The Bible talks about the return of Jesus, but will you be prepared for His second coming? Are you ready to meet Him face to face?
The Ten Virgins
Matthew 25:1-13 says,
“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose 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, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”
While this passage may raise many questions I will not address today, I believe it has some very clear lessons for us and for our children. We must not point to the portions we do not understand as an excuse for not applying the portions we do. I think this is one of the most important lessons we can learn when it comes to studying God’s Word.
The Return of Jesus
With regard to today’s passage, I would like to begin at the end. Jesus will return. This is made clear many times throughout the Bible. And though I believe this is what the Lord was referring to in today’s passage, each one of us will face the Creator at some point and we must be prepared.
I have a procrastination list of things I want to do, things I should do, but keep putting off for one reason or another. Mind you, most of the things on that list aren’t of eternal value. They mostly have to do with cleaning, organizing, and decluttering my house.
There are things, however, that are of far more importance, things we must not put off. We discussed some of those last time. We must make it our habit to regularly encourage and build up fellow believers. We must also work alongside them to promote the cause of Christ. We must make it a priority to diligently study God’s Word and “pray without ceasing,” as it says in 1 Thessalonians 5:17.
Commit to Him
Putting off these things until a so-called more convenient time, a time when our life is less busy, is not wise. It reminds me of the behaviour of the five foolish virgins who were not ready for the bridegroom’s coming.
Most of us know of people who have said, “I will make things right with God later. I have lots of time.” The reality is we never know exactly what the future holds. If we are convinced that Jesus paid the price for our sins and rose victorious over sin and death, we are called to commit our lives to Him today.
Walk in Obedience
And if we have asked Him to be our Saviour but are not living as we know He wants us to, what better time to recommit our life to Him and ask for the strength to walk in obedience? Life may not get easier—in fact, it may become more difficult—but surrendering to Jesus Christ is the best decision we can make, not only for ourselves but also for those with whom we come in contact.God wants to bless you not only because He loves You—which He does—but also because He wants to bless others through You. We are never blessed exclusively for ourselves.
Do Not Be Discouraged
Even if we are seeking to walk in obedience, there may be times that we become discouraged and impatient. Our situation may remain the same no matter how often we pray for God to intervene. We may not know what we should do to rectify a negative situation no matter how much time we spend searching the Scriptures.
Like King David, there may be times we think evil will always prevail.
But it won’t.
As we walk in obedience to God’s Word, we are preparing for an eternity with Him. Plus, we don’t know what is going on from His perspective. The answers to our questions . . . the deliverance from our overwhelming situation . . . the healing from our suffering . . . they may all be just around the corner.
We must not give up. We must remain confident that we can trust Him. We must believe that He has good reason for those things He requires of us. Together with our family, may we prepare for the day we will meet our Lord and Saviour face to face.
One way to determine if we are doing what we ought is to ask ourselves this question throughout the day: “How would I react if the Lord called me to heaven at this moment?”
For children who may not be ready to face how fleeting life can be, you may want to teach them to ask these questions instead: “How would I feel if Jesus came for a visit right now? Would I be embarrassed or would I invite Him to join me?”
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Images courtesy of:
The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins- William Blake