“As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?’ ” (Matthew 24:3, ESV). For the remainder of the chapter, Jesus revealed future events. Jesus promised that before the end there will be a season of widespread difficulties and distress. Earthquakes, wars, famine, persecution, and more. He promises that false teachers will lead many astray. These events forecast the end of the church-age. Read it...
Jesus warned, “Take note: I have told you in advance” (Matthew 24:25, CSB).
The next chapter ... chapter twenty-five starts with: “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom” (Matthew 25:1, ESV). Don’t miss the first word: “Then!”
When is “then?” “Then” is now! We are coming toward the end of the church-age! We’re racing toward the Rapture and the Tribulation. I don’t know when... but we’re one day closer!
Jesus tells the Parable of the Ten Virgins to give further understanding concerning these last days... here’s the story.
A wedding was scheduled. Just as soon as the Groom arrived, the festivities were to begin. But the Groom was away... he’d be back soon! They waited all day. When the sun was going down, the attendants got out their oil lamps, and continued to wait. He’d arrive soon!
Minutes turned into hours, and all the girls dropped off to sleep. Finally, at midnight, the announcement was made! He’s arrived!
Five of the girls lit their lamps and started out to join the welcoming party. But the other five discovered that they had lamps, but no oil. “Give us some oil!” they begged. “Sorry, we have only what we need.”
In Jesus’ story, and in the Bible at large, oil represents the Holy Spirit. Five wise attendants were filled with the Holy Spirit. Five foolish attendants were not.
They all looked about the same... that is, all ten ladies held lamps. But only five were prepared for the Groom’s arrival. Only five had been saved, born again, and indwelt with the presence of God’s Holy Spirit. Five were ready for the Master’s return!
Back to the parable... the five ill-prepared attendants hurried off to find oil. When they returned, the doors to the ballroom were locked, and they were unable to gain entrance into the wedding feast.
Remember, this story starts with “the kingdom of heaven will be like...” (Mathew 25:1).
Here’s the take-away: Be ready! Jesus, the Eternal Groom, will soon return to be wed to His beloved Bride... Be ready. The signs are clearly evident. If you are not ready, you’ll be left out!
Here’s another tidbit: Luke’s record of Jesus’ forecast includes one more sign ... “pestilence” (Luke 21:11). Is it possible that the coronavirus is a sign from God? Is He saying, “Be ready! The time is short!”