Ready or Not, He Will Come!

“God’s kingdom is like ten young virgins who took oil lamps and went out to greet the bridegroom. Five were silly and five were smart. The silly virgins took lamps, but no extra oil. The smart virgins took jars of oil to feed their lamps.

The bridegroom didn’t show up when they expected him, and they all fell asleep.

“In the middle of the night someone yelled out, ‘He’s here! The bridegroom’s here! Go out and greet him!’ “The ten virgins got up and got their lamps ready.

The silly virgins said to the smart ones, ‘Our lamps are going out; lend us some of your oil.’ “They answered, ‘There might not be enough to go around; go buy your own.’ “They did, but while they were out buying oil, the bridegroom arrived.

When everyone who was there to greet him had gone into the wedding feast, the door was locked.

“Much later, the other virgins, the silly ones, showed up and knocked on the door, saying, ‘Master, we’re here. Let us in.’ “He answered, ‘Do I know you? I don’t think I know you.’ “So stay alert. You have no idea when he might arrive.
Matthew 25:1‭-‬13 MSG

In the Bible, oil is symbolism for the Holy Spirit. The foolish girls took lamps, but they took no oil, and were not allowed into the wedding feast (or into heaven). So how may our “lamps” be filled? How are we to prepare for the Bridegroom’s coming?

Jesus told Nicodemus, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot be in God’s kingdom.” Nicodemus said, “But if a person is already old, how can he be born again? He cannot enter his mother’s womb again. So how can a person be born a second time?” But Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born from water and the Spirit, you cannot enter God’s kingdom. Human life comes from human parents, but spiritual life comes from the Spirit. Don’t be surprised when I tell you, ‘You must all be born again.’
John 3:3‭-‬7 NCV

Physical birth is a miracle. The fact that a baby can grow from a tiny egg and sperm joined inside a special place in a woman’s body; be nourished through the umbilical cord and protected close to mommy’s heart; make the trip through the birth canal, which is at any other time far too small and constricted to allow this, is nothing short of a miracle. There is excitement and rejoicing at the entrance of a new life into the world.

In the same way, spiritual birth is a miracle. The seed of the gospel is planted by hearing the word of God; it is nourished in a person by God in ways He chooses; when the time is right, spiritual birth occurs when the person fully embraces and surrenders to the message implanted in their hearts. The Bible says the angels rejoice, and there is rejoicing among brothers and sisters on earth, at the spiritual birth of a child of God. It is at this birth that the Holy Spirit comes to reside in the person, making possible this new life.

After the new birth, we are told to “be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). The idea is that we are to be continually being filled with the Spirit. Do you have oil in your lamp, or has it grown dim? Is it on a lamp stand so that all may see by it and Jesus be glorified? Are you being lazy and foolish, or waiting in anticipation for the bridegroom?

Jesus said this in Matthew 5:14-16:

“You are the light that gives light to the world. A city that is built on a hill cannot be hidden. And people don’t hide a light under a bowl. They put it on a lampstand so the light shines for all the people in the house. In the same way, you should be a light for other people. Live so that they will see the good things you do and will praise your Father in heaven.

I’m reminded of these words we used to sing when I was young. Children still love them, but the message applies to all ages.

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine,

let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Hide it under a bushel – no! I’m gonna let it shine.

Hide it under a bushel – no! I’m gonna let it shine,

let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Don’t let Satan blow it out! I’m gonna let it shine.

Don’t let Satan blow it out! I’m gonna let it shine,

let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Let it shine till Jesus comes! I’m gonna let it shine.

Let it shine till Jesus comes!

I’m gonna let it shine,

let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Harry Dixon Loes

Categories: About Jesus

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