Summary: What a tragedy when people fail to make the decision to obey the gospel. We will study a story of a tragedy of another delayed decision in Scripture.
“The Tragedy of the Delayed Decision”
Stephanie will be glad to tell you that I am bad about putting things off. It’s not that I mean to most of the time, I just put things off sometimes until the last minute, it is not a habit that I am proud of. Without due dates and ultimatums I would have a hard time doing certain things.
We as people are sometimes bad about waiting until the last minute on some things. There is a reason that Christmas Eve is one of the biggest shopping days of the year.
Why are there delayed decisions…
1. Because Some Have No Sense of Urgency
2. Because Some Have No Sense of Priority
3. Because Some Are Lazy
Being prepared is one of the most important things. We make all sorts of preparations in this life and preparing in advance makes things a lot easier and removes a lot of the consequences of unprepardness.
Text: Matthew 25:1-13
I. We Must Be Prepared for Christ’s Return
In typical Jewish culture after a couple got engaged, the man would go away and go to prepare a home for the couple to live in. While the bridegroom was away the bride would be making preparation to purify her body, to make herself beautiful for her groom. Not only would the bride prepare, but also so would everyone else. Everyone looked forward to the wedding day, but the one catch was that no one knew for sure when the groom would come and take his bride. Anyone who wanted to see the wedding had to be ready to go when the groom came. The groom and all the groomsmen would come in a torch lit processional to the bride’s house. Since the bride was unaware of the time of the return, the grooms coming was usually marked by shouting
I remember before Stephanie and I got married she went at great lengths to prepare everything to be beautiful for the wedding. Most brides prepare in their minds and dream for a long time of what their wedding preparations will be.
One of the most common analogies that the Scripture uses referring to the church is the Bride of Christ. Did you notice that five of the virgins came prepared to meet the groom and attend the wedding and five were not ready, they didn’t make any preparations.
1. They Thought They Had More time
The text tells us that the groom was a long time in coming and the bridesmaids fell asleep because they became drowsy. For whatever reason, the five unwise ladies didn’t bring oil for their lamps. I have never been to a ladies slumber party, and I am thankful for that, and I don’t know what goes on when you get a bunch of giggly girls together, they stay up late talking, mostly about me. These ladies became tired, maybe time got away from them, maybe they fully intended on sometime going and getting the oil they needed for their lamps. I want to tell you that good intentions do not equal good actions. There are many people in the world who have good intentions, and you know that they say road paved with good intentions leads to, don’t you? I would be willing to bet that these bridesmaids were great people, probably great friends who were excited about the wedding; they just waited until the last minute. Perhaps they thought they had more time to fix their slight problem. This is a valuable lesson that we can learn; we are not assured more time before Jesus’ return. Many people are living the way that they are because they are sure they have more time. They will change their actions later because they have plenty of time to make it right. They will be more faithful at another time; they will be more generous at some other point. Time is one thing we are not guaranteed. The real tragedy of this parable is the tragedy of being unprepared for something important.
When I was in school I had this terrible reoccurring nightmare. Have you ever had those reoccurring dreams, which you are relieved to wake up and learn it was only a dream? In this dream the semester was almost up at school, and I realize that I had forgotten all semester about one class I was supposed to attend and by the time I realized it I was too late.
We have to be prepared at all time to meet our Lord, and if we do not make those preparations we have to be willing to face the consequences of not doing what we were supposed to. The thing is that we are not left in the dark about what we are supposed to do, in fact most people know right from wrong, and know what God expects of them, but they don’t because they feel time is a luxury. Today, if you are delaying in making preparations for Jesus’ return than I want to tell you that you need to make those preparations.