CHRIST THE ROCK CONGREGATION
SUNDAY APRIL 30TH 2023
SERMON BY PASTOR MARC SIMEON
THE PARABLE OF THE TEN VIRGINS
READING: MATTHEW 25: 1-13
1 ¶ “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
2 “Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
3 “Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them,
4 “but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
5 “But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
6 “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’
7 “Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps.
8 “And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’
9 “But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’
10 “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.
11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’
12 “But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’
13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.
- In Matthew 25 verses 1-13, we find another alarming parable of Jesus.
- In it we find people being disqualified in the last hour.
- As Christians, we need to pay mind to these parables because they are timeless truths folded in coded sentences.
- Jesus took ample time to give us a glimpse of what is it like to prepare to go to heaven.
- In all these parables, the underlying truth is that many who were supposed to be on the inside were found on the outside.
- Last week we saw the parable of the sower and the four fields.
- Out of the four fields, only one was able to sustain the test of time to bear fruits.
- Today, we will examine the parable of the ten virgins in an effort to extract the lesson that our Lord Jesus was trying to convey.
- I assure you that Jesus is talking about church fox here.
- They all knew about the wedding, and they all had a personal invitation to take part in it.
- In the time of Jesus wedding ceremonies in the Middle East were very big events.
- The exact time of the ceremony could not be forecasted because of the many variables that were involved.
- On the day of the wedding, the groom and many others would travel to the bride’s home to pick up his future wife.
- After acquitting with all the necessary payments and requirements, the groom and the bride and those from the bride’s house will take the trip toward the groom’s house where the ceremony will take place.
- A large group of people would be in company of the couple dancing their way to the wedding ceremony.
- From the Groom’s father house, a large number of invitees would be present in expectation of the groom’s return.
- The virgins were the special guests of honor to magnify the event at the arrival of the wedding convoy.
- The return of the groom could be affected by a number of weather related and other issues.
- Sometimes these returns would take place in the middle of the night.
- Each of these virgins had to have their lamp fully loaded for the occasion.
- After the return of the wedding parties, they would shut the gates and began to celebrate for the next seven days or so,
THE TEN VIRGINS
- All ten virgins were all invited to be the special guests of honor to welcome the groom.
- All ten virgins were expected to be ready.
- All ten virgins had to wait.
- All ten virgins had to make good economy of the oil for their lamps.
- All ten virgins were supposed to be mindful of the special occasion for their presence.
- All ten virgins had taken their lamps with them.
- All ten virgins took their extra oil containers with them
- Five of the ten Virgins had oil in their reserve containers and five used up all their reserved oil.
THE FOOLISH VIRGINS
- The foolish virgins were busy with their own preoccupations while forgetting the task at hand.
- The foolish virgins were distracted and imprudent.
- The foolish virgins were procrastinators; they only made plan for short wait.
- The foolish virgins did not take their jobs seriously.
- The foolish virgins did not see the need to store more oil for their lamps.
- The foolish virgins fixed a wrong time for the return of the groom in their mind.
- The foolish virgins were busy fantasizing and guessing the return of the groom.
THE UNEXPECTED DELAY
- The groom had a very late return, much more so than anyone expected.
- The wise and the foolish virgins fell all asleep while waiting.
- The wise virgins were still in track with the occasion and saved up their oil for it.
- The foolish virgins had given up and lost sights of the occasion.
- For whatever reason the return was so delayed is not explained in the parable.
- Out of nowhere, the voice of the convoy began to be heard.
- Finally all those who were sleeping woke up.
- The only thing that mattered at that point was to have their lamps lighted to attain to their tasks.
- God does not operate with human clocks it’s always up to us to adjust to His timing.
THE BENEFIT OF THE RESERVED OIL
- If the foolish virgins had no oil in reserve; they carelessly used it all while waiting.
- The wise virgins preserved the rest of their oil for the occasion.
- The only difference between the wise and the foolish virgins were the oil or absence of oil in their lamps.
- They were all dressed up for the occasion but only five of them partake in it.
- It was a matter of priority.
- It was a matter of seriousness.
- It was a matter of understanding the consequences.
- There was no point to their presence without their lamps lighted to shine for the occasion.
NO SHARING OF OIL ALLOWED
- Everyone has to own up to their own mistake sometimes.
- Every virgin started out with the same potentiality.
- To share the oil at that time is to miss the opportunity to be with the groom.
- To share the oil at that time is to validate the behavior of the foolish virgins.
- The oil is just enough for one person.
- The wise virgins who were ready for the occasion were also wise enough not to share of their last bit of oil with the foolish ones.
- Let’s say you could share your school grades with others who refuse to study, would you do it?
- Let’s say you could give up you’re A+ to a B- to help somebody help somebody who had an F to get a C so that they would not fail the class.
- Let’s say it was the same person you beg to study with but preferred to watch television.
- To help such a person to pass is a sin because he or she is not worthy for it.
TOO LATE TO FIX THE WRONG
- When we are young, we don’t even think the expression “TOO LATE” exists.
- Too late to fix the problem.
- Too late to regain your innocence
- Too late to have an immaculate criminal record.
- Too late to have a good reference from your job
- Too late to start over and finish before the deadline.
- Too late to start taking things seriously.
- Too late to go get oil and back without missing the occasion.
- Too late to go get oil and back before the gate is closed.
- Out of desperation, the five virgins sneaked out to go get oil for their lamps.
- They missed the best part which was the arrival of the wedding convoy.
- They try to at least to save the face in order to benefit the rest of the banquet, but the gate was already shut.
A TREATMENT OF STRANGERS INSTEAD OF GUESTS
- Who are you?
- Where do you come from?
- What are you doing out at this time?
- You cannot be trusted.
- You ruined my wedding.
- You are not allowed in at this time.
- You miss your opportunity.
- I don’t know who you are; leave at once.
THE CHURCH REPRESENTS BOTH THE VIRGINS AND THE BRIDE
- Many are called but few are chosen.
- Half of the candidates got disqualified because of worldly foolishness.
- All of the candidates would want to partake in the feast of God but only half will be allowed in.
- The long wait for Jesus’ return is now.
- The boring and sleepy time is now.
- The Groom is Christ
- The wedding is heaven after the rapture of the church.
- The foolish virgins are the lukewarm Christians who are not mindful of their tasks in this world.
- The wise virgins are those who accept limitations and discomforts in this world in order to be pleasing and ready for God.
- No one will give up their ticket to heaven to have someone else go in their place.
- Holiness, endurance, steadfastness, and faith are not transferable to others.
- All have the opportunity to save or use up all their oil in this life time.
- This message is addressed to the choir and not the people in the world.
- We are all invited to be the bride of Christ and to partake in the wedding feast of the Lamb of God.
- The wait for Christ’s return has been going on for nearly two thousand years but the return is certain.
- Our faith and our testimonies are our lamps and oils.
- Going to heaven is a one shot event; therefore we cannot afford to miss it.
- To have oil in the lamp at Christ return means to persevere in holiness till the end.
- Apart from the invitation, apart from wearing the proper attire for the wedding, and apart from been on the scene, your lamp must have oil in it.
- May God illuminate your heart to absorb all there is in this parable and appropriate your life to it.