Marvin L. Weir
God has always warned His people of judgment which is to come. The fate of Jerusalem, the temple, and the Jewish nation is described in Matthew 24:4-34. The unbelieving Jews will be destroyed by Roman soldiers as God’s judgment of wrath is unleashed upon them. The Second Coming, the end of this world, and the judgment of all nations is addressed in Matthew 24:36 through Matthew 25:46.
Although many people have listed “signs” and have “set dates” for the end of this world such information has been proven to be false. The Second Coming has not occurred, and this world still remains. Who can deny it? Signs did indeed precede the destruction of Jerusalem (Matt. 24:15-22), but no signs will be given for the destruction of this world. The Scriptures clearly state:
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no one, not even the angels of heaven, neither the Son, but the Father only. And as (were) the days of Noah, so shall be the coming of the Son of man. For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and they knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall be the coming of the Son of man. Then shall two man be in the field; one is taken, and one is left: two women (shall be) grinding at the mill; one is taken, and one is left. Watch therefore: for ye know not on what day your Lord cometh (Matt. 24:35-42).
Three parables are given in Matthew 24 and 25 that demonstrate the need for one to be prepared for the coming of the Lord. The parables clearly teach the Lord’s return will be unexpected, and thus the need to be sober and watchful. In this study, let’s focus upon the lessons we can learn from the five foolish virgins. Let us note:
Their Blameless Character! By such it is meant that these five foolish virgins were not called such because they were immoral, cruel and vindictive, indifferent or lazy. These virgins represent members of the body of Christ today who profess to be faithful and are striving to avoid the sins of this world. It seems safe to assume that these virgins were not troublemakers, but rather courteous, congenial, and likeable persons. But all was not well with these virgins in the eyes of God and therein is the lesson God’s children need to learn today!
Their Noble Intention! They “went forth to meet the bridegroom” (Matt. 25:1). The wise virgins are going and so do the foolish. They are willing to expend the effort to “go.” They were willing to make some sacrifice to share the marriage feast with the others. They seemingly believe that they will met the bridegroom and enjoy his presence.
Noble intentions abound today! There are those within the body of Christ who are not living immoral lives, who are decent and honest people, but never once question whether or not they are worshipping “in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). There are also those who are seemingly convinced that the last command that mattered was to obey the gospel. Upon becoming a child of God, however, they have not studied and grown in knowledge of God’s Word as is required by the Creator (2 Tim. 2:15; 2 Pet. 3:18). And, some fall into the habit of forsaking the assembly of the church (Heb. 10:25). Oh, one day when they are not so busy they intend to study more and to be more involved in the Lord’s work. Even though their intentions are good, they allow the busy routine of living in this world to blind them to their own needs! May people see what is truly important!
Their Unconcerned Neglect! “For the foolish, when they took their lamps, took no oil with them” (Matt. 25:3). A lack of continual preparation can ruin a good beginning. The wise virgins took the time to secure extra oil so that if the oil in their lamps ran out they would have the needed oil for light. These foolish virgins thought they would have the necessary time to prepare for the coming of the bridegroom.
There are many Christians today who believe that the Lord will indeed come again as promised in the Scriptures. The problem is that they are doing as the foolish virgins did and they will be caught unprepared. The Bible is clear regarding the obligations, duties, and responsibilities of those who are members of the Lord’s church. The Lord pleaded with those who would hear in the Sermon on the Mount, “But seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33). Jesus also emphasized that “We must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9:4). The foolishness of being unprepared is an ever present threat to one’s soul!
Their Slumbering And Sleep! “Now while the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept” (Matt. 25:5). The foolish virgins planned on all events occurring on their timetable, but God has His own timetable! The time of waiting can be viewed as a time of trial. Instead of immediately seeking additional oil the foolish virgins slept. The Scriptures warn: “…now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2).
Their Hopeless Request! “And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are going out” (Matt. 25:8). The bridegroom had arrived, and the foolish virgins lack much needed oil. The oil cannot be borrowed! They are not prepared to go in, and the door of mercy is about to be shut tight! Preparation is an individual matter, and no one can do for another what he must do for himself.
Their Earnest Endeavor! “And while they went away to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage feast: and the door was shut” (Matt. 25:10). Earnestness at the wrong time is useless! So many today “hope” they are ready but they have not prepared for His coming. One who desires to save his soul will be prepared and diligently watch for the Lord’s coming!