“Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. The five who were foolish didn’t take enough olive oil for their lamps, but the other five were wise enough to take along extra oil.” (Matthew 25:1-4 NLT)
Every day we likely pass many people who have destructive addictions. Some are easy to spot, but many blend in and are essentially hiding in plain sight. Substance abuse is rampant in our world and is claiming millions of lives. Satan is subtle, but deadly in his untiring efforts to have the people of this world worshipping at his unholy and deadly feet.
It’s ironic on many levels that Satan’s strategy hasn’t changed since the Garden of Eden. God gives us clear instructions and the enemy says in so many words: “Yeh, but that’s not what He meant!” And we’re falling for it just like Adam and Eve.
Okay, that’s all well and good, but what does it have to do with the 10 bridesmaids? Did you ever notice how Jesus’ parable begins? “Then!” “Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like…” A couple of questions: first, to whom is He speaking? And, secondly, who is He describing? If you read the context, you’ll soon discover that the end of His life and earthly ministry are rapidly coming to a close, so several of His stories have reference to end times. Why is that so vital for us to understand?
“The Reason for My Hope” “Used by permission, © Ray Majoran, GlimpseOfInfinity.com”
Anyone with a vague acquaintance with the Bible can see that we’re living in the end times. “Yeh, but people have been saying that for 2,000 years!” And they’re right, but that’s my point. It could be another 2,000 years before He returns, but I can assure you of this – no one reading these words will still be here if that’s the case, and neither will the people in your current spheres of influence who don’t know Jesus. “End times” doesn’t necessarily refer to the end of the world. It can, and for thousands of years and for billions of people, does point to our individual “end.”
Like all of Jesus’ parables, this isn’t an allegory, with every detail having a separate meaning. Parables have one main point, and the point of the 10 bridesmaids is simply this: be prepared! Why? Because Jesus is coming! And we only have this life in which to get prepared.
You want to know the devil’s favorite words when it comes to us having a relationship with Jesus? “Not now!” Five bridesmaids were prepared, they brought extra oil. Five were not prepared. Why not? They thought they had more time. It’s irrelevant why they chose not to be prepared, the point is, when they came to their senses and realized they weren’t prepared, it was too late. They waited too long, and the door of opportunity was closed.
Do you understand that’s a picture of the Church in America and many other parts of the world today? Good people living good lives involved in many good things that are sucking the spiritual life right out of them. People are addicted to a lot more than alcohol and drugs today. They’re addicted to sin! As human beings our “drug” of choice doesn’t matter, the problem is it takes Jesus’ rightful place on the throne of our life. And, sadly, millions don’t see it or give it a thought until it’s eternally too late.
We’ll look at this more closely in tomorrow’s post.
Blessings, Ed 😊