The Parable of the Ten Virgins

THE PARABLE OF THE TEN VIRGINS (Matthew 25:1-13) I. Like the statements of Christ which precede it, the parable of the ten virgins teaches us to watch and be ready for Christ's coming which will catch the foolish unawares and undo them. MAT 24:42-51. A. This is another parable describing the nature of the kingdom of heaven, the church. The bridegroom is obviously Christ. MAT 9:15. B. In the church there is a mixture of wise and foolish to be divided at the coming of Christ. C. This agrees with what Christ elsewhere revealed about His coming for His kingdom. MAT 13:24-30, 37-43, 47-50. II. This parable shows: A. God's forbearance towards the unjust who get into the kingdom in this world. B. the limitation of that forbearance to this world. C. the time of Christ's return is unknown and shall be sudden. D. the need for Christians to be therefore vigilant and prepared. E. only those with a full store are received to glory. F. those who are lacking a critical ingredient are shut out. G. a need for self-examination in hope of a full reward. 2JO 1:8 ct/w 2PE 2:13. III. The virgins were to have burning lamps when the bridegroom came. A. In readiness for the second coming of Christ, the Christian is to be a shining light. MAT 5:14-16; LUK 12:35-36; PHIL 2:15. B. All the virgins had lamps, but only the wise virgins took a supply of oil in their vessels for the future. 1. All shared in church membership, but some were lacking something. 2. Only the wise were looking beyond the immediate. COL 3:1-5. C. Consider some categories of religious people who have one thing but lack something critical. 1. Some have circumcision but no faith or grace. GAL 5:6; 6:15. 2. Some have pedigree but no grace. LUK 3:7-9. 3. Some have a profession but no works. LUK 6:46-49; TIT 1:16. 4. Some hear God's words but do them not. JAM 1:22. 5. Some have faith but no works. JAM 2:19-20. 6. Some have gifts but no grace. MAT 7:22-23. D. The foolish virgins were not ready for the time to come. 1. They represent those who make a profession of religion yet do not watch with readiness for the coming of Christ. 2. Those who actively hope for the coming of Christ give evidence of a store of grace. TIT 2:11-13; 2PE 3:14; 1JO 3:3. IV. As the bridegroom tarried, so Christ is presently tarrying. vs.5-6 c/w 2TH 2:1-2; HEB 10:36-37. A. Notice that ALL the virgins slumbered and slept. None had secret knowledge of the exact time of the bridegroom's coming so as to have an upper hand in his appearance. LUK 21:34-35. B. Many have foolishly presumed to determine what is hidden. MAR 13:32. V. The wise virgins had oil enough for themselves and did not share their supply of oil with the foolish virgins. A. The wise virgins are wise enough to know that they cannot freely distribute saving grace, Arminian style. B. In the day of judgment, no one will be able to draw on the grace of another. Remember the rich man and Lazarus. LUK 16:25-31. C. This opposes the Roman Catholic doctrine of drawing on the merits of the saints for salvation. D. This also opposes the Mormon doctrine of baptisms for the dead. E. The wise virgins are wise through Christ Who is made their wisdom through grace. 1CO 1:30. VI. When the bridegroom came, the wise virgins "....went in with him to the marriage" (v.10). A. So too will the saints be with Christ when He appears. COL 3:4; 1TH 4:16-17. B. The door was shut. 1. This secured the wise virgins within. None are lost. JOH 6:39; REV 3:12. 2. This shut out the foolish virgins. There will be no pretenders to glory, only those given to Christ. JOH 10:26-28; 17:2; 2TI 2:19. 3. The wicked shall be shut out with no admittance allowed. LUK 13:24-28; REV 22:14-15. C. Jesus said, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven" (MAT 7:21). D. The bridegroom did not know these foolish virgins just as Christ never knew the wicked. MAT 7:23. E. Again, Christ emphasizes that we know not the time of His coming and must therefore watch after the example of the wise virgins. HEB 9:28.
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