The Ten Virgins

Matthew 25:1‑13
Matthew 25:1-131Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9But 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. 10And 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. 11Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. (Matthew 25:1‑13)MAT 25:1-131Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9But 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. 10And 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. 11Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. (Matthew 25:1‑13)>
From the parable before us of the ten virgins we necessarily perceive that there are those who, though associated with the people of God in profession and outwardly appearing to belong to them, are not in reality alive to God. They appear to be looking for His coming, but they are not longing to behold Him, or to go in with Him to the marriage. It is not the earnest desire of their hearts to behold Him as He is; their souls have not gone forth, crying,
“Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly." They more resemble those servants who exclaimed,
“My Lord delayeth His coming," and then followed on in their own pleasure. But they know not the delight, the joy, the heavenly happiness of waiting in longing expectation to see His face, and dwell with Him forever!
But we have in this account of the ten virgins an evidence of the extent to which even outward profession may go. Though there were but five wise, yet they all went forth to meet the bridegroom-yes, ostensibly for the same purpose, "they all went forth." They were alike in companionship; they all had the lamps of profession. In what then did they differ? In this: they had not just the one thing, the only thing, that fitted them to receive the bridegroom. They were without the light wherewith to usher in the Lord; they wanted the very thing which alone could make them suitable companions for the Master; namely, the participation of the divine nature, the impartation of light, the indwelling of God the Holy Ghost. They wanted the fixedness of the affections wrought in the soul by the oil of gladness, wise virgins, and which waited but for the appearance of the bridegroom to emanate in a flame of glory.
This was what they wanted; this is what the believer has; and this it is that makes the mighty difference between him and the world.
“At midnight the cry came:" the heavenly virgins arose. Though conscious of much weakness in themselves, they rise at the cry of their beloved; for there is that in them which answers to the cry. The foolish virgins trimmed their lamps; but their lamps failed to burn! And is there no remedy then? None! According to the Savior's awful declaration:
Here finishes the total distinction between the tares and the wheat. Now is it openly seen that their objects, hopes, and associations were totally different-opposite and irreconcilable. One is of the world, the other of God; one is quickened by Christ, the other is reserved to be burned.
And why are the wheat still spared, but as witnesses of the grace of our Lord; to display to the world the image of Him, whose they are, and whom they serve; to manifest the inseparable union existing between them and their glorious Head, as He said Himself, "that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them as Thou has loved Me"? John 17:2323I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. (John 17:23).
And are you, believers, thus distinguished in the midst of a world judged guilty of the crime of rejecting the Lord of glory, and turning Him out of the world? You are walking in a condemned world, on which sentence has been passed, but the execution of it is still averted, until the last of Christ's saints is gathered into the garner. Are you conscious of this, and yet are you, can you, be living in association of pursuits, feelings, desires, or appearance with them? The believer's delight is the Lord's glory. Where is the Lord's glory-in an association in any way with His enemies? No. The saint that looks with delight to his Lord's coming, is one with Him in feeling and desire-the Lord's will is his.
Now do you contemplate the time when He will come to receive you to Himself, and when subsequently all that offends Him shall be swept away, and His own shall reign with Him? Can you contemplate with delight that period, when all that oppose the truth of God, everything that you now behold belonging to the World, shall be destroyed by the brightness of His coming, shall be consumed by the breath of His mouth? Al things that offend shall no longer dwell there.
This is the saint's whole delight; this is what he is looking and longing for, and hastening unto, namely, the coming of the Lord. Is this your personal desire? Is this your habitual experience? Then are you crying,
“Tarry not; come, Lord Jesus: even so, Amen"?
Then are you aiming at greater meetness for your heavenly Master and Bridegroom? and are you trimming your lamps to have them in readiness to meet and light your Lord when He shall appear?
Let this be your desire, your joy, your delight: that you may be found watching and waiting to go in unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.