I sometimes will by only part of a tank because it is just too costly to fill up.
On Tuesday my gas light came on and I waited until Wednesday to buy it because I did not want to spend the money and I thought maybe the price would come down.
Anyway, when I am low on Gas, my car makes a ding and a light with a little gas pump appears and stays lit until you get gas.
In fact, I can go to my little temperature and compass thingamajig that is on my ceiling and hit a button that will tell me how many miles I can go before I run out of gas.
To be honest, I have gone to zero a number of times and still seemed to have a few miles or so of gas. I think I have gotten pretty close, but I have not run out of gas yet.
I want you to imagine the story of a college kid coming home from school who was not as fortunate.
He made it as far as Kankakee when his gas light came on. If he made it home, his parents would by the gas and he could use his money to go out this weekend. He figured he could make it.
He had the radio in his car cranked to some awesome tunes and forgot about the gas situation because he had already decided that he had enough to make it home.
However, with about 8 miles to go, he ran out of gas.
It was about 1 in the morning and the road was dark. He figured he would flag down a car and get a ride.
But a car coming by didn’t see him and side swiped him and killed him.
Ultimately all this was because he did not heed the warnings for fuel and thought he would be able to get the gas he needed later.
It is a tragic end to delaying preparations.
In our story today that Jesus tells, we are going to find a similar problem of delayed preparation that turns tragic.
Turn with me to Matthew 25:1-13.
We are going to read a story about ten virgins or what we may consider bridesmaids who are waiting for the groom to show up for his bride and to enter in the wedding banquet.
It is my hope that as we read this story and discuss it, it will cause us to make sure we are prepared for when the Lord comes for us and we don’t find ourselves excluded from entering into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Let’s read this story together.
25:1 "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, 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. ’Sir! Sir!’ they said. ’Open the door for us!’
12 "But he replied, ’I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’
13 "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
(from New International Version)
Now it is important that we understand the context for Jesus telling this story.
Jesus is in the midst of speaking to the disciples privately on matters concerning the end times in what is commonly known as the Olivet Discourse. It begins back at the beginning of Matthew 24.
3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. "Tell us," they said, "when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?"