Bits From Sunday's Sermon

““Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’” (Matthew 25:1–6, ESV)

Here in the parable of the wise and foolish virgins Jesus indicates that they all became drowsy and went to sleep. Both the wise and foolish were caught sleeping when the bridegroom came! You might think that Jesus would identify the foolish ones as those who slept but no, the wise slept as well. Previously Jesus had said “Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.” (Matthew 24:42, ESV) but here they all fall asleep. While Jesus has repeatedly warned of staying awake, being ready, being watchful, we see here that falling asleep will not necessarily exclude you from the rapture, when Christ returns.

At one time or another we all fall short of what God requires of those who put their faith in Christ for salvation. If Christ should return on a day in which it seems you have failed miserably in following Christ, you can still have the assurance that you will be included in the rapture of the church. The sleeping virgins were wise, not because they were working when the bridegroom came, but because that had prepared in advance for his arrival. Anyone who has put that faith in Christ, and him alone, for salvation will be ready when Christ returns. This does not mean we should ignore our duty. It just means that we should not look to how we live out our faith as the means by which we are saved. We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Nothing else will do.

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