By Jimmy R. Mickells
In Matthew chapter 24, Jesus had been discussing with His disciples, the destruction of the temple in the city of Jerusalem and also His second coming. Then in chapter 25, He relates two parables to them about being prepared for His coming and then discusses what will happen when He returns. The first parable is the one about the ten virgins, five wise and five foolish (Matthew 25:1-3). There are some extremely needed and also some very valuable lessons in this brief story for us. Let me suggest to you three that are very obvious.
Be prepared. In verse 6, we read, “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!” The way we prepare is by serving our Lord each day. The next parable stated in Matthew 25 is the one about the talents (vv. 14-30). Three men were each given talents to use for their master, one was given five, another two, and the other individual was given one. They were all expected to use what they had been blessed with. When he came to his servants to settle the accounts only two had used the money given to gain more. The one talent man had hid what had been given him and had gained nothing. The Lord called him a wicked and lazy servant. This man was not prepared. Are you prepared? If you are not using your God given abilities to serve Him you are unprepared.
Be adequately prepared. Each of the ten virgins had made some preparations. They all went out to meet the bride groom; they all took their lamps; they all had oil in their lamps. Yet the five virgins that were said to be foolish had taken no extra oil. I know a good number of people that have made some preparations for the coming of the Lord. They have obeyed the gospel, attend some of the worship services of the church, read their Bible occasionally, etc. There is one thing they are faithful in, their unfaithfulness. The Lord expects us to be faithful in serving Him. Toward the end of Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians, he said, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). Jesus, in writing to the church at Ephesus, said, “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). Are you sufficiently prepared?
We never know when the Lord will return. This was the message that Jesus wanted His disciples to understand. “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming” (v. 13). Not only can the Lord return at any time, death can knock at our door as well. It matters not how old or young one is; the grim reaper shows no partiality. We are made keenly aware of this when we read the obituary in the paper. Some die at a very old age and yet others are taken in the prime of life. This is why it is so important that we make adequate preparation; we never know when He will return or when death will call.
Are you prepared for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ? Are you adequately prepared? The apostle Peter said, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10). Listen to Paul’s warning, “and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10).