“Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. The five who were foolish didn’t take enough olive oil for their lamps, but the other five were wise enough to take along extra oil. When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. “At midnight they were roused by the shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is coming! Come out and meet him!’ “All the bridesmaids got up and prepared their lamps. Then the five foolish ones asked the others, ‘Please give us some of your oil because our lamps are going out.’ “But the others replied, ‘We don’t have enough for all of us. Go to a shop and buy some for yourselves.’ “But while they were gone to buy oil, the bridegroom came. Then those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked. Later, when the other five bridesmaids returned, they stood outside, calling, ‘Lord! Lord! Open the door for us!’ “But he called back, ‘Believe me, I don’t know you!’ “So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return.” Matthew 25:1-13 NLT
For a moment imagine that you are one of those foolish bridesmaids. Imagine begging the master to get in but Jesus says to you, “I don’t know you.” Horrifying isn’t it? This will be the fate of many. Jesus warns us to be ready so it won’t be you and me.
How often do we see the attitude of the foolish bridesmaids? Ten of them were going to meet the bridegroom to be in his wedding. Five were foolish not to bring enough oil for their lamps. They didn’t prepare. And their lack of preparation cost them dearly. It showed the way they really felt about this grand occasion. Being bestowed with the honor of being in the bridegroom’s wedding wasn’t important to them. If it was they would have prepared themselves and planned ahead like the five wise bridesmaids. These were determined not to miss this occasion for nothing in the world. So they made sure they were ready. But the foolish ones were not and found themselves on the outside.
THE WEDDING FEAST OF THE LAMB
“And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” And he added, “These are true words that come from God.” Revelation 19:9 NLT
Do we recognize the importance of what we have been invited to; the wedding feast of the Lamb in heaven? Do we know how blessed we are because of this? Or are we like the five foolish bridesmaids? They wanted to be a part of the wedding (who wouldn’t want to live in heaven forever) but they did not care to make the proper preparations. They were nonchalant. Imagine you have a wedding, and on your wedding day your best man or bridesmaid arrives in filthy clothe. On top of that they are drunk, loud and boisterous. What would you think of that person? Do you know that we can look the same way to God? We have been invited to the greatest ceremony ever; the wedding feast or marriage of the Lamb. And the bridegroom is Jesus Christ Himself. We the church (every believer) are His bride. We’ve been individually and collectively invited to live with Him and rule with Jesus forever! Is not that the ultimate experience for us? Shouldn’t we want to be ready?
“Then I heard again what sounded like the shout of a vast crowd or the roar of mighty ocean waves or the crash of loud thunder: “Praise the LORD! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. Let us be glad and rejoice, and let us give honor to him. For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb, and his bride has prepared herself. She has been given the finest of pure white linen to wear.” For the fine linen represents the good deeds of God’s holy people. And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” And he added, “These are true words that come from God.” Revelation 19:6-9 NLT
Though we know we can never earn salvation because it is a free gift from God (Ephesians 2:8-9), there are still things God wants us to do:
“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.” Philippians 2:12-16 NIV
“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:5-8 NIV
“Be dressed for service and keep your lamps burning, as though you were waiting for your master to return from the wedding feast. Then you will be ready to open the door and let him in the moment he arrives and knocks. The servants who are ready and waiting for his return will be rewarded. I tell you the truth, he himself will seat them, put on an apron, and serve them as they sit and eat! He may come in the middle of the night or just before dawn. But whenever he comes, he will reward the servants who are ready. “Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would not permit his house to be broken into. You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.” Luke 12:35-40 NLT
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