Sunday service, Erlo Stegen, 24 Sep 2017
1 Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins, the friends of the bride, who took their lights, and went out with the purpose of meeting the husband.
2 And five of them were foolish, and five were wise.
All of these were virgins who left their homes to meet the bridegroom. They weren’t unbelievers. But five were foolish and they ran out of oil.
All of them got tired and slept while the bridegroom tarried. At midnight there was the cry to prepare to meet the bridegroom – just as we are to prepare for the heavenly bridegroom.
But as they prepared their lamps, five were found unprepared. Their lamps were going out but they had no oil with them. They went to the other five and asked for oil. But the others said no, there will not be enough. Rather go and buy oil for yourself. In other words they were unprepared spiritually; they had to go and prepare themselves.
But when they returned the doors were closed. It was too late.
We find this many times in the Bible. Noah built the ark and warned them of the coming judgement, but he seemed silly. But when Noah and his family had entered and the rain came down the mockers realised that it was no joke. They pleaded with Noah to open the door but he couldn’t for God had locked the door. It was too late.
The Bible never says make right tomorrow. It says today is the day of salvation. Pray now for now is still the time of grace (2Cor 6:2).
This message is not to the unbelievers like prostitutes, drug addicts, or thieves, but those who prepare themselves as the Bride of Christ. We talk about good Christians, who kept themselves pure, and had their lamps with them. One couldn’t see any difference between these virgins. It seemed that they were all the same. But shockingly half were fools.
Now a lamp is not used in broad daylight, but when it is dark. While it was day there seemed to be no difference between them. But the darkness exposed them that half were fools.
It is the darkness around us that reveals whether a Christian is a fool or wise. It is the difficulties that exposes a person. The Lord Jesus said stumbling blocks must come. That’s why the Lord allows darkness to expose the fools.
Darkness does a good work. But if you become spiritually dark you will be left behind.
Maybe since the time of Adam there has never been a time in this world as dark as now spiritually.
I once read a book about our forefathers and how the author thought his time was terribly dark. He described how that 10,000 would attend a soccer match without prayer or Bible reading. And he said it was of the devil. Then he wrote about a certain rock band coming to play and 20,000 would attend. He commented how the devil was let loose. They didn’t gather around the bible or prayer but simply to listen to worldly songs.
What would that man say if he should be alive today.
These days 80,000 attend a soccer match where there is no prayer or bible reading and the same with the worldly rock concerts.
Just think of all the evil done with cell phones and through the internet. Think of the evil movies, drunkenness, drugs, murdering and stealing, abortions, all the ungodly laws being passed by the world leaders and ungodly men.
The Lord said that although we don’t know the time of his His coming, one thing is certain that it will be dark. But this darkness will be like a sieve that will expose those that will enter the wedding or not. It will make plain whether we are fools or wise, whether we have oil in our lamps or not. When temptations are great and it is very difficult it will reveal whether you are a fool or not, whether you will enter the wedding feast or not.
The purpose of the oil is as fuel for the burning of the lamp.
Plants grow the best in compost. And so it is with the believer. Difficulties and persecutions only make him better to lighten up the darkness around him.
A certain minister once walked with two boys for a long distance. Eventually they were very thirsty and hungry, but they had nothing to eat or drink. They sat down under a big apple tree to rest, which bore abundantly. They were very hungry and thirsty and tired. Here was this tree with the beautiful apples. The boys wanted to pick the apples and eat but the minister stopped them that they first had to ask the owner of the tree. They went to ask the owner, and they told him how tired and hungry they were but the owner refused. The boys asked the minister whether it would really be wrong to just take three apples. He answered that his stinginess was his sin, but they should not sin because the owner sinned. The minister then read from the Bible and they delighted themselves with God’s Word. After they had prayed the owner came to them and asked forgiveness that he refused to give them anything. He said that although he was not a Christian, after seeing how they acted he would be guilty if he didn’t give them anything. For he saw them opening their Bibles and prayed. He invited them in and prepared a meal for them as for a king. After they had eaten he repented and afterwards spread the Gospel.
Just think what would have happened if they just helped themselves.
Their difficulty revealed that they were wise.
What happens in your life when your husband or wife acts like a devil. Do you become the same? It reveals who you are. Difficult times draw us closer to God. When we are wrung then that which is inside comes out.
We cannot run away from the darkness of this world because the prince of darkness, the devil is still in this world.
When you pray for revival you are praying for trouble and difficulties. Are you prepared for that? Some think revival is heaven on earth. And it is, but hell is also let loose.
You must expect difficulties, but the oil of the lamp is sufficient under all circumstances.
Difficulties will help you to reach greater heights. See to it that you live a spirit filled life.