In Matthew 25:1-13, we read of the parable of the ten virgins: five who were wise, five others who were foolish. The five wise virgins brought lamps and extra oil, while the five foolish virgins brought lamps but no oil. When the bridegroom arrives at midnight, the five foolish are unprepared and shut out when they return from buying oil (v. 10). The lesson for us is about personal readiness; will we be ready for Jesus’ return?
Be ready: We cannot neglect preparation. In v. 10, Jesus says, “Those who were ready went in with him to the wedding.” Heaven is a prepared place, for a prepared people. If we’re not prepared, we will not be allowed to enter. It’s as simple as that. The five who were denied entrance were unprepared. Jesus doesn’t say they were evil or unholy or immoral. The difference between the wise and foolish are the wise take time to plan and prepare. They see what lies ahead. I believe we all want to go to heaven. Are you making the proper preparations?
Do all you can do to be ready: The thinking out in the religious world is just being good makes you ready. Or, even in the Lord’s church, just being a member of a local church makes you ready. But those ideas are not found in Scripture. There is one faith (Eph. 4:4-6). There is one gospel (Gal. 1:6-10), and that one gospel must be obeyed if you desire salvation. Jesus says in Matt. 7:21, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” It is humbling and sobering to read what Jesus teaches in Matthew 13 that there will be those in “His kingdom” who will be “cast into the furnace of fire” (v. 41-42). The religion of the Bible is a doing religion. Talk is cheap. We must do it.
Some things can’t be borrowed: We can’t borrow someone else’s faith (Heb. 11:6; Phil. 2:12). We can’t borrow someone else’s obedience. We can’t borrow someone else’s character, conviction or conduct. “So then each of us shall give account of himself to God” (Rom. 14:12).
Time is running out (Matt. 25:10). When that door is shut, it’s not opening again. But as long as the door is open, it offers the greatest opportunity of all—the opportunity to go to heaven.