Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
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. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. (Matthew 25:1-13)
The setting for this wedding parable is Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 24 on the events of the second coming and the end of the Age. The parable is an extension of the teaching, which happens to be the most complete version of Jesus’ teaching on the end times.
Jesus warned us to make sure we are ready, alert and waiting for his coming, even if it comes at a late hour. The LORD comes to us as a thief in the night.
Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. (Matthew 24:42-44)
He warns the church further of the implications of denying the Imminency of the LORD’s return, which has a very definite spiritual and moral implication.
But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. ( Matthew 24:48-51)
Notice that he calls it “evil” to say, “My LORD delays his coming”. Christians are to be in a state of constant preparedness, and to make sure their discipleship is current and ongoing. In the epistle to the Hebrews chapter 10, we are told, “Not to forsake the assembling of ourselves as the habit of some, especially as we see the day draw near…”. James tells us, “The Judge is even at the door”. Hebrews 10 again, also exhorts us, “For Yet a little while, He that is coming shall come and shall not delay…”.
The very definition of true conversion and repentance, according to the Apostle Paul, involves expecting the LORD to return, and longing for it,
For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.( I Thessalonians 1:9-10)
Paul encourages us again in Titus to keep steadfast on the “Blessed Hope” , which is the appearing of our Savior,
“Looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus” (Titus 2:13).
We are hurtling towards the time of the Marriage feast of the Lamb, which is the hope and joy of the church, and has been down through the centuries. Persecuted Christians have longed for it, as have all of those who have forsaken the rotting vainglory of this present world. We long for the appearing of the Savior, the Epiphany of the LORD of Glory, even the apocalypse of the Redeemer from Heaven. Soon the God of Peace shall crush Satan under our feet! Maranatha!