We are continuing from yesterday to look at the prophetic Parable of the Ten Virgins. The five wise virgins prepared extra oil for the darkness of the nighttime. The five foolish virgins presumptuously thought they wouldn’t need extra oil, and so did not prepare for the darkness before the Bridegroom’s coming. Let’s read the second part of the parable:
8The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ 9“‘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.’ 10“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. 11“Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ 12“But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ 13“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour” (Matthew 25:8-13).
In yesterday’s meditation, we saw that the Bridegroom came at the darkest point, at midnight (Matthew 25:6). When sleep was at its deepest, the suddenness of the call awakened them all with a start. They all heard the herald’s call that the bridegroom was coming. Quickly, they arose to meet him. Those who were wise had prepared more oil for their lamps from extra jars of oil they brought (v. 5). They then trimmed their lamps and went to meet the Bridegroom. Let's now think about one of the most beautiful sentences in the Word of God. "The bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut" (Matthew 25:10). Yes, the Bridegroom will come. Those of you who have waited long and have remained faithful will hear the call to come to the wedding.
The first thing we see is that there was an immediate entrance to the wedding upon the coming of the bridegroom. We are not listening to fables as we think upon that moment when we will hear the call. Do not entertain any misconceptions of purgatory to go through first. No, it will be instant upon His coming. Great shall be your joy if you are a believer. Your face shall light up as you behold Christ’s coming amid the darkness of the earth. Those believers who have died (fallen asleep) and departed from this world shall arrive with Christ when He appears (v. 14):
13Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18Therefore encourage one another with these words (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
Those of you who have already lost a loved one to the sleep of death rest assured that if he or she died in Christ, they are already with Christ in glory. Let’s talk some more about this parable tomorrow.