Wise and Foolish Virgins
While Jesus was speaking about the time of His return, He gave the parable of the ten virgins. When Jesus gave this parable, he was speaking about those who would still be alive when the trumpet sounded. He was speaking of the “last days” – the harvest generation – the days in which you and I are living right now!
“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the Bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was long in coming, and they all slumbered and slept.”
“At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him! Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’”
“’No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’”
“But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. Later the others also came. ‘Sir! Sir!’ they said. ‘Open the door for us!’ But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I do not know you.’”
“Therefore, keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” (Matthew 25:1-13)
This is a parable of the harvest, and Jesus is speaking about BELIEVERS! He compares the five wise virgins with the five foolish virgins. He is not comparing five sheep with five goats! He is not comparing five bundles of wheat with five bundles of tares (weeds). No, Jesus is comparing five virgins with five virgins – ten forgiven, “born-again” believers. Jesus is speaking of those who know Him, those who know that He is the Bridegroom and that He is coming again for His bride.
All the virgins had lamps that were lit. They all had received Jesus as their Savior; they were all “born again.” Jesus is the lamp – the light of the world!
“The Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light.” (Revelation 21:23-24)
At midnight, or when the world was at its moral darkness, the coming of our Lord is announced. The virgins then trimmed their lamps. In the original Greek “trimmed” means to put in proper order. All their lamps were lit before they had either slumbered or slept symbolizing that they all had experienced the “indwelling” of the Holy Spirit who comes at “new birth.” Throughout the Scriptures, the oil is used as the symbol for the Holy Spirit. But only the wise had oil in their jars! Only the wise had received the “infilling” of the Holy Spirit. Only the wise ones hungered and thirsted for righteousness and were filled. They received the fullness of the Holy Spirit, the fruit of the Holy Spirit and the power to overcome the sin in their lives. The oil of the Holy Spirit makes the light in your life shine – makes your garments bright and shiny.
The foolish had none of the oil that comes from surrender of self. They did not replenish the oil of the Holy Spirit by hungering and thirsting for righteousness. They let the light of our Lord’s salvation – His gift of eternal life – dwindle to a “lukewarm” ember. They took for granted their “born again” experience.
“So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth.” (Rev. 3:16
Are you focused on the real life?
This parable describes those who had knowledge of the Bridegroom and an understanding of the coming “rapture” and the wedding feast. It describes those who were expecting to be a part of it! Jesus is talking about “believers” and the readiness of their lives. He is talking about you and me… the harvest generation.
The world is now in the midst of the great awakening! The truth of the harvest and the fullness of God’s Spirit is being revealed. The foolish are those who rebel and reject the move of the Spirit. The foolish stop watching for Him. The foolish let His awesome sacrifice, redemptive love and death on the cross – and impending judgment – fade from their daily lives. The foolish focus on the things of this world and do not seek the deeper things of the Holy Spirit. Their faith becomes cold and lifeless.
You must wake up! You must not let the comforts, pleasures and even hardships of this life deaden the real life, the spiritual life—the life we were given at “spirit birth.” You must not become foolish and forsake the oil for your lamp… the “infilling” of the Holy Spirit. Stand on the promise of Jesus:
“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” (Matthew 5:6)
Are you making yourself ready? The wise virgins took oil so their lamps would shed light and show them the way. They made themselves ready!
If you yearn for all that God has to offer and listen for His voice – and seek to know Him more intimately – you will walk in the “infilling” of the Holy Spirit. You will walk in the “fullness” of eternal life, and you will know the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit… accordingly as they are given. You will have the heart and faith and strength to stand firm to the end to receive all the eternal rewards.
“See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.” (Hebrews 3:12-14)
The gift of eternal life
Eternal life is the gift God offers to everyone. It is free to all who will receive it. It produces a “peace” that passes all understanding. The gift is given to everyone who believes in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The gift is given without merit or works… it is your gift received by faith in the reality of Jesus and the price He paid for your sins. It is a gift given as you repent of your sins.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
The word “believe”
Do you know what it really means to believe in Jesus? The word “believe” has lost its meaning in our comfortable world. It has become an intellectual bookmark for ideas embraced with feelings and emotions. It has lost its original power. You must put the words of the gospel in the context of the time in which it was written. In those days when people were asked if they believed that Jesus was the Son of God, they were actually committing their lives to that fact. Because to admit that fact meant they could actually be imprisoned or killed – just for believing in Jesus!
This is the true reality of the word “believe.”
Does this meaning describe your relationship with Jesus? Does your belief come forth from the core of your being? Is it the most important thought in your life? If not, you should go to Him in total surrender and repentance.
To “believe,” as Jesus means it, is to accept and act upon all His words and not just those we choose. If you truly believe in Jesus, you will not only love Him but you will strive to obey Him! And how can you possibly obey Him when every part of your carnal nature struggles to defeat you? It can only be done through the “infilling” of the Holy Spirit… giving you the “fullness” of eternal life.
“He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” (Revelation 3:5)
END OF CHAPTER 6