12. The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13)
8 The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘What if there isn’t enough for us and you? You go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 While they went away to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. 11 Afterward the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us.’ 12 But he answered, ‘Most certainly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ 13 Watch therefore, for you don’t know the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming. (Matthew 7:23, 24:42, 44, Luke 13:25)
Christ will come from heaven at an unexpected time. His sudden coming will shake the believers and arouse them from their sleep since they know in advance what the Savior's coming means: the end of this universe is approaching.
Yet, many do not believe that Christ's second coming and ensuing judgment will take place in this present age. Among them, there will be no comfort and their fear will be great. At that decisive moment, they will realize the danger of their unloving hearts, impure thoughts, and immoral actions. Then they will be willing to correct these deficits as quickly as they can. But God's spiritual virtues do not grow in us in the twinkling of an eye. We are fortunate that the blood of Jesus Christ has purchased them for us and obtained for us the power of the Holy Spirit. He is the oil for our lamps. We thank Him and commit our lives to Him, denying ourselves, that He can truly sanctify us.
The Apostle Paul trained himself to listen to his conscience, which should be sensitive to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Though he was an apostle of Christ, living in holiness, he was continuously being sanctified. He strived to be a good example to the churches with respect to submission, pursuit of pleasure, sacrifice, and love. Train yourself to follow Christ's example that you might live as a saint; not by your own power, but by the indwelling of the Lord's spirit. Then you can become a spring of goodness, kindness, and joy in your community. Will you become a light of Christ in this dark world?
A believer does not live for the sake of himself, but for the sake of God. The bride does not adorn herself for herself, but for the bridegroom. So we do not walk in holiness to win paradise, but because we love Christ who died for us, and gave us all the blessings of heavens freely. We thank Him by submitting our hearts to Him. We put our lives in His hands and He fills us with His character. Those that are thankful for their redemption, and abide in the word of the Lord are those that Christ will select when he comes. They bear His name and image in their bodies, and have become the fruit of His cross. Their thankfulness and praise unites them in love for Him. The goal of their lives is Christian unity with Christ who purified them with His precious blood.
Yet those who reject Jesus' love, forgiveness, and divine power, will not be united with Him when He returns. All diligence and efforts at self-improvement will count for nothing because their lives weren't built on the foundation of Jesus Christ, which brings self-denial and righteousness. What a great tragedy that the doors of heaven will be closed to them! Christ will not recognize them, in fact , He will consider them as strangers, as people He knew nothing about. The Lord is just, and provides opportunity for all to come to Him through His Spirit. Those who reject Him lose a unique opportunity. Do you live, dear friend, without the Spirit of Christ? Or is He working and producing fruit in you?
In the parable, when the bridegroom came in, the door was shut, to secure those that were within, and exclude those outside. Believers who are pillars in the house of God, must never go out (Revelation 3:12). When glorified saints enter into the heavenly paradise, they will be shut in. The state of saints and sinners will then be unalterably fixed, and those that are shut out then, will be shut out forever. Presently, the gate to heaven is open, although it is narrow. After the Bridegroom comes, it will be shut and bolted, and a great gulf fixed between heaven and hell. This finality will be like the shutting of the door of the ark when Noah went in. He was by saved by that decision, while those who chose not to enter perished.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, we thank You for the joy of heaven to which You draw us, through the Second Coming of Your Son. Help us to abide in Him through faith that we may overcome our hard hearts by Your warm love, love our enemies, and prepare ourselves for the arrival of Jesus. Sanctify us to the uttermost that we may love those who are going astray, and call them to meet Him so that they may not perish.
QUESTION 227: Why are the foolish virgins unable to receive Christ’s righteousness and holiness at the last moment before He comes?