Last Saturday night Dan Chick shared a message about the Lord’s second coming, and the hope that it gives us as Christians. He also said that we need to keep our focus on Jesus, as we watch and actively wait for His return. It was so good for us as a body to be reminded of this. I know that for myself, I heard this message many times when I first became a Christian 35 years ago. But over the years, I must admit that I have become somewhat complacent regarding His promised return. Dan’s message reminded me of something I read just the week before in the Parable of the Virgins in Matthew 25:1-13.
“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
9 “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’
12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’
13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
First of all, we know that we don’t want to be one of the foolish virgins. The cost is to great to find ourselves in that position upon His return. But notice that the wise virgins also fell asleep while waiting. Therefore, even though we may have oil in our lamps, we can still find ourselves slumbering regarding His return. But there was another group in this parable besides the virgins- the ones who cried out at midnight that the Bridegroom had arrived! I have to say that I never really noticed before that there were watchmen in the story who stayed awake even though the hour was late. In reading this parable in the past, I have always focused on the two groups of virgins. But I believe that the Lord highlighted this to me so that Dan’s message would really hit home.
I want to be in that group! The group that diligently keeps watch and actively lives in the revelation of His imminent return. The ones who stay awake and are not caught by surprise. Lord, help us all to be in that group, because we do not know the day or the hour!