So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return. – Matthew 25:13
Jesus told the parable of the 10 virgins: 5 wise and 5 foolish. They had gathered for the bridegroom and the wedding, but only five ladies had brought enough oil to light in the night should he return at that time. Indeed the groom did return in the wee hours of the night and invited all gathered into the hall, but the five foolish ladies didn’t have their lights trimmed and burning, so the groom refused them entrance into his wedding feast. They were left out in the darkness and told by the groom that he didn’t know them. Jesus then went on to tell those listening that they had to watch for his return also because they didn’t know the hour or day of his return.
This parable is a somber moment for all who call themselves disciples and followers of Jesus. Why? Because there will be those who label themselves as Christians but will find out one sad day that they really were not. There are those who try tell us that salvation is eternal, and that no one once saved can ever “not be saved.” They would argue that those that find out there weren’t really saved were never saved in the first place.
I would say otherwise. The Bible is clear that we are to be vigilant in our walk with Jesus and to let NO ONE deceive us and cause us to lose faith and fall away from the faith. If “once saved always saved” is true, then why would Jesus tells us to WATCH and be vigilant for his return since we don’t know the hour or day of his return? Remember that the bridegroom didn’t invite strangers to his feast in Jesus day. ONLY those KNOWN to the groom were permitted entrance. Again note in the parable that the ladies were ALL virgins. They represented those who believed in God. Half were true followers of Jesus while the others were deceived.
I propose further that Jesus said that there will be MANY who stand before him and say, “Lord, Lord, have we not many great things in your name” only to be turned away by him because he NEVER KNEW them. Doesn’t this sound like what he said in this parable? Think about it! We have to watch and vigilant for our Savior’s return! He will come like a thief in the night, and no wise man would let his house be robbed if he knew the hour of the thief’s arrival.
Even Paul wrote of many leaving the faith in the last days! And, to further the case, think about a gift. IF someone gives you something, don’t you have the right and power to refuse it? Or give it back even after receiving it? Then why wouldn’t and couldn’t that same logic apply to salvation? What if a person refused to continue following Christ? Doesn’t the God who created and gave us free will also allow us to decide whether or not we want to continue following him?!?
Father, help me to be sober and continue watching for your return as you commanded. I feel sorry for those who think that half a container of oil will get through life’s journey. They deceive themselves and will unfortunately find out one day that half was not good enough. It takes all or nothing to enter into your kingdom. WE cannot serve two masters simultaneously. We either serve you, or we don’t. It’s like a half-truth is still a whole lie. Help me reach people with the truth of your word and allow them to see the need to have a full container of oil to prepare them for your return. Thank you, Sir. In Jesus’ name, Amen.