As the months went by Holly’s friends and family noticed the growing signs of her pregnancy and began to remark about it, but each time Holly would respond, “I’m not pregnant”.
Eventually, when she could no longer deny the truth Holly accepted the fact that she was indeed pregnant. However when her loved ones asked about her preparations for the upcoming birth, her reply would always be the same…”I’ve got time. I’ll be ready when the time comes.” Yet, Holly did nothing to get herself ready for the new addition to her family.
One night as she was driving alone, contractions came suddenly and powerfully. In short time Holly began to feel the baby coming, but there was no one around to help her.
Do you know that many people regard God and His promises in the same way as Holly did? God, in His infinite love for us, always gives advance notice and warnings of what will happen so that we can be prepared.
He did it in the time of Noah, warning that he would send a flood because of the wickedness of the people. Noah listened to God and willingly prepared a huge boat – an ark – as God had instructed him. The people had never seen rain before, so they disregarded God’s warning and instead ridiculed Noah. It wasn’t until they began to feel the first drips of rain that they realized what God had promised did, in fact, come to pass! By that time it was too late, because Noah had already shut the door to the ark. The ones left outside the ark of safety died in the flood, because they chose not to heed God's Word!
Jesus told a parable about 10 bridesmaids (virgins) who were waiting for the groom to come. In those days after the groom became engaged, he would return to his father’s house and begin to prepare a home for his bride. This was the background for the story Jesus told. Five of the virgins, He explained, were wise and the other five were foolish. The wise ones knew that the bridegroom would be returning, so they made preparations for his return. They didn’t know how long the wait would be, so they took extra oil for their lamps.
The five foolish ones, however, took no extra oil…maybe thinking, like Holly, that they had enough time. The bridegroom took a long time to come, and when he did return it was midnight and the oil in the lamps was running out. The wise virgins filled their lamps and were ready to go with the groom. However the foolish ones, having not prepared properly, had to go out and buy oil. By the time they returned the groom and his entourage had already left. They went quickly to the house where the festivities were taking place and knocked on the door, but the groom’s response was devastating. “Go away, I don’t know you”, he said. It was too late!
Jesus used this parable as a lesson to us. He promised that He will return, but we don’t know how long it will take. The groom in the story is Jesus and the virgins are those who have accepted Him as their Savior, and are waiting for Him to return and take them to heaven. The oil represents the Holy Spirit who helps us to keep our relationship with the Father and Jesus Christ alive and vibrant.
It has been 2000 years since Jesus was resurrected and went back to the Father. He has gone to prepare a place for His bride. There are some who are like Holly was at first...denying the truth. They still deny that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and the only way to the Father and to heaven.
Some have accepted Him as their Savior, and continue to cultivate a vibrant relationship with Him with the help of the Holy Spirit. They have enough "oil" to last until whenever the Bridegroom comes.
However, too many, having professed Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, have become lukewarm and lazy. Like the foolish virgins, they look the part outwardly. They go to church, and may even be involved in works of ministry. Sadly, for many, this is only an outward form of godliness, but lacking that passionate love for Jesus. Their "oil" has run out!
Life as you and I know it will end in one of two ways…either through our death or when Jesus returns. Everything that God has promised in His Word will come to fruition, regardless of how long it takes. His Word never fails.
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