Thursday, May 3, 2012

Wake Up Christians!

A Study on the Parable of the 10 Virgins

Obey Christ’s Commands To Be Alert
For His Imminent Return

By R.A. Coombes
The Alpha-Omega Report

Is it just me or have the Evangelical/Fundamentalist Churches in America gone to sleep concerning Bible Prophecy and current developments? Perhaps its just my local area that seems to be napping instead of being on “watch” for the Lord’s return for His Bride.

I’ve noticed that local area churches in the greater Kansas City area especially and some generally in the middle part of America seem to have developed an aversion to paying attention to Bible Prophecy and related news developments.

So far, my own investigations in my local area have found area pastors and congregations fast asleep, much like the parable of Jesus about the 10 virgins waiting for the bridegroom.

If we look at Matthew, chapter 25 we find the parable of the 10 foolish virgins. Let’s take a look at the text.

1Then 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.

This parable given by Jesus is perhaps prophetic in suggesting perhaps that when He returns for his bride, the Church, the Church will be asleep in the sense of caught unwares by His Return.

Now the parable indicates that half of the virgins were wise and brought extra oil for their lamps while the other half did not. When awakened to learn of the bridegroom’s nearness, the foolish virgins dash off to hunt for extra oil to keep their lamps lit.

What I wish to point out however is that verse 5 says that all 10 virgins slumbered and slept. Now let’s take a closer look at those two words.

Strong’s #3506 = slumbered =  ένυσταξαν = enustaxan = to nod as in sleep, or to sink into sleep, slumber.
Strong’s #2515 = slept =  έκάθευδον  or root = καθευδω = “katheudohn” = to sleep or to be fast asleep. Or to sleep in spiritual laziness. By implication a ‘deep sleep’ as in sleeping as if one is ‘dead’ to the world around him.

So in verse 5, Jesus tells us that the 10 young women were in a state of sleep. The first word indicates they apparently drifted off to sleep and then entered into a state of deep sleep. The usage of the second word for “slept” implies a spiritual sleep or impervious to the spiritual world around them as if they were in a deep sleep and ‘dead to the world.’

The term itself does NOT imply spiritual death, however, but rather spiritual immaturity.

The Apostle Paul describes such immaturity in First Corinthians chapter 3 where he describes some believers as being spiritually mature (adult) and others as being “carnal” or fleshly – like babies – incapable of taking in the pure “meat” of God’s Word, but instead able to only handle the “milk” of God’s Word. So in Jesus’ parable, perhaps we could best state that the virgins were but spiritual infants in a deep baby-sleep.

One other observation we can make from verse 5. The ten young women were fast asleep and taken by surprise at the arrival of the bridegroom. 5 of these young women had brought extra lamp oil, but the other 5 had not and their oil was about used up. These foolish young women who failed to bring enough oil, hurriedly left to go buy some oil at a nearby oil merchant. By the time they’d returned, the Bridegroom had gone taking the ‘wise’ young women with extra oil with him.
When the foolish virgins arrived at the home of the wedding party, they found that they were locked out. After knocking for entry, the Bridegroom came to the door and denied them entry, stating that he did not know them.

Our Lord then concludes His parable with a warning and a command. He uses a single word - “Watch.” That word in the original Greek is the following word:

Strong’s #1127 =  γρηγορείτε  or root = γρηγορεω = greygor-eh-oh. It means: “to be awake,” “alert,” “to watch”, “to observe or be vigilant” “be attentive.” “to be on the alert,” “watchful,” “keep your eyes open.”

The implications of the word indicate that we, as believers in Jesus Christ must always be on the alert, watchful, observant and attentive to our world around us and what is going on in regards to His Return and Bible Prophecy in general.

Jesus repeats this and other commands in the prior chapter – chapter 24 of Matthew, in which He issues 10 basic ‘commands’ for believers to follow. We published an earlier study on this chapter, which you are encouraged to read at this LINK HERE, if you’ve not already done so.

What we can conclude for a study of this parable and from the previous chapter and His commands – is that Christ intends for ALL Believers to:

Know and Understand God’s prophecies (Bible Prophecies) yet to be fulfilled. And with that knowledge and understanding we are to always be aware, watchful, alert and attentive to what is going on in the world around us, in relation to these future prophecies.

We are NOT to be ignorant or to ignore these scriptural prophecies, despite the teachings of some “popular” Evangelical leaders in the “emerging church” and “purpose-driven” church movements a.k.a. as the “mega-churches” in America.

" Wake Up Churches, Paul Is Speaking To The New Age Churches"

With this understanding of the Parable of the Virgins and their deep sleep and slumber, don’t you find it amazing that, at least in American Churches, the vast majority of church pastors and congregations (including Evangelicals and Fundamentalists) are fast asleep in regards to Bible Prophecy and the news developments we are now witnessing around the world and especially in Middle East politics.

I would like to encourage you to make a copy of this article and email it to others in your church and your church pastor and or also to friends and family so they too can be aware of this important facet of teaching and be watchful and awake for His soon coming Return, whether it be hours, days, weeks, months or years away. After all, Christ commanded this of all of us in all generations, but especially now as we are in the last days as noted by the fulfillment of the Parable of the Fig Tree – i.e. the rebirth of Israel. For we know, that He told us that the generation which witnesses the rebirth of Israel will not pass away until all the prophecies concerning His Return are fulfilled.

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