The parable of the 10 virgins, Matthew 25:1-13, stresses that all believers always must look to their own spiritual conditions. The believer must see his or her lifestyle in the light of Christ’s coming at an unknown and unexpected time.
Believers always must continue in faith so that when the day and hour of Christ’s return comes, they will be received by the returning Lord.
“But while they were going away to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast. And the door was shut.” —Matthew 25:10-12
Failure to be in a personal relationship with the Lord at the time of His return means that believers will be left out — away from the Presence of the Lord and the Kingdom of God.
What separates the foolish virgins from the wise virgins is the failure of the foolish to recognize that the returning Lord said, “I will come back.” Jesus Christ went to heaven, so He will return from His father’s presence and take His followers to be with Him in heaven. This is the hope of Christ’s followers and all believers today.
Jesus will come at an unexpected time, a time when all kinds of distractions and things are going on. Christ Jesus is telling us here that a large portion of the church will be unprepared at the time of Jesus the Christ’s return. The Lord will not wait until the whole church is ready for His coming.
All 10 of the virgins in the parable appeared to be faithful, but their unfaithfulness was proven because they were taken by surprise at the bridegroom’s return.
“As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps.” — Matthew 25:5-7
These verses suggest that the parable of the 10 virgins applies to believers living before the tribulation and not to those living during the tribulation.
The signs of Christ’s return are all around us. It could be at any moment. The end of this age is upon us. Will we be ready, waiting and watching with our lamps trimmed and with our extra vessels of oil? Or will we be running on empty, with no hope because we wasted our time and refused to allow God to have full rule in our daily lives? God has given us His commands but we often refuse to live and walk in them.
“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.’” — Genesis 2:16-17
In those verses, we see what God commanded Adam to do. God told Adam to take care of the garden, and God gave Adam the command, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of goof it, good and evil, for when you eat of it you shall surely die.”
From the beginning of time, the human race has been bound to God through belief in and adherence to God’s word as pure truth. Living life through faith and obedience is set forth as the governing principle in Adam’s relationship to God in the earth. Adam was warned — just as we are warned — that he would die if he did what God told him not to do. God means what He says. “The soul that sins shall surely die.”
We must be like the wise virgins and obey God and His commands.
Wesley is the pastor of Victory Faith Fellowship and a member of the United Ministerial Alliance.