The Bridegroom Cometh, Go Ye Out To Meet Him
“While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight, there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him.” —Matthew 25:5-6
This parable given by our Lord Jesus Christ details the action of ten virgins—five who were wise, and five who were foolish. As well, it gives us the all-important doctrine of the rapture of the church.
I believe the rapture of the church is about ready to happen. There are no more biblical prophecies left to be fulfilled, which means that it could happen at any moment. But it grieves me that this great doctrine of the Bible is not really preached from behind most pulpits in this country, and I’m beginning to wonder if it is even believed by those pastoring youth groups and churches. Some have even gone so far as calling those who do believe in the rapture, as I do, as having an “escapist” mentality. Think about that for a moment. To call a person who is looking for the rapture as having an escapist mentality is to call the rapture a fairy tale. In response, my question is this: do you believe in the resurrection? Of course they would answer with an emphatic yes. Well, if a person believes in the resurrection, then he should believe in the rapture, because the two events are one in the same—two words that refer to the same event.
The Ten Virgins
The ten virgins in Matthew 25 refer to people who have accepted Christ as their Lord and Saviour. They have been cleansed from all sin, redeemed from all unrighteousness, and delivered from the grip of Satan—they represent the church today.
Each virgin carried with her a lamp, and she was supposed to carry oil along with it. This spoke of each virgin as being responsible for her own planning; she was to make sure she had enough oil for her lamp.
Now, the Bible tells us that five virgins were looked at as wise, and five were looked at as foolish. Why?
As mentioned, each virgin not only carried her lamp but was supposed to carry also enough oil to keep it lit continually. The light in the lamps refers to the light of Christ, which means now that we have been born again, saved, redeemed, justified, and delivered, we have the light of Christ living within us and shining outwardly.
Matthew 5 says we have been chosen by God as the light of the world. Christ is the Light, and we are reflections of that light, which is to shine so that others can be drawn to the Lord Jesus Christ. Outwardly, these virgins were all the same. The difference, as we’ll soon see, was in their character.
The Five Foolish Virgins
The Holy Spirit labeled five virgins foolish because they took no extra supply of oil; they only had that which was in their lamps. Oil, as outlined in the Word of God, is a symbol and type of the Holy Spirit. When an individual is saved, the Holy Spirit resides on the inside of that person (Jn. 14:15-18; 16:4-16), and because of this, the Holy Spirit will lead us and guide us into all truth, which is Christ and Him crucified.
As well, it is natural for the light that now resides in that heart and life to burn bright. This is not the same as being filled with the Spirit, but rather born of the Spirit—what we call being born again. However, as great as our salvation experience is, the second greatest happening for someone who is saved should be the baptism with the Holy Spirit. This is where the extra oil comes into play. The Holy Spirit functions in our lives and designed that we have many fillings, extra fillings. It is a supply that will not last forever, only a short time, and that is why we need the extra oil for our lamps, so that our lamps burn bright continually.
Tragically, for many Christians across this nation—and the world—the oil of their lives has long since burned out, and there have been no refillings. They have become a spiritual desert and experienced something called “spiritual burn-out.” This happens when a Christian strives with all of his might, power, strength, and ability to live for God, but he cannot seem to overcome the sin nature ruling in his life. He loves God with all of his heart and life, but he’s trying to live for God through the means of self-effort, which, in all honesty, God can never accept. God only accepts faith—faith anchored in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The light begins by shining bright, but because there have been no refillings and no extra oil to fill their lamps, the oil runs out, which means the lamps begin to go out. Soon the light is extinguished, which would result in loss of the soul.
Others try and live off of their old blessings—what took place yesterday, or last week. The emphasis here should be obvious: the Holy Spirit wants us to understand that it is not what happened yesterday, but what we need today.
Please understand that I am not demeaning what took place yesteryear. We have what we have today because of the great outpourings of the Holy Spirit that took place in certain parts of this nation that literally shook this world. But I do want you to understand that we cannot live off of past blessings. We need fresh manna from heaven for today. We need a fresh touch to face the trials that are before us. This is where having and experiencing a fresh refilling is needed. Every morning, when I seek the face of God, I use my prayer language, and I have noticed that there are times when my prayer language changes, and I am refilled with the Holy Spirit, and that provides strength, rest, and refreshing for the journey ahead (Is. 28:12). Never stop at the initial filling. Ask the Lord daily to refill you, for there is enough oil to be poured out on His children, which never will run dry.
Three Major Themes
The rapture of the church is right around the corner, and this parable given to us by the Lord Jesus Christ stresses three major themes: faithfulness, watchfulness, and consecration. These three major themes are lacking in much of the church world today. In fact, Jesus spoke of this very moment in Revelation 3:14-22, as He spoke to John the Beloved concerning the Laodicean church. He told them, “So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot (if a person is lukewarm toward something, it means he hasn’t rejected it, but at the same time he has by no means accepted it; in the mind of God, a tepid response is equal to a negative response), I will spew you out of My mouth.” (There is no prospect of repentance here on the part of this church, or restoration. In fact, there is divine rejection.) (Rev. 3:16, The Expositor’s Study Bible).
The five foolish virgins had the outward show and the outward form of faith, in other words, they had the appearance of faith, but in reality, it was all an outward show. And because of this, they lost their chance to be with the bridegroom, which means they lost their souls.
Dear reader, the time for your salvation is now. The Bridegroom—Jesus Christ—is coming. The rapture of the church is right around the corner, and you must make your calling and election sure. Today is the day of salvation! All of your chances to make it right are on this side of eternity. Make it right today.
This article will be continued in the next issue of The Evangelist.
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