Summary: Jesus consistently and continually preached that we need to be ready. Over and over again we hear him say, “So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
Wise or Fool
NOte: Some materials of this sermon are taken from sermoncentral.com
Now, let’s continue on in our series on the Parables of Jesus. Let’s open our Bible to the book of Matt.25: 1-13, and study the Parable of the Ten Virgins. The main emphasis of this parable is the importance of preparing ourselves for His Second Coming.
On April 1988, a photographer who was also a skydiver jumped from a plane along with several other skydivers and filmed the group as they individually dove out of the plane and opened their parachutes. After he filmed each member of the crew jumping out and then pulling their rip chord so that their parachute opened to the wind, he reached for the ripcord to open his chute. But he realized he was free falling without a parachute. Up until then, he was enjoying himself and was absorbed in what he was doing. But tragically, he was unprepared for the jump. It did not matter how many times he had done it before or what skill he had. By forgetting the parachute, he made a foolish and deadly mistake. Nothing could save him, because his faith was in a parachute which he had never taken the trouble to buckle on. He was not ready. He was unprepared. It would do no good to try and borrow a parachute of someone else on their way to meet the ground. He was not prepared and he passed the point of no return.
In our parable this morning, Jesus tells us the story of the five foolish virgins who forgot to bring something very important and necessary. Ten virgins were waiting for the groom to come. They were to join him in the procession to the place where the wedding ceremony and banquet would be done. Usually, wedding at that time was done at nighttime. This is obvious here as we can see that each of the virgins brought a lamp with them. Both knew the groom was coming or was about to come, but five were found unprepared when the groom finally came. They tried to fix their unpreparedness, but it’s too late. Their efforts were useless and their pleadings were never heard.
Through this parable our Lord teaches us important points that have something to do with His second coming:
A. SPIRITUAL PREPARATION IS A MUST
Jesus consistently and continually preached that we need to be ready. Over and over again we hear him say, “So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” The coming of Jesus will be at any moment. Therefore, to be ready is not optional.
First of all, don’t let the normalness of things deceive you. These virgins saw and attended so many marriages already. The five foolish virgins thought this marriage was no different from the previous ones they attended. They thought there’s nothing special and everything seems normal, so there’s nothing to care about it and there’s no need to do some special preparations like the five wise virgins had troubled doing. Today, many people live their lives just like the five foolish virgins. They think everything will continue as they are and nothing in the future to care about.
The Lord described the second coming this way: “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man” (Matthew 24:37-39). Friends, we should not be caught up in the routine of the world and forget that things are not always going to continue as they are. There is a new day coming. The five foolish bridesmaids slept the sleep of sloth and indifference —the wise virgins slept the sleep of peace and security, knowing they had prepared for the bridegroom’s coming.
Then next, don’t let appearances fool you. Spiritual preparation is more than mere appearances. In the parable the bridesmaids all appeared to be alike. They all thought of themselves as bridesmaids. They all dressed alike. They were all expecting the bridegroom. When the bridegroom was delayed they all fell asleep. They all had lamps. All of them trimmed their lamps. They all wanted to be a part of the wedding feast. But not all of them were prepared.
Be sure that you are truly prepared, because it is possible to look just like everyone else, talk like everyone else, carry a Bible and desire to go to heaven, think of yourself as a Christian, yet ultimately be unprepared. It is possible to know about Christ and not know Christ. It is possible to know the Bible and not living for the God of the Bible. It is possible to be a nice person and know all the right doctrine, yet have no relationship with God. It is possible to look like everyone else, and have your Christianity on the surface, while never allowing it to penetrate who you are and change the way you live. Friends, when the Lord Jesus warns us to be ready of His coming, it has to do with doing the right things. Being ready meant actively living in faithfulness to God. It is more than just calling yourself a Christian. There are many folks today who wear a sign saying they are a Christian, but they fail to live as such.