by Pastor Greg Laurie
Ready or Not!
"So stay awake and be prepared, because you do not know the day or hour of my return." Matthew 25:13
We have all played the childhood game, Hide-and-Seek, where one person closes his or her eyes while the others hide. My favorite part of the game comes after you count to 20 and get to yell, "Ready or not, here I come!"
In a sense, that is what Jesus is saying in the Parable of the 10 Bridesmaids: "Ready or not, here I come!" In this parable, Jesus compares His second coming to 10 bridesmaids who "took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom" (Matthew 25:1). Five of the bridesmaids had oil in their lamps and were ready. The other five had no oil in their lamps and weren't prepared to meet the bridegroom. While the five unprepared bridesmaids went to buy oil at the last minute, the bridegroom appeared and took everyone who was ready in with him to the marriage feast. Suddenly, the five unprepared bridesmaids found themselves locked out and saying, "Sir, open the door for us!" (verse 11). But the bridegroom could only reply, "I don't know you!" (verse 12).
This parable is a warning to be ready for the Lord's return. You might describe it as a wake-up call from God. There are people today who have no oil in their lamps. In other words, they have not committed their lives to Jesus Christ.
If God in His grace and His love has spoken to your heart and is saying, "You need to make some changes. You need to rearrange your priorities. You need to walk more closely with Me," then make those changes now. Don't put off a commitment to Christ until it is too late. Like the five bridesmaids discovered, there are certain things you cannot obtain at the last minute.
Copyright (c) 2004 by Harvest Ministries.
All rights reserved. Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright (c) 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.