The countdown in a game of Hide-and-Seek can produce panic for the hiders, but the seeker, on the other hand, has all control regarding the speed of the count; it really all depends on the seeker. If he counts, the game begins. Does the phrase, Ready or not; here I come, bring back memories? The seeker was coming whether you wanted to be found or not.
That’s how it will be at the 2nd coming of the Lord, Jesus Christ. The countdown has begun. He’s coming, ready or not. Jesus told us all what to expect in His parable of the 10 virgins in Matthew, chapter 25 of the Holy Bible. After revealing the signs of His coming to His disciples, He began telling them a captivating story to illustrate the time of the end. Ten bridesmaids (virgins) were anticipating the bridegroom’s arrival. Each girl was to be dressed in the appropriate attire and to carry a lamp filled with oil. Those were the requirements. It didn’t seem like too much to ask, however five of the ten didn’t pull it off. Five were ready with oil in their lamps. The other five had the dress and the lamp but no oil. The unprepared, feeling that time was running out, begged the others to share, but unfortunately for them, the answer was no. Had the prepared bridesmaids shared their oil, they’d have lacked enough for themselves. The bridegroom’s delay afforded the unprepared some time to then go and buy oil. But while they were gone, the bridegroom arrived unexpectedly. He ushered the virgins with oil in their lamps into the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Sometime later, the other five arrived with oil in their lamps, but it was too late.
Each dress and lamp represents a person’s outward appearance. People may look the same on the outside, but it’s really all about what’s on the inside, which is what the oil represents. That’s where the big difference lies. Five had the oil and five didn’t. Lamps don’t burn without oil. People say they’re going to heaven, but are they really? Are you?
The saddest moment of all will be when Jesus says to the many who thought they were going to heaven, Depart from me; I never knew you. Many will look prepared on that day, donned in wedding attire and carrying their lamps but will have no oil. In other words, simply going to church isn’t going to cut it. Giving to the poor isn’t going to be enough. Helping out a neighbor in need is insufficient. Leading a Bible study isn’t it. Even some who cast out demons and prophesy in His name will be cut off. The only way into the marriage feast (heaven) is having a relationship with Jesus. Does He know you? Yes, the thief on the cross beside Jesus was granted admission upon his last breath but only because his heart was made right with God. Jesus saw that man’s heart and knew his repentance was genuine. But to take that chance, that is, to live like the devil and then to repent at the last minute is the greatest risk you’ll ever take. Jesus is coming, ready or not.