“Emmanuel’s Coming Part 3” – Matthew 25:1-13

July 17th, 2016

Matthew 25:1-13

“Emmanuel’s Coming Pt 3”

Auxiliary Text: 2 Corinthians 13:5-10)

Call to Worship from: Psa 139


Service Orientation: We need to ask Jesus to search our hearts and minds to be assured we are not deceiving ourselves and that we are truly trusting in Jesus. Only a foolish moron would not make sure their hearts were prepared to joyfully embrace the second coming of Jesus.


Bible Memory Verse for the Week:  You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”  —Luke 12:40


Background Information:

  • The three parables recorded in 24:45-25:30 belong together and should be studied together. The observation is correct that the first deals with both faithfulness and wisdom, the second with wisdom alone, and the third with faithfulness alone.  The first is intended especially for the ministers of the church, the second and the third for all her members:  the second dealing with the spiritual life, the third with spiritual gifts and good works.  In the first the hypocrites are exposed; in the second, the formal Christians; in the third, the slothful Christians.  (R.C. Lenski, The Interpretation of St. Matthew’s Gospel, 961)
  • If there is a passage that can contend with that warning from Matthew 7 for sheer terrorizing power, it is the parable of the wise and foolish virgins, which we encounter in the first few verses of Matthew 25. (RC Sproul, St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary: Matthew, 718)
  • (v. 1) John the Baptist had previously called Jesus the bridegroom and referred to himself as the best man (see Jn 3:27-30). This image was built upon the language of the OT prophets (see Isa 54:5; Jer 3:13, 20; 31:32; Ez 16:32; Hos 1:2, 3; 2:2, 7, 16; and the Song of Solomon).  Jesus also used this picture in Mt 9:15 and 22:1-14.  Nor should we overlook the fact that Jesus performed his first miracle at the wedding of Cana (see Jn 2:1-11).  All of which enriches our reading of Eph 5:21-33.  (G. J. and M. J. Albrecht, The People’s Bible: Matthew, 357-8)
  • (v. 1) The overwhelming report of Scripture in both the OT and NT is that the Church is the Bride of Christ. (Bk of Song of Solomon; Ez 16:7-34; Bk of Hosea; Mt 22:1-14; Jn 3:27-30; 2 Cor 11:2; Eph 5:21-33; Rv 19:1-9; 21:1-9 among many other references)
  • (v. 1) The number ten is not accidental but symbolical. It denotes completeness.  Thus we have Ten Commandments, ten talents (25:28), ten pieces of silver (Lk 15:8), ten servants, ten pounds, ten cities (Lk 19:13-17), an instrument of ten strings (Ps 33:2), at least ten families needed to establish a synagogue, and ten persons for a funeral procession.  These ten virgins represent all the followers of Christ during all the ages.  All of them “shall be made like to” these ten virgins when the Parousia of Christ occurs.  (R.C. Lenski, The Interpretation of St. Matthew’s Gospel, 963)
  • (v. 1) The portable torches for outdoor use (the word is not the same as that used for a standing domestic lamp in 5:15 and 6:22) would be bundles of cloth mounted on a carrying stick and soaked with oil. The jars held the oil into which the torch was dipped before lighting.  A torch without a jar of oil was as useless as a modern flashlight without a battery.  (R.T. France, The New International Commentary on the NT: Matthew, 948-9)
  • (v. 1) Everyone was required to carry his or her own “lamp;” those who didn’t have one were considered party crashers–those who had not been invited. (Bruce Barton, Life Application Bible Commentary: Matthew, 487)
  • (v. 2) I believe that the ten virgins represent the two great classes which compose the visible church of Christ: the converted and the unconverted–the spurious believers and the real Christians–the hypocrites and the true believers–the foolish builders and the wise builders–the good fish and the bad–the living and the dead–the wheat and the weeds.  (J.C. Ryle, The Crossway Classic Commentaries: Matthew, 239)
  • (v. 2) These virgins were a picture of those who, at least outwardly, were His followers. By extension, they are representative of church members, of those who profess to believe in and trust Him, people who consider themselves to be Christians, loyal disciples of Jesus.  But as we will see, although all ten virgins were in the bridal party and all ten of them went out to meet the groom, there was a huge difference among them, and so there is a huge distinguishing feature among church members.  Jesus spoke of wheat and tares growing in the same field (13:24-30), and there were wheat and tares among these ten virgins, just as there are wheat and tares in every church.  (RC Sproul, St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary: Matthew, 719)
  • (v. 2) The NIV term for the “foolish” virgins is taken from the Greek word “moros” from which we get the English word moron.
  • (v. 2) I think that the translators’ selections of the English words here were motivated at least in part by sensitivity, because the other possible translations of the Greek words are “sensible” and “stupid.” In my view, we might as well translate it correctly–five of these virgins were stupid.  (RC Sproul, St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary: Matthew, 719)
  • (v. 3) It was as if they had gone out with flashlights that had no batteries in them. That would be a true example of stupidity, because a flashlight is of no use whatsoever if it has no batteries.  (RC Sproul, St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary: Matthew, 720)
  • (v. 5) In ancient Palestine a marriage normally had three stages: engagement, betrothal (which was legal and binding), and the marriage itself.  The setting of the parable is that of bridesmaids waiting at the bride’s house ready to light torches for the procession back to the groom’s house, where the ceremony will take place.  (Robert H. Mounce, New International Biblical Commentary: Matthew, 233)
  • (v. 5) In the ancient world, these bridal attendants would come to the home of the bride, and there they would wait for the arrival of the groom. No one knew precisely when the groom would be able to get to the appointed place, but when he came, there would be a glorious procession from the bride’s home to the groom’s home.  It was a great honor and privilege to be a part of the bridal party and to march in procession with the groom to his home, where the feast was to be celebrated.  (RC Sproul, St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary: Matthew, 718)
  • (v. 6) The children of Israel began their journey out of Egypt at midnight (Ex 12:29), and rabbinical tradition held that the Messiah would come to earth at that hour. (John MacArthur, The MacArthur NT Commentary: Matthew 24-28, 89)
  • (v. 9) The decision was not selfish but based on common sense (if all the torches went out, the procession would be a disaster). (Robert H. Mounce, New International Biblical Commentary: Matthew, 233)
  • (v. 10) This is illustrative of God’s judgment which is unequivocal and irreversible. We cannot know Christian assurance without the Spirit (illustrated by the oil), and we cannot succeed on borrowed religion.  (Myron S. Augsburger, The Communicator’s Commentary: Matthew, 279)
  • (v. 10) No one is allowed on the streets after dark without a lighted lamp, and also that, when the bridegroom has once arrived, and the door has been shut, late-comers to the ceremony are not admitted. (William Barclay, The Daily Study Bible Series: Gospel of Matthew, Vol. 2, 373)
  • (v. 10) The day is past for 7:7. Grace is vast in its extent but it has its limits.  “Was shut” means never again to be opened.  “No one’s penitence, no one’s prayer, no one’s groaning shall anymore be admitted.  (R.C. Lenski, The Interpretation of St. Matthew’s Gospel, 969)
  • (v. 10) After the wedding procession had entered the house, “the door was shut.” Subject and predicate are reversed in order to make both emphatic, “shut was the door” (Lk 13:25).  (R.C. Lenski, The Interpretation of St. Matthew’s Gospel, 969)
  • The parable of the ten virgins is given to accentuate the incalculable importance of being spiritually prepared to meet Christ when He returns to earth, because after He appears, unbelievers who are then alive will have no further chance for salvation. (John MacArthur, The MacArthur NT Commentary: Matthew 24-28, 84)


The question to be answered is . . . Why does Jesus call the five virgins who were ill-prepared morons?


Answer: They were not prepared to join the party to end all parties.  They failed to consider the consequences of their lack of preparation.


Failure to prepare is preparing to fail. — John Wooden


The wise and foolish virgins were alike in these seven ways:


• They all had been invited to the banquet

• They all had responded positively to the invitation

• They all were part of what we would call the visible church

• They all had some affection or love for the bridegroom (Jesus)

• They all confessed Jesus as their Lord

• They all believed in and in some sense were waiting for Jesus’s second coming

• They all were alike in that they became drowsy and fell asleep when the bridegroom’s coming was delayed. (James Montgomery Boice; An Expositional Commentary: The Gospel of Matthew: Vol 2, 526)


When Jesus encourages us to watch, be alert, and be on guard He is not only referring to His second coming.  I believe He is primarily encouraging us to watch, be alert and be on guard of our own hearts.  (Proverbs 4:23)


You are one of four kinds of people here today:


• You are a true Christian and you know you are a true Christian.  You should be confirmed in your faith today.

• You are NOT a true Christian and you mistakenly think that you are a true Christian.  I pray you would be awakened because, in reality, Jesus says you are a moron.

• You are a true Christian and you mistakenly think you are NOT a true Christian.  You will be motivated to see your faith in Christ as all important.

• You are NOT a true Christian and you are content with NOT being a true Christian.  I hope to get you to see that Jesus calls you a moron.


Jesus will come without warning either at the end of time or on the day of your death, which for you is much the same thing.  (James Montgomery Boice, The Gospel of Matthew, Vol. 2, 529)


The situation is obviously pervasive or Jesus would not have spent so much time warning about it.  (John MacArthur, The MacArthur NT Commentary: Matthew 24-28, 88)


Predicting when Jesus will return is pointless.  The preceding parables press this same point of pointlessness from different perspectives.  Together they teach that Christ will return later than expected, sooner than expected, and at an unexpected time.  “I think that covers all logical possibilities.”  Craig Blomberg summarizes, “and ought to put a stop to Christian guesswork about the timing of the end once and for all.”  (Douglas Sean O’Donnell, Preaching the Word: Matthew, 729)


The Word for the Day is . . . Moron


Webster’s Dictionary Definition of Moron: 1)- A feebleminded person having a potential mental age of between 8 and 12 years and being capable of doing routine work under supervision.   2)- A very stupid person.   From the Greek word moros = foolish or stupid.


Why does Jesus call the five virgins without oil morons?:

I-  They were not prepared to join the party to end all parties.  (Mt 25:10-13; see also: Isa 62:4-5; 64:4; Mt 22:1-14; Lk 21:34-36; Jn 1:16; 10:10; Eph 3:20-21; 1 Cor 2:9; 1 Tim 6:19; 1 Pt 1:13; Rev 19:1-9; 21:1-9)


The ten bridesmaids represent professed disciples of Christ who claim to love the prospect of His appearing and who demonstrate outward readiness for entrance into His kingdom.  In appearance the ten were indistinguishable.  They were all dressed appropriately in wedding garments and all had the required torch to carry in the wedding procession.  But they were not truly alike, which is the point of the parable, because they were not all prepared–five of them were foolish, and five were prudent.  (John MacArthur, The MacArthur NT Commentary: Matthew 24-28, 86-7)


They carried torches that looked exactly like those of the others, but they had nothing to burn in them, nothing that would give light and significance.  A torch without fuel is obviously worthless, and a profession of faith in Jesus Christ without a saving relationship to Him is infinitely more worthless, because one is left in spiritual darkness.  (John MacArthur, The MacArthur NT Commentary: Matthew 24-28, 87)


It’s clear, then, that the kingdom of heaven is not for those who simply respond to an invitation.  All of these bridesmaids had done that, so to speak.  Similarly, the kingdom of heaven is not for those who simply make a confession.  Each of these bridesmaids would have said they were a part of the bridal party.  (David Platt, Christ-Centered Exposition: Exalting Jesus in Matthew, 332)


Think of two drivers with a pickup truck each.  One driver has a filled gas can in the back of his pickup; the other driver does not.  When the first driver runs out of gas on a deserted desert road, he can simply grab that can, fill up the tank, and keep going–because he is prepared to run out.  The other driver, on the other hand, is stuck in a dangerous and potentially deadly situation.  (Douglas Sean O’Donnell, Preaching the Word: Matthew, 730)


Note the sleep of all the virgins.  No blame is hinted on account of it.  It is not inconsistent with the wisdom of the wise, nor does it interfere with their readiness to meet the bridegroom.  It is, then, such a sleep as is compatible with watching.  (Alexander MacLaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture, St. Matthew 9-28, 177)


What we need very badly these days is a company of Christians who are prepared to trust God as completely now as they know they must do at the last day.  For each of us the time is coming when we shall have nothing but God.   Health and wealth and friends and hiding places will be swept away, and we shall have only God.  To the man of pseudo faith that is a terrifying thought, but to real faith it is one of the most comforting thoughts the heart can entertain.  —A. W. Tozer


II-  They failed to consider the consequences of their lack of preparation.  (Mt 25:3, 10, 13; see also: Ps 85:13; Isa 40:3; 57:14; Am 4:12; Mt 3:3; 7:21-27; 10:32-33; 22:1-14; 24:42-44; 25:34-46; Mk 1:2-3; Lk 1:17; 3:4; 12:35-40; Gal 6:7-8; 1 Pt 1:13; Rv 19:7; 21:2)     



You see, these five very silly girls are irresponsibly secure.  They think other Christians will surely help them get what is necessary to get in.  “If and when the time comes, let’s borrow from the prepared” is their attitude.  Sure, we need church fellowship and more mature believers around us in order to persevere, but here Jesus places individual responsibility before us.  As one scholar puts it, “Now, suddenly, everything is terrifyingly individual.”  Don’t count on other Christians’ preparedness or righteousness.  You’re on your own before the judgment throne.  (Douglas Sean O’Donnell, Preaching the Word: Matthew, 733-4)


A great change has to be wrought in you, far beyond any power of yours to accomplish, ere you can go in with Christ to the marriage.  You must, first of all, be renewed in your nature, or you will not be ready.  You must be washed from your sins, or you will not be ready.  You must be justified in Christ’s righteousness, and you must put on his wedding dress, or else you will not be ready.  You must be reconciled to God, you must be made like to God, or you will not be ready.  Or, to come to the parable before us, you must have a lamp, and that lamp must be fed with heavenly oil, and it must continue to burn brightly, or else you will not be ready.  No child of darkness can go into that place of light.  You must be brought out of nature’s darkness into God’s marvelous light, or else you will never be ready to go in with Christ to the marriage, and to be forever with him.  (Charles Spurgeon, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, 30)


This parable of the wise and foolish virgins may or may not have been meant to have allegorical elements.  If it does, and if there is a specific symbolic significance to the oil, it is not hard to understand that to which it refers.  In biblical categories, the primary referent of the symbol of oil is the Holy Spirit.  If the Spirit is indeed in view, the parable must mean that the five foolish virgins came without the Holy Spirit.  They had a good standing with the bride, they had their invitations, and they had their wedding garments.  They had all of the things that the wise virgins had–except that which was essential to participate in the wedding feast. . . . The meaning for us is clear–if we do not have the Spirit, who is given to those who trust Jesus with saving faith and the mere profession of it.  No one has ever been saved by a mere profession of faith.  Unless the faith we profess is authentic, unless it has taken root in our hearts, unless it is there by the power of God the Holy Spirit, it will not save us.  Clearly Jesus was talking here about the difference between nominal Christians, people who are Christians only in name, and genuine Christians, those who are Christians indeed.  (RC Sproul, St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary: Matthew, 720)


It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.


Come in and let us help you prepare for finals.


Winning can be defined as the science of being totally prepared.  —George Allen


But the general instruction of the parable consists in this, that it is not enough to have been once ready and prepared for the discharge of duty, if we do not persevere to the end.  (John Calvin, Commentaries, Vol. XVII, 171)


Dear brethren, let us take the lesson.  There is nothing in our religious emotions which has any guarantee of perpetuity in it, except upon certain conditions.  We may live, and our life may ebb.  We may trust, and our trust may tremble into unbelief.  We may obey, and our obedience may be broken by the mutinous risings of self-will.  We may walk in the “paths of righteousness,” and our feet may falter and turn aside.  There is certainty of the dying out of all communicated life, unless the channel of communication with the life from which it was first kindled, be kept constantly clear.  (Alexander MacLaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture, St. Matthew 9-28, 185)


Extinction is brought about simply by doing nothing.  (Alexander MacLaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture, St. Matthew 9-28, 186)


Doing nothing is the sure way to quench the Holy Spirit.  (Alexander MacLaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture, St. Matthew 9-28, 188)


It was not that they had been unaware of their lack of oil but that they were not concerned enough about it to acquire it before the bridegroom’s arrival.  Perhaps they thought they could quickly run down to the oil shop anytime they wanted and secure what they needed in plenty of time.  Or perhaps they thought they could borrow oil if the shop were closed, the recourse they now tried to take.  No reason is given for their negligence, no doubt because the reason is irrelevant.  Because they had ample warning that the bridegroom was coming and had ample opportunity to be totally prepared for His arrival, nothing could excuse their failure.  (John MacArthur, The MacArthur NT Commentary: Matthew 24-28, 90)


This verse (13) is really an epilog.  It emphasizes our utter ignorance of the day and of the hour of Christ’s final coming (24:36).  This is why we must constantly be watching.  Our watching means that we must constantly look to ourselves, to be ever ready, to be ever rich in grace so that, when the day and the hour arrive, there may be no question as to our being received.  (R.C. Lenski, The Interpretation of St. Matthew’s Gospel, 971)


The suddenness of death, and of Christ’s coming to us then, will be no obstruction to our happiness, if we have been habitually prepared.  (Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Vol. V, 371)


They had lamps but no oil.  They were careless, not forward-looking, guilty of inexcusable and senseless neglect, shortsighted, thoughtless.  The sensible girls, on the contrary, were equipped with a generous supply of oil.  They were fully prepared.  (William Hendriksen, NT Commentary: Matthew, 876)


At this point, you may be left wondering who is fit for the kingdom of heaven.  These chapters speak to this as well.  The kingdom of heaven is only for those who endure in salvation.  Earlier, in Matthew 24, Jesus warned the disciples about the danger of falling away.  Speaking of those who looked like and claimed to be disciples, Jesus says,

Then they will hand you over for persecution, and they will kill you.  You will be hated by all nations because of My name.  Then many will take offense, betray one another and hate one another.  Many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.  Because lawlessness will multiply, the love of many will grow cold.  But the one who endures to the end will be delivered.  (Mt 24:9-13).  (David Platt, Christ-Centered Exposition: Exalting Jesus in Matthew, 332)


Worship Point:  Worship the God Who wants everyone to enjoy the party that will end all parties.   He has even given us plenty of signs to remind us and encourage us to take steps NOW to insure our reservations for the party are complete.  (Jn 3:16; 1 Tm 2:4; 2 Pt 3:9; Rv 19:7)


Every time a church family gathers for worship, we come as idolaters or recovering idolaters.  We all fight allegiances to someone or something other than God that make a claim on our lives.  To pretend otherwise is to be naive and unprepared for the serious work of realignment we need.  (Mark Labberton, The Dangerous Act of Worship, 62)


According to the narrative of Scripture, the very heart of how we show and distinguish true worship from false worship is apparent in how we respond to the poor, the oppressed, the neglected and the forgotten.   As of now, I do not see this theme troubling the waters of worship in the American church.  But justice and mercy are not add-ons to worship, nor are they the consequences of worship.  Justice and mercy are intrinsic to God and therefore intrinsic to the worship of God.  (Mark Labberton, The Dangerous Act of Worship, 37-38)


I can safely say, on the authority of all that is revealed in the Word of God, that any man or woman on this earth who is bored and turned off by worship is not ready for heaven.  (A. W. Tozer, Whatever Happened to Worship?, 13)


Gospel Application:  Your reservations to enter the party are not based on your own credentials or merit.  Jesus has provided us with everything necessary to enter.  Trust Jesus for the credentials as well as all the accouterments to thoroughly enjoy THE PARTY(Mt 22:1-14; Gal 6:4; 2 Cor 5:21; 1 Thes 5:21; Jam 1:12; 1 Jn 4:1; Rv 2:10; 3:10)


It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.


Haven’t we already learned, in the Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl of Great Price (13:44-46), that it is “not enough just to ‘find’ the treasure . . . one must also ‘sell all’ to purchase the treasure if one wants to have it”?  This is not justification by works, but neither is it justification by dramatic conversion.  The salvation equation is not faith plus works equals justification or teary-eyed profession of faith plus no works equals justification.  Rather, the equation is faith plus nothing equals justification plus works, obedience, love, and eschatological readiness.  (Douglas Sean O’Donnell, Preaching the Word: Matthew, 734)


In Jesus’ parable of the 4 soils, what was the difference between the hard soil, the rocky soil, the weedy soil and the good soil?   Preparation.


Spiritual ChallengeJudge yourself.  Take a long look in the mirror.  Are you trusting in Christ?  Are you sure?  (1 Cor 11:27-32; 2 Cor 2:9; 8:8; 13:5-7; Jam 1:23-24; 2 Pt 1:10)


Never think about getting ready for Christ (to accept you).  He doesn’t want anything of yours.  You need not prim and dress yourself to come to Christ.  Even your frames and feelings are not the wedding garment.  Come naked.   But sir, I am so careless.  Come careless then.   But I am so hard-hearted.  Come hard-hearted then.  I am so thoughtless.  Come thoughtless then.  And trust Christ now.  (C. H. Spurgeon; “Terrible Convictions and Gentle Drawings”)


It is ever the Holy Spirit’s work to turn our eyes away from self:  to Jesus:  but Satan’s work is just the opposite of this, for he is constantly trying to make us regard ourselves instead of Christ.  He insinuates, “Your sins are too great for pardon; you have no faith; you do not repent enough; you will never be able to continue to the end; you have not the joy of his children; you have such a wavering hold of Jesus.”  All these are thoughts about self, and we shall never find comfort or assurance by looking within.  But, the Holy Spirit turns our eyes entirely away from self:  he tells us that we are nothing, but that “Christ is all in all.”  Remember, therefore, it is not your hold of Christ that saves you—it is Christ; it is not your joy in Christ that saves you—it is Christ; it is not even faith in Christ, though that be the instrument—it is Christ’s blood and merits; therefore, look not so much to your hand with which you art grasping Christ, as to Christ; look not to your hope, but to Jesus, the source of your hope; look not to your faith, but to Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith.  We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul.  If we would at once overcome Satan and have peace with God, it must be by “Looking unto Jesus.”   Keep your eye simply on him; let his death, his sufferings, his merits, his glories, his intercession, be fresh upon your mind; when you wake in the morning look to him; when you lie down at night look to him.  Do not let your hopes or fears come between you and Jesus; follow hard after him, and he will never fail you.  (Alistair Begg quoting Charles. H. Spurgeon in Pathway to Freedom, 228-9)


They have a form of piety, but they deny its power.  And unprepared, they travel on to meet the judge.  None of us, none of us may presume to be prepared.  All of us must be watchful of our hearts.  We must examine ourselves to see if we are trusting in Him, lest we unprepared travel on.  (Duncan, “The Ten Virgins”)


How are you to know whether you are in one camp or the other?  One answer is whether you are faithful in serving Jesus.  Another is whether you are serving others because of your love for Jesus.  (James Montgomery Boice, The Gospel of Matthew, Vol. 2, 527-8)


How could a sleeping woman know whether her lamp was burning or not?  How can a drowsy Christian tell whether his spiritual life is bright or not?  To be unconscious of our approximation to this condition is, I am afraid, one of the surest signs that we are in it.  I suppose that a paralyzed limb is quite comfortable.  At any rate, paralysis of the spirit may be going on without our knowing anything about it.  So, dear friends, do not put these poor words of mine away from you and say, “Oh! They do not apply to me.”  (Alexander MacLaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture, St. Matthew 9-28, 188-9)


We have no right to say that as many Christians will be foolish as will be wise.  But this division of the number ten intimates that quite a host of Christians will be found without sense at the Lord’s coming.  (R.C. Lenski, The Interpretation of St. Matthew’s Gospel, 963)


I do not know why Jesus divided the virgins the way he did, making half foolish and half wise.  That is a terrifying percentage.  God forbid that 50 percent of those in the pews of our churches should find the time of Christ’s return a day of darkness with no light in it.  I urge you to examine your heart to make sure the faith you profess is genuine.  Do not be a foolish virgin.  (RC Sproul, St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary: Matthew, 722)


The foolish virgins finally arrive, but the bridegroom calls out to them as they stand in the night darkness, “I tell you the truth, I don’t know you” (25:12), a stark, straightforward statement of rejection of a person who does not have a true relationship with Jesus (7:23).  Throughout the OT God is said to “know” those whom he has chosen to be his people (Jer 1:5; Hos 13:5; Amos 3:2), a theme reiterated throughout the NT to speak of a saving relationship found with God through Jesus Christ (cf. Gal 4:8-9; 2 Tm 2:19).  (Michael J. Wilkins, The NIV Application Commentary: Matthew, 806)


All is ready if the heart is ready.  — Dan Owsley (12-7-15)


So What?:  Your eternal destiny hinges upon your faith in Jesus.  If you are trusting in Christ you are safe and secure.  If you are not sure if you are trusting in Christ, seek Christ to gain that assurance.  If you are a moron and refuse to trust in Christ; ask yourself, “What is preventing me from trusting in Christ?”  (Jn 3:16-17; Acts 4:12; 2 Cor 6:2; Heb 9:27)


Even the right decision is the wrong decision if it is made too late.  —Lee Iacocca


Ah, the sin of presumption!  Do you presume upon the kindness of King Jesus?  That’s the somber question this sad ending throws in our faces. . . . Too little preparation and too much presumption will result in rejection.  (Douglas Sean O’Donnell, Preaching the Word: Matthew, 734-5)


The warning Jesus gave in this parable is repeated over and over in the gospels, a continually recurring theme of His teaching.  He warns that professed believers are like wheat and tares; some are genuine and some are false.  They are compared to various kinds of soils, some of which give initial evidence of productivity but only one of which genuinely receives the seed of the gospel and allows it to take root and grow.  It was not a popular message in Jesus’ day and is not a popular message today, even in many evangelical churches.  (John MacArthur, The MacArthur NT Commentary: Matthew 24-28, 87)


When the author walks onto the stage, the play is over.  God is going to invade, all right; but what is the good of saying you are on His side then, when you see the whole natural universe melting away like a dream and something else comes crashing in?  This time it will be God without disguise; something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love or irresistible horror into every creature. It will be too late then to choose your side. That will not be the time for choosing; It will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen, whether we realized it before or not. Now, today, this moment, is our chance to choose the right side.  —   C.S. Lewis.


It will be a moment of sheer terror when unbelievers face a holy God and realize with absolute certainty that they are eternally lost.  That must have been the feeling of the people of Noah’s day when they saw the flood waters rise above their heads and knew the door to the ark was unalterably shut.

Although the parable of the ten virgins illustrates the time of Christ’s second coming, its truths apply to an unbeliever’s facing God at death in any age.  At that moment the opportunity for salvation will be past and all hope gone forever.  (John MacArthur, The MacArthur NT Commentary: Matthew 24-28, 92)


If you are strolling through life, thinking you have plenty of time, but get to the door after the deadline of decision to surrender your life to Jesus, it doesn’t make any difference how important you are.  Once the door to eternal life is shut, you’re not going to get in.  Two minutes late is too late.  There is an end to grace.  (Patrick Morely; Ten Secrets for the Man in the Mirror, 129)


Hundreds of people attach themselves to the church but are never reborn and renewed.  They may even do great deeds in and for the church yet inwardly remain strangers to Christ, 7:22, 23.  Their folly is revealed in the end.  (R.C. Lenski, The Interpretation of St. Matthew’s Gospel, 965)


The state of saints and sinners will then be unalterably fixed, and those that are shut out then, will be shut out for ever.  Now the gate is strait, yet it is open; but then it will be shut and bolted, and a great gulf fixed.  This was like the shutting of the door of the ark when Noah was in; as he was thereby preserved, so all the rest were finally abandoned.  (Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Vol. V, 371)


Do not ask why they had so completely disregarded the oil until this critical moment.  A foolish action has no sensible explanation.  That is the trouble with all folly, spiritual folly, too; it cannot explain itself.  (R.C. Lenski, The Interpretation of St. Matthew’s Gospel, 967-8)


Quotes to Note:

Note, in looking forward it is good to prepare for the worst, to lay in for a long siege.  But remember that this oil which keeps the lamps burning is derived to the candlestick from Jesus Christ, the great and good Olive, by the golden pipes of the ordinances, as it is represented in that vision (Zech 4:2, 3, 12), which is explained Jn 1:16, Of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.  (Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Vol. V, 369)


The bridegroom tarried, that is, he did not come out so soon as they expected.  What we look for as certain, we are apt to think is very near; many in the apostles’ times imagined that the day of the Lord was at hand, but it is not so.  Christ, as to us, seems to tarry, and yet really does not, Hab 2:3.  There is good reason for the Bridegroom’s tarrying; there are many intermediate counsels and purposes to be accomplished, the elect must all be called in, God’s patience must be manifested, and the saints’ patience tried, the harvest of the earth must be ripened, and so must the harvest of heaven too.  But though Christ tarry past our time, he will not tarry past the due time.  (Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Vol. V, 369)


Note, Those will see their need of grace hereafter, when it should save them who will not see their need of grace now, when it should sanctify and rule them.  (Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Vol. V, 370)


Remember the old story about Elisha and the poor woman.  The cruse of oil began to run.  She brought all the vessels that she could rake together, big and little, pots and cups, of all shapes and sizes, and set them, one after the other, under the jet of oil.  They were all filled; and when she brought no more vessels the oil stayed.  If you do not take your empty hearts to God, and say, “Here, Lord, fill this cup too; poor as it is, fill it with Thine own gracious influences,” be very sure that no such influences will come to you.  But if you do go, be as sure of this, that so long as you hold out your emptiness to Him, He will flood it with His fullness, and the light that seemed to be sputtering to its death will flame up again.  (Alexander MacLaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture, St. Matthew 9-28, 188)








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