The Midnight Cry

Matthew 25  •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 5
Listen from:
Matt. 25
The whole professing church went out to meet the bridegroom in the beginning. Then as to the return of the bridegroom, “all slumbered and slept.” During this century there has been a considerable awakening, both as to the blessed Person of the Bridegroom and His coming again. Still the midnight state of Christendom’s darkness may not yet have been reached.
At present the foolish virgins are saying, Peace and safety. And we read, “For when they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” It is · further explained, concerning, the wise virgins, who have oil in their vessels: “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.” (1 Thess. 5:1-101But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 7For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 8But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. 9For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 10Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. (1 Thessalonians 5:1‑10).) Surely all this throws great light, yea, is the explanation of the parable.
What do we find at this moment? A great many Christians have been awaked from sleep. They do not sleep as do others who profess to be Christians. The light of the Morning Star has shone into their hearts. The Redeemer Bridegroom has been revealed to them, in all His yearning love for His bride. No longer is He the angry Judge to them. He assures them He will soon come and receive them to Himself. The Holy Ghost dwells in them; they have oil in their vessels. “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come.” They are not in the darkness, but in the light; they are not asleep, but awake and watching. They know perfectly well all that is coming on this earth.
There is another company. Oh, how many! These are in midnight darkness, or, rejecting the light, they are fast sinking into midnight darkness. So ignorant are they of all that is coming on this earth, that they are mixing with, yea, foremost in, this world’s politics. They refuse to hear the voice of God in His word. They doubt and then deny that it is God’s word. They will try to believe what man says; what God says they will not hear. Yet they profess to bear the holy name of Christ, but they have no oil in the vessel; no salvation, no peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; no redemption through His precious blood; no certainty, for their poor dark souls, beyond death. Now mark, whilst these are asleep in darkness, dreaming of evolution and progress, peace and safety, it will be sudden destruction. At midnight there was a cry made.
If we think of the deepening darkness during the last ten years, that point of darkness——the end—cannot be far distant. Think how many thousands of professing Christians have, during those ten years, become leavened with infidelity; can we wonder that these are throwing in their lot with the men of lawlessness, of murder, and robbery, in Ireland; and conscience too fast asleep to be disturbed? Can this last long? Must not the crisis come? Oh, watchman, what of the night? How long to this world’s deepest darkness? And still they say, Peace and safety!
But the sudden crash will come, the sudden destruction will come. Oh, that we had a heart like Jesus, to weep as He wept over Jerusalem. In the days of Noah the flood came at last, after long waiting. When Lot had left Sodom, the fire and the brimstone fell. And this brings us to another aspect of the parable. We must remember that Matthew contains much instruction for the Jews, and does not speak of the rapture of the church. But we learn from other scriptures that the wise virgins, in the sense of true Christians, will be taken first, before the midnight crash of this poor deceived world, and hence before the judgment on those who bear the name of Christ—the empty vessels without oil. So that there is a time of separation, when those that are ready went in with Him to the marriage, and the terrible judgment on those to whom the door was shut.
How sudden the alarm! how sudden the awakening to the awful reality! But too late! Oh, it may be that in one hour God shall speak, by what means the Spirit is pleased to use—He may raise up an Elias, or He may speak by a little paper like this. Or the distress of all nations may be so manifest as to awake the whole professing church, that sudden destruction is at the doors.
But contemplate the closing scene of this day of grace: the door shut; the church gone in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye; the foolish multitude is given up to delusion that they all may be damned. “Sudden destruction cometh upon them.”(2 Thess. 2:11, 1211And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:11‑12).)
No doubt the midnight cry will awake all the true Christians, should any be still asleep, as at present many are, as fast asleep as in the middle ages of Christianity. It will be to their sad loss that they have refused to search the scriptures.
This is certain at the close. The Spirit and the bride say, Come. The whole redeemed bride of Christ shall be ready to meet the Bridegroom. Beloved reader, to which of these companies do you belong? To the sleepers without oil, or to those who wait ready to go in to the wedding? Oh, for more waiting and longing to see the Lord! He says, “I come quickly.” It may be the midnight cry was given fifty years ago, and soon will come the midnight crash. There is still a little time to look to the lamp. How soon it may be forever too late! Blessed to be a light-bearer waiting for the Lord. C. S.