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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

THE WISE AND FOOLISH VIRGINS

Matthew 25:13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. (Also read 25:1-12 for the wording of this parable).

In reading the parable we find the kingdom of heaven likened unto a reception given the bridegroom as he comes to his new bride at their home in which they will live together. The marriage vows had already been made and the marriage feast was over. The bridegroom was now coming to take his new bride as his companion for life. The welcoming reception was to be given by ten young women, probably close friends of the bride. Since the bridegroom was coming at night, all young women carried with them lamps that they might go out and meet the bridegroom, lighting his way to the home of his new bride. Five of the young women wisely brought with them oil for their lamps, and five foolishly failed to do so. As they waited for his arrival, they all slumbered and slept. Finally, in the middle of the night they were awakened when it was announced, behold the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. As they prepared their lamps, the foolish young women asked the wise, give us of your oil because they had none. The wise said, there be not enough for us and you, then advised them to go out and buy oil for themselves. While they were out, the bridegroom came. The wise young women went in with the bridegroom, and the door was shut. After buying oil, the foolish young women returned and asked to be admitted to the wedding reception, but the bridegroom refused to let them enter by saying, verily I say unto you, I know you not (SeeMatt. 25:1-13).

From the intent of this parable, as well as other bible references, we understand the bridegroom to be Jesus Christ, and the bride was His the church. We can assume that the ten young women, that were friends of the bride, represent members of the church. Although Christians, five were wise members of the body of Christ, and five were foolish. We are not to conclude that half of all Christians are wise and half are foolish. The numbers, in this parable, have no significance. The important thing to learn is that some Christians are wise, being sincere, devoted, and prepared to meet Jesus at all times, while some Christians are foolish, having the outward appearance of being faithful, but inwardly, they are shallow, insincere, lax in service, and unprepared to meet Jesus when He comes again on the day of Judgment.

We also learn from this parable that on this day, the day of Judgment, Jesus, the bridegroom, will come to claim or take his bride - His church - the faithful, wise, and prepared Christians. These He will take with Him into heaven. Jesus, Himself, told us of heaven as well as His second coming when He said, in My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also (John 14:2-3). This we also know, that on Judgment Day, and after all judgments have taken place, the door to heaven will be closed and cannot be opened. Just as the foolish young women of the parable, Christians that failed to prepare for heaven while on earth willbe turned away from heaven's gates by the voice of Jesus saying, verily I say unto you, I know you not. Their fate will be the same judgment as all other men and women of the worldthat fail to accept Jesus as their Savior - they will be judged to receive eternal punishment.

Areyou a faithful Christian? Have you heard and obeyed God's will? Doyou believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, the Son of God, and willinglyconfess this as your belief? Have you repented of your past sinful life and are willing to change and walk in paths of righteousness? Have you been baptized into the body of Christ in order to wear the name of Christian? These are the necessary steps for one to be born anew,and becoming a child of God. These acts of obedience that result from true faith in God and His Son, Christ Jesus, are necessary to have a hope of salvation. However, they do not assure salvation. Like the wise young women, only obedient Christians that are diligently prepared can find this assurance. Are you prepared to meet Jesus on Judgment Day?

In 2 Peter 1:5-11 we find the things that make one fully prepared to meet Jesus, our Savior. To the faith by which one becomes a Christian, these characteristics must be accepted, added, and practiced in our lives: virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity. These things can make your calling and election sure. Obedient Christians are promised the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Reader, be wise - be prepared.