What will it be like when Christ appears? Where will I be? What will I be doing? Will I be surprised? Will I be ready? These and other questions can fill our thoughts as we contemplate the return of Christ. We live in a time of exponential change. Our world changes daily and we dont know what will come next. Yet, there is a constant in the universe, a promise which Jesus made to all those who look for His appearing. Regardless of crisis, hardship, peace or prosperity, there is coming a day when this world, as we know it, will finish up, and be re-created by our Lord Jesus at the time of His appearing. In the mean time, there is this question of readiness: will we be ready at His appearing? Even within this question there are two possible scenarios: He will appear at the end of time, or He will appear to us at the end of our time on earth. Both require the same sense of readiness.
Today we will look at the importance of being ready for the kingdom. And while we know about Christs appearing at the end of time, today we will make a double application of this truth to help us understand the significance and the urgency of being ready for the Kingdom.
The Setting: Then
1. They all had lamps and they all went out to meet the bridegroom.
2. Five wise and five foolish.
3. The foolish took their lamp but took nothing to sustain them.
a. They probably expected the bridegroom to come quickly.
4. The wise took extra oil with them to sustain their fires.
a. They brought something along to sustain the fire in them.
5. They all slumbered and slept.
6. The bridegroom came at a very late hour.
7. They all rose to adjust their lamps.
8. Now the foolish find themselves short on what they need.
9. There was not enough oil that one person could share hers with another.
10. While they went to replenish their oil, the bridegroom came, and the ready ones went in to the wedding, and the door was shut and locked.
11. The others came later and found themselves locked out, disqualified.
12. They came too late and were denounced as unknown to the bridegroom.
1. There is an honest question to be asked concerning our own state of readiness to meet the Lord either at death or at His return.
2. We have to have our own oil in order to have a fire to meet the bridegroom.
a. To not be ready for the appearance of the bridegroom was an insult to the relatives of both bride and groom.
b. We must do whatever is necessary to be ready to meet the bridegroom when he comes. Matthew 24:37-39.
i. Noah worked the whole time on the very thing that would save him and his family.
1. Some Bible teachers think it was a hundred years.
Genesis 5:32 to Genesis 6:22.
2. We all need an ark to work on while we are on this earth.
a. Our relationship with Christ is that ark.
3. Dont be caught unaware by waiting until the last minute to make sure you have enough oil in your lamp.
a. There is a limited time in which to ready ones self.
4. There is a time to act and a time to pray. There will come a time when it is too late. Matthew 7:21-27; Luke 13:24-30.
a. The Kingdom of God is available for a set amount of time.
5. The issue here is true relationship with Jesus. 2 Corinthians 6:2.
1. Our relationship with God. Will we be ready when He comes?
a. How do we get ready?
i. Repent: Surrender your life completely to Christ.
ii. Settle in your heart that you will follow Christ all the days of your life.
iii. Remember, we can keep one foot in the Kingdom and one foot in the world.
iv. Understand that Gods plan for your life wont match your plan.
1. This helps to avoid dissatisfaction in serving Christ.
b. How do I stay ready for the Kingdom?
i. Take Steps to sustain the fire within you.
1. Confess sin quickly.
2. Obey immediately.
3. Follow willingly.
4. Love thoroughly.
5. Trust completely.
6. Stay in fellowship with other believers.
7. Feed regularly on Gods Word.
8. PRAY, PRAY, PRAY!
2. Our lamp burns only when the bridegroom is present. Will our fire burn when Christ shows up? Will we be available to the Holy Spirit when He wants us to do something?
The choices we make now, and from now on in our lives will result, according to the parable, in one of two designationseither foolish or wise. Lets exercise care in how we choose. Our choices will have eternal consequences and results.
1. How is my ark? Have I worked on it lately?
2. What steps will I take to help me be ready for the Kingdom of God?