"Then the kingdom of Heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. "Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. "Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, "but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. "But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept." Matthew 25:1-5
The parable of the virgins represents two groups of people, those who seek God and those who are just seekers. Those that truly love God and want to be found by Him take great pains to keep their vessels filled with the oil of the Holy Spirit, and those who are just seeking an experience don't.
What is interesting about this story is the fact that both groups fell asleep while waiting for the bridegroom. It is no different today, people are simply tired of waiting for Jesus to return and have literally fallen asleep in the process. The worries of the world, the deceitfulness of riches and the cares of this life have plunged many into a deep spiritual sleep.
According to Jewish tradition after the betrothal the virgin might have to wait for the bridegroom for up to a year after his proposal. The bride always in a state of readiness, not wanting to be caught off guard would stay on the alert so she would hear the sound of his arrival. All of the ladies in waiting were virgins but only five were willing to wait on their true love and persevere until the end. So it is with the church, she is waiting for the return of her beloved.
Let no one deceive you by any means; for that day will not come unless the falling away comes first. II Thessalonians 2:3
In the story of "Sleeping Beauty" a wicked fairy placed an enchantment upon the princess that resulted in a deep sleep only to be awakened by the kiss of a prince. A good fairy unable to reverse the curse instead hid the kingdom from sight with a forest of thorns and put everyone into a deep sleep until the arrival of the prince.
Today the body of Christ has become weary of waiting for their Prince and have fallen asleep under the enchantments of the world. Jesus prophesied that because lawlessness would abound most people's love would grow cold and that has certainly become a reality. The world has become a dangerous place and people are being swept away with fear.
Everywhere there is uncertainty and unrest, even in the church of the living God. With the threat of war, sickness and the unstable finances of this country the people of God have begun to drift away from the firm foundation they were once placed on. Instead of being anchored in the harbor of peace the church is running scared along with the world. It seems that everything the world has put their trust in is being shaken to the very core of it's existence.
Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. I Thessalonians 5:6-8
BEHOLD, THE BRIDEGROOM IS COMING
"And at midnight a cry was heard: 'Behold the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!' Matthew 25:6
No one knows the hour or the day, but Jesus said we would know the end is near by the signs of the times. A person would have to be blind not to see and discern whats going on in the world today. Its interesting that when the virgins heard the sound of the bridegroom's return they all trimmed their lamps, but the foolish had no oil and had to go instead to the dealers and purchase some.
The difference between the wise and foolish was the fact that the wise virgins had an intimate relationship with the bridegroom, Jesus, thus producing the oil of the Holy Spirit and the foolish did not. So it is today everywhere you look people are seeking a word or a sign from a man instead of going directly to the very throne of God for themselves. Only by establishing an intimate time of communion with the Lord Jesus Christ can one be filled with the oil of gladness and joy.
It is time for the bride to awaken from her slumber and prepare to meet her Prince when He returns for His "Sleeping Beauty." Are you ready, are you prepared for eternity, are you filled with His Spirit anticipating His eminent return? Don't be caught off guard like the foolish virgins chasing after men and not God, but be awake and expectant of the return of the Lord Jesus Christ!
"And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with Him to the wedding; and the door was shut. "Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open to us!' "But he answered and said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.' "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming." Matthew 25:10-13