by David Brenneman
Matthew 25:1-30 NASB "Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the groom. Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. For when the foolish took their lamps, they did not take extra oil with them; but the prudent ones took oil in flasks with their lamps. Now while the groom was delaying, they all became drowsy and began to sleep. But at midnight there finally was a shout: ‘Behold, the groom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. But the foolish virgins said to the prudent ones, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’ However, the prudent ones answered, ‘No, there most certainly would not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’ But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the groom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. Yet later, the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ Be on the alert then, because you do not know the day nor the hour.
For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. The one who had received the five talents immediately went and did business with them, and earned five more talents. In the same way the one who had received the two talents earned two more. But he who received the one talent went away and dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have earned five more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter the joy of your master.’ Also the one who had received the two talents came up and said, ‘Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have earned two more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter the joy of your master.’ Now the one who had received the one talent also came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed. And I was afraid, so I went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you still have what is yours.’ But his master answered and said to him, ‘You worthless, lazy slave! Did you know that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter seed? Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. Therefore: take the talent away from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’ For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. And throw the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
When I was being taught, a long time ago, that when reading in the Bible if you saw a "therefore" to stop and back up to find out what the therefore is there for.
When Jesus is repeating then we need to pay attention to why He was repeating. In the Old Testament this morning I was in Leviticus, seeing the requirments for verious types of offerings before the Lord and what was and wasn't to happen. Was wondering why so many? The answer seems to be because of the same thing we read in another place in the Bible: so that every man will be without excuse when they stand before the Lord.
Jesus, the more I consider what I read, probably didn't make up these stories. Just like the Rich man and Lazarus. It's quite probable that these were pulled out of history. If indeed we subscribe to that passage about everyone being without excuse...these are but a few that WILL have been used or brought up by someone at some point in history.
Was also reading last night...in an earlier segment in the same book of Matthew in my Life Principles Daily Bible. One of Dr. Stanley's comments in regards to something about these stories is simple: Always be ready. Always be living a life that, should Jesus appear right now, that you won't be ashamed at His busting open the door.
Essentially that's what the Rapture will be like. Busting open the door. Physical bodies will be rejuvinated and restored, without the curse of sin upon them. They will be reunited with the soul-spirit of those who have died in Christ. Then those of us who are alive and remain, our physical bodies will be transformed as well and then we will all, sin-free, be joining Jesus to forever be with Him. No more pains, no more sickness, no more worries, no more of anything that sin brought about in the human life experience. Gone. Busting open the door. That phrase just came to me when I think about the Rapture and compare it to the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus indeed cried out "It is FINISHED!" and breathed His last and while His body was here, His soul and the Spirit went to Paradise. He busted open that door too. He arrives in Paradise and everyone from Adam to that thief that was with Him on the cross are rejoicing to meet Him. Those who wrote of him like Moses, Samuel, Daniel, Isaiah, and others are esctatic about what's going on because they KNOW. The Scriptures say He led captive a host of captives. They were captives in the sense that upon death they, because of their belief in the Savior to come, had but one place to go for their spirit. Once there they were captive, they couldn't leave. No more than those who chose to reject God can't leave the other side of Sheole. They are captive there until the day of Judgment.
Jesus, after 3 days, busted open those gates again, taking Paradise with Him and all who were in it. Their spirit/souls were free from there to go be with Jesus.
He kept that promise of doing that, that had been written of Him. Jesus ALWAYS keeps His promises. His promises are in accordance with the will of His Father.
He's not going to promise health, wealth and prosperity ahead of the will of His Father.
We're to be ready for the very reasons that Jesus said...because we know not the hour in which He will be told "it's time...bring my children home." by His Father.
What we read in even these two parables is a gambit of excuses and emotions. People who put fear ahead of obedience, people who never considered the timing of the return. They weren't ready. The one was so afraid of what MIGHT be that he didn't do anything with what little he was entrusted with.
EVERYONE is entrusted with an element of faith in God. What we choose to do with it determines whether or not it's invested in ourselves and others.
What you do today, maybe even in this very hour, can determine whether or not you are going to be ready or embarrassed at the return of Jesus.
My Grandfather was found with his Bible opened. To me that's one powerful way to leave this world. Another friend had been writing another paper for to help train up others in Christ...and that night had passed on to be with His Savior.
Still others that I know, weren't ready in the slightest when God said their time on this Earth was up. They stood up for coffee and fell dead on the floor a second later. Know of others who died in a boat fire decades ago who probably never saw that coming either. My own trip a few decades ago now on my way to work. I'm convinced that Satan was trying to harm me. God stopped a semi truck. Damage to me was extremely mild and the healing from it pushed me foward in my faith. The damage to the truck...it was most certainly totalled.
We want to be found by Jesus DOING what He commissioned us to be doing when He left this world until this appointed time.
We want to be in a right relationship with Jesus, saved by grace, and not of ourselves.
We want to be showing the world Jesus, and not us.
We want to be what we were transformed to be in Christ Jesus...even if the world hates us for it.
Take a good look at the world around you...it's NOT getting any better. If anything it's moving towards the events that the Bible said would happen to mankind in preparation for the return of Jesus and the setting in motion of what's in the book of Revelation. National and international politics are being shifted around to pave the way for a one-world government. Everything from so-called climate change to your cell phone are being manipulated towards that end. You essentially cannot record even private thoughts on a computer that's connected to the internet anymore. The goal of the shift of things to to gain control of people's lives. So that when THE antichrist is on the scene, he can control the masses. "Oh I would never..." you may be thinking. If you're still here after the return of Jesus...you will have two choices...coming to your senses and asking Jesus to be your Savior now that you know what He said was REAL, OR you join in with the rest of the world in rebellion against God and face those consequences of the judgments to come. You will NOT be able to sit on the sidelines. You will either worship God or worship this world leader. We see elements in this new push in society where it's not enough to agree with someone else's thinking you have to PROVE that you agree with their way of thinking. That's shades of what's to come.
I'm oh so ready for Jesus to come back even this morning, even in the next few minutes. Are you?
Are you one of the foolish we read about that thought that day was way off down the road?
Are you one of those who are so afraid of what God MIGHT have you do that you are trying to hide out until its over? Which is foolishness in itself because there is NO hiding out from what's to come upon this world.
Are you one of those who is being a doer of the Word of God? Even in the small things?
Are you promoting things of this world rather than pointing people to Jesus? We who are in Christ are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our mind, all our soul and all our strength. The second commandment Jesus said was like it...love your neighbor as yourself. With God's Word all means all and that's all all means. It means saying to to what amounts to idolatry. It means saying no to self when the Spirit says to talk to someone about Jesus. It means saying no to much, but what we gain in return far outweighs it.
Andrew told his brother Peter that he'd found the Messiah, the Christ, and to come and see for himself. What of you? Can you do even that much? It's NOT on any one of us to save anyone else. Jesus saves...we just arrange the introduction. We don't clean up the lives of others, Jesus and the Spirit do that. That's in the power of the blood of Jesus that was shed for the remission of sins. Jesus saves...we do not. The Bible doesn't record Jesus saying to come to Him and any one of His associates and be saved. Our salvation is in Christ alone. He is the one who took our sins upon Him and it was He who bled and died on a cross He didn't need to be on for any other reason than to save people.
Jesus is coming, we're to be ready. Are you? In what you do, how you spend your time, your money, your life...is it showing you investing in what God's doing in this world? If not...it's time to rethink before you ARE embarrassed at His appearing.
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