ARE YOU A FOOLISH VIRGIN?
- (Matt 25:1-12) Then shall the kingdom
of heaven be likened to ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to
meet the bridegroom.
2 And five of
them were wise, and five were foolish.
3 They that were
foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
4 But the wise
took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
5 While the
bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
6 And at
midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet
7 Then all those
virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
8 And the
foolish said to the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
9 But the wise
answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go you
rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
10 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.
11 Afterward came
also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
12 But he
answered and said, Truly I say to you, I know you not.
Are you the kind of foolish virgin about whom Jesus speaks in the
previous allegory? (Below, we are going to use the term convert to mean this
kind of a person.) In other words, are you a person who wants to be a
Christian, perhaps attends church meetings, but does not have any "oil in
his lamp", in other words, no spiritual life in your heart? Are you, in
other words, only a nominal Christian, do you have external Christian habits in
your life, but have really not been born again and experienced a living faith?
It really is possible that if
God has not had the chance to awaken us, we are just these kinds of people. We
can have all the external signs of Christianity, we may have turned away from
certain sins, and we might think that we are on our way to Heaven, even though
we are in fact going just the opposite direction. This is possible if we have
not yet seen our true condition and the need for salvation in the light of God.
For example, Oswald J. Smith
who met a lot of people during his long career as a preacher has written about
this. He says that many people who thought that everything was okay in their
lives, did really not have a good understanding on how a person is saved:
Everywhere I go, I meet people who live
by the wrong experiences and lean upon the wrong foundation, believing that
they have been saved even though they have not been saved. Thousands and thousands
of members of churches, hundreds of so-called Christians confess that they
cannot tell the foundations of their heavenly hope. They think that in their
lives everything is well; they think that they are ready to face God, but when
asked a few simple questions their answers reveal that they are as ignorant
about salvation as are the heathens of Africa. Satan has blinded their eyes,
blocked their ears and darkened their understanding, so that they would not
realize their mistake and turn to God. A night almost as black as coal covers
their souls, and the enemy’s task is to hold them in this condition. Many of
them are active employees of churches, faithful members of boards and
associations, good, moral, and honest in their lives, but - unsaved. (1)
So that you would not remain in the condition of
uncertainty as comes to the matter of your salvation, we are going to study
this issue a little below. We will try to clarify how a convert - in other
words, religiousness without Christ as a whole - comprehends salvation and what
the life of a convert is like. We will also try to indicate in the light of the
Bible how this kind of a person can be released from the foundation of lies
that is common in religiousness. Perhaps you who do not yet have "oil in
your lamp" can find salvation though these thoughts.