Got Oil?

Title: Got Oil?

Bible Book: Matthew 25 : 1-13

Author: David Cook

Subject: Urgency; Divine Wisdom; Christian Living; Danger



On Sunday mornings we are talking about having a sense of urgency, readiness, alertness, in our walk with Jesus Christ. Since 9/11 America has been on high alert. Although nothing as catastrophic has happened in this country since that day, terrorists have struck elsewhere.

On March 11, 2004, terrorists exploded 10 bombs in Madrid, Spain, killing almost 200, wounding another 1,800.

Two months later there was a scare in Philadelphia. It was May 5th, and a conductor for Pennsylvania's transit authority discovered something frightening on the tracks near Philly's massive 30th street station. It was an electronic transmitter, planted alongside the tracks in the commuter rail yard.

Agents from the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI soon swarmed the scene. Investigators discovered that the mysterious gadget was in fact a motion detector designed to send a signal to a nearby receiver. Tension mounted.

Finally, a train mechanic stepped forward and admitted installing the transmitter. Was he a terrorist, or a disgruntled employee looking for revenge? No, the mechanic worked the graveyard shift and had installed the motion detector to sound an alarm in his work area whenever his supervisor was approaching. That way he could safely take a nap; if the alarm went off, he could get up and look busy when the boss showed up.

Now, does that sound like a man who had a sense of urgency in his life and desired to be a pleasing employee to his boss? Not to me. To me, he sounds like a foolish man, and an unprepared man. Instead of being inwardly alert and faithful to his employer, he merely wanted to have the outward appearance of being ready, alert, and faithful.

Is there are true sense of urgency in your heart this morning to follow Jesus Christ? If He were to come today, would you be ready in your heart to meet Him? Although no one knows the exact hour or day Christ the King will return for His bride, Jesus expects His followers to be ready to meet Him!

Matthew 25:13, “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”

I. Are You Wise?

So many people are smart, but just being smart doesn’t mean you are necessarily wise. There are many people today who are smart in their business dealings, financial dealings, relationship dealings, political dealings, etc.

Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are financial geniuses pulling over $80 billion between them last year. Pierre M. Omidyar, the inventor of Ebay, racked up close to $5 billion last year. The 2008 Presidential Candidates, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John McCain, Mike Huckaby are smart people. They could not have made it to where they are today without great intelligence.

It’s one thing to be smart in the ways of this world, but it’s another thing to be wise in your personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. You are a wise disciple if you are looking, longing, and living for His Second Coming! Are you wise?

First, Jesus told us a parable that described what His Kingdom is like. He says, “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.”

The picture Jesus paints of His coming Kindom is that of a Jewish wedding celebration! I can remember my own wedding day as if it were yesterday. I couldn’t sleep a wink the night before. Saturday, I woke up early, ate a sausage biscuit at BK, then played a round of golf at the Dublin Country Club with several of my groomsmen. At 2 PM at FBC Dublin, I was in awe as I saw my lovely bride come walking down the isle! Your wedding day should be a very exciting, joyful day of great anticipation!

Jewish weddings were much different than ours in America. Their wedding celebrations did not last one day, but up to one week! One day weddings in America are normally very expensive, you can only imagine what a weeklong party must have cost! Also, the couple did not go off on a honeymoon, but the celebration was centered in the home where they would live. If I had my choice, I’ll take the honeymoon!

Second, Jesus talked about the spiritual state of the wedding party, specifically the 10 virgins. He said, “Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish.” So, why were five wise and five foolish? What distinguished them? Jesus explained, “Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.”

If you were to look at each of the 10 virgins outwardly, they were so much alike! The wise had their lamps, and the foolish had their lamps. Each of them had received a personal invitation to be at the wedding and had positively responded positively to that invitation. Interestingly, all believed their bridegroom would be coming for them.

Dr. Frank Page says, “Both the wise and the foolish are alike in their intentions. They are all in the grip of the same purpose. They all thrill to the same expectation. Had we said to one of the wise, “Do you expect to enter in and enjoy the marriage feast when the bridegroom comes?” She would have answered with conviction, “Indeed I do! That is the reason I am dressed as I am. That is the reason I have my lamp.” Had we asked one of the foolish this same question, she would have doubtless given the same answer. These foolish girls had not the least thought of sobbing in the dark outside the banquet hall and of pounding on the closed door. They are all alike in their intentions.”

Each of these 10 virgins may have looked alike, smelled alike, dressed alike, smiled alike, carried the torch alike, been at the wedding party alike, but there was one thing five had and five had not. What was it? Wisdom. Five of the virgins were wise and five of the virgins were foolish! Five of the virgins were prepared and five of the virgins had not made personal preparation for their bridegroom!

Are you wise? Do you have a time of daily prayer and Bible study? Can you honestly say you are growing closer to the Lord day by day? Ephesians 5:15-16 says, “See that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Foolish people believe they have all the time in the world, wise people make the most of their time, because they know they don’t have forever to worship and serve the Lord! Are you wise?

II. Are You Prepared?

First, we see the bridegroom’s coming was delayed. Jesus says in verse 5, “But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept."

Now, there is nothing wrong with the fact that all the 10 virgins went to sleep. Jesus never scolds them for falling asleep. The wise went to sleep along with the foolish. They weren’t condemned for getting tired and going to bed!

Sleep is part of normal life. Preparing for Christ does not mean you have to stay up all night for the rest of your life, for if you fall asleep, He will pass you over and draw only those to Himself who never have any need of rest. If that were so, no one would be ready to meet Him. One of God’s greatest blessings is a good night’s sleep!

Being prepared for Jesus means you do the things you need to do each day! You need your sleep. You do your homework, you stay faithful to your job, you take care of your family, you wash the car, mow the lawn, pay the bills, change the diapers, get out to exercise, etc. One man said that “watching” means “involves doing perfectly normal things while you wait.

Why was the bridegroom’s coming delayed? Because God is on His timetable, not ours! Right now, God is giving more and more people the opportunity to turn away from their sin and receive Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.

From our perspective, His coming is delayed, but God is patient and loving. Just because He didn’t come back over the last 2,000 years doesn’t mean He couldn’t come at any moment! God is faithful to His word! He promised He’d come back! Don’t lose sight of that. 2 Peter 3:8-9 says, “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

Each day brings us closer to His return than the last. Do you know what you are to be doing while you await Christ’s return? Sharing Jesus with others! It’s a great day to be sharing your faith in Jesus Christ with others who need such a great salvation!

Second, everyone of us make take personal responsibility in our relationship to Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’

But the wise answered saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ Matt. 25:6-9

It wasn’t selfishness that caused the wise to say no to the foolish. The wise understood that if they shared their oil and gave what they had away, there would not be any light for the wedding procession. The foolish were told to and buy their own oil, something they should have already done in advance. When it came time for the Big Day, the foolish were lacking what was needed most – prudence. The five wise virgins totally prepared with all seriousness. Nothing excluded. They were completely prepared.

Not so with the five foolish virgins. They had not made sufficient preparation to meet their Bridegroom. 18th century preacher George Whitfield said, "They had no oil in their lamps, no principle of true living faith and holiness in their hearts."

What is Jesus saying here? He is reminding each one of us here that we must be personally prepared for His coming. When He comes, you can’t say at the last moment, “I’m going to borrow my parent’s faith, my Sunday School teacher’s faith, my grandparents faith, my pastor’s faith.” God is not going to ask you about anyone else’s faith, but yours! Are you personally ready to meet Him at any moment?

In April, 1988 the evening news reported on a photographer who was also a skydiver. He had jumped from a plane along with several other skydivers and filmed the group as they individually dove out of the plane and opened their parachutes. As the video was being shown of each member of the crew jumping out and then pulling their rip chord so that their parachute opened to the wind, the final skydiver opened his chute and then the picture went berserk. The announcer reported that the cameraman had fallen to his death, having jumped out of the plane without a parachute.

Tragically, he was unprepared for his jump. It did not matter how many times he had done it before or what skill he had. By forgetting the parachute he made a foolish and deadly mistake. Nothing could save him, because his faith was in a parachute, which he had never taken the trouble to buckle on.

Third, one day the door of grace will be shut! Verse 10, “And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready sent in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us! But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.”

Some young people casually say they are going to have all the fun they can have and then get right with the Lord. Some older folks have put off following Christ all their lives. Some say, “I’ll get around to my relationship with Jesus some day, when I retire, maybe. I’ll serve the Lord when it’s a bit more convenient.”

People, even many professing Christians in the church are careless in their relationship with God. In this day of grace, God has opened the door of Heaven wide open. He says, “Whosoever will let Him come.” That’s today. One day, when God shuts the door, there will be those pounding on the outside, wanting desperately to come in. Yet the door will be shut. The verb tense of the word “shut” means “shut to stay shut.”

People will be pleading, “Lord, Lord, open to us!” He will say, “I do not know you.” Are you wise? Are you prepared?

III. Are You Watching?

It was R. Kent Hughes who said the thrust of Jesus’ message can be summed up in two words: Get Ready! He goes on to say, “The Second Advent of Christ is as sure as the First Advent. He will come when least expected. CNN will not expect it. Wall Street will have no hint. The nations will have no clue. The world’s religions will disbelieve it. To those, He is coming like a thief in the night!

Revelation closes with Jesus promise, “Yes, I am coming soon.” And we say with the people of God, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” Revelation 2:20

Don’t let the world drag you into unbelief! You keep your eyes on the Word of God which tells of the promises of God! This world is not the eternal home of the Christ follower, Heaven is. I love Titus 2:13-14 where the Apostle Paul says, “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” Titus 2:13-14

Because of Jesus Christ, because of his return, I am a person of hope. I have placed my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, asked Him to forgive me of all my sins and to fill me with His Holy Spirit. He’s always done what He would said He would do if we would simply ask in His Name. I am not a perfect person by any stretch of the imagination, but because Jesus is in control of my life, I want to see Him face to face one day. Because He is coming, I must stay with His mission and be about His purpose.

Are you watching? In light of His return, in light of the fact He’s coming for His own He said, “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”

Be Wise. Be Prepared. Be Ready! If you are not sure that you are truly ready to meet the Lord, I urge to repent of your sin and believe on the Name Lord Jesus Christ. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

The Lord Jesus Christ gave His life for you on the cross of Calvary and more than anything wants you to give you a new life now and prepare you each day to spend eternity with Him


During the American Civil War, General William T. Sherman drove his troops on his decisive march

to the sea. In a fort on Kennesaw Mountain, he left behind a small contingent of men to guard the rations. General John Bell Hood of the Confederate Army attacked the fort, and a fierce battle followed. One-third of Sherman's men were killed or wounded and the general in command, was severely injured. Just as he was about to hoist the white flag and surrender, a message came through the signal corps set up on a chain of mountains. General Sherman was within fifteen miles of the fort and sent the message: "Hold fast. We are coming." Those few words so encouraged the defenders that they held on and kept the fort from falling into the hands of their attackers.

As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we have a Commander and General who says, “Hold fast. I am coming soon.” Until He comes, may find us watching, waiting, working, witnessing, worshiping. Listen to the words of Jesus once more, “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”

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