Time to Get Ready

If there ever was a time when I felt that Jesus return is near, it is now. The question that burns in my heart for my friends, my family, myself, and the world is, "Are we ready?" In the book of Matthew Jesus warns us to be prepared.

“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour[b] in which the Son of Man is coming. Matthew 25:1-13

These young ladies each had a lamp with some oil. Jesus tells us that the five virgins who brought extra oil were the wise ones and the five who did not were unwise. The virgins waited and waited and finally went to sleep. It must have been a dark night while they waited for the groom. The lamp oil burned down and the wicks charred. The wise virgins had extra oil and they trimmed the wick on their lamp so their lights would burn bright.

But the unwise virgins ran out of oil, their wicks were charred and their lights grew dull. The groom came at the last minute. The unwise virgins tried to borrow oil from the wise virgins. When they refused, the unwise virgins had to run to the store. In the mean time the groom came and took the wise virgins. The unwise virgins were left behind. They tried to get into the feast but the groom would not claim them. They lost their opportunity to marry.

This is a sad story for the unwise virgins. But Jesus uses this story to show us a much sadder truth. Jesus is the groom in this story. He is describing what will happen when he returns to take his bride to heaven. Some of his chosen bride will be taken to heaven and some of his chosen bride will be left behind. Those who are left behind will be refused. Wow, I want to be part of the bride of Christ who is taken to Heaven with Jesus.

Looking closer at the story I see that the unwise virgins ran out of oil and didn't trim their wicks. But the wise virgins prepared themselves by buying extra oil and maintaining their wicks. This story tells us that we should daily prepare ourselves for the day of Christ Jesus' coming. We really must strive to purge evil from our lives and grow in our faith. This oil is the relationship between us and Christ. This relationship requires a constant awareness of the state of our walk with God. 

When the unwise virgins ran out of oil they tried to borrow oil from the wise virgins and they tried to purchase new oil. We can't borrow a relationship with Christ Jesus from our family, our spouse, our church or anywhere. In the end it comes down to each of us as individuals standing before God. We either knew Christ Jesus or we didn't. It doesn't matter if we did good works, or if we belonged to a God fearing family or if we are members to the right church. Our relationship with Christ Jesus cannot be borrowed and it cannot be purchased.

To be a wise virgin we must start by giving our hearts over to Christ Jesus completely. Is Jesus the Lord of your life? Then we must continue to ask Jesus to clean up our lives. The unwise virgins gave their commitment to the groom but they did not prepare for his return. Do you look forward to the weekend more then you look forward to His return? Today's unwise virgins commit their hearts to Christ but they do not prepare themselves for the groom, Christ Jesus.  Instead they live as though nothing has changed. It's not my place to judge who is an unwise virgin but it is clear that Jesus is warning us to get ready for His return.