The Parable of the Ten Virgins

The Parable of the Ten Virgins

Although it is only during the past four years that I became a Christian and accepted our Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour, as I read my Bible and Pray, every day, I find myself drawing ever closer to our Heavenly Father and experiencing an ever-deepening relationship with Him.

In my reborn life, I always put God first and am obedient to His will. And it is through His grace and mercy that He gave me a Healing Miracle when I lay in my bed ‘dying’.

Before I was saved I was a serial sinner – but our Father God, in His loving and infinite wisdom, showed me that He had forgiven all my past sins and misdeeds and that now was the time when I could start afresh!

Living a sinless life is far from easy, there are temptations lurking around every corner and Satan is always trying to distract me by offering me the opportunity to do things that would be displeasing to God.

But with the guidance and protection of our Father God I tell Satan that he must leave me alone; that I am not interested in anything that he tries to offer me, and that he must stop trying to interfere in my life.

Whenever I face challenging decisions in my life, where choices are involved, if I ask the one question, “What would Jesus do?”, the answer is usually plain and simple.

When God created our world, the seventh day – the Sabbath – He intended it to be a day of rest. And for thousands of years the Sabbath Day – Sunday – was a day when no work was done.

It was, in my humble view, a great mistake and an error of judgement by those who approved the change in the law, for Sunday to become just another day in the week.

Satan must be jumping up and down with joy and happiness when he sees how much the Church is declining because people are being seduced away from the church because there are now so many leisure activities for people to attend that take them away from God.

Sadly, many traditional church-goers are being pressurised by their non-Christian friends and family to go out with them on Sundays, taking the children to Amusement Parks, Football Matches etc.etc.

And these ‘Christians’ are too weak to stand up for their beliefs and still attend their church regardless of the demands of their family and friends, who long ago have forsaken the Lord our God.

When I was a child, my parents insisted that I went to Church every Sunday morning, and my Sunday School was always full because other parents also insisted that my friends should go to Sunday School.

I was not allowed to go out to play with my friends on  Sundays and my parents never went anywhere on a Sunday, except, of course, to Church.

But, as I grew up, away from the influence and control of my parents, I became a backslider and indeed continued to be a backslider until Jesus saved me four years ago.

Perhaps the style of worship needs to change to encourage younger people to go to church? Many of the churches I have visited these past four years consist mainly of elderly people, who have been members of their church for many years; they are very happy and content to worship in their own cocooned comfort zone!

From my visionary standpoint, the main problem is that many of the church services are lifeless and (please forgive me, Lord) DULL. It is thus easy to see why young people fail to be attracted to the Church.

I have seen videos of church services in America where the young people take a prominent part, often through music. Music can prove very uplifting to the soul – and young people love charismatic hymns and tunes that are a very long way from anything written by Charles Wesley.

Churches here in the UK need to wake up and alter their modus operandi to meet the needs and expectations of the 21st Century generation of young people!

My wife, Marlene, and I now attend The Christian Centre in Ebbw Vale. The Christian Centre is an Apostolic Church with an ever-growing congregation, with a higher percentage of young people than many churches today.

It is a vibrant church. Every Sunday there are Worship and Praise Services and the singing is breath-taking. The anointing is very POWERFUL.

Where is the church (all churches) heading? Personally, I would love the old Biblical Teachings to manifest themselves into our 21st Century lives.

But times they-are-a-changing and with the ever-present internet (especially Facebook) we are now living in a world of which Moses could never have dreamt!

Here are some signs that the church is asleep:

  • The absence of conviction of sin
  • A lack of the fear of God
  • Little sense of outrage over the godlessness of society
  • Watching pornography and feeling justified
  • Avarice, greed and lack of financial integrity
  • No sense of outrage over the Church’s lack of credibility in the world
  • Little or no concern about people going to hell
  • Little concern about the lack of knowledge of God’s word
  • Indifference to the biblical view of marriage
  • Indifference to holding grudges and unforgiveness
  • Indifference to talking to people about Christ
  • Tolerating heresies such as open theism and hyper-grace teaching
  • Indifference to the teaching that the Bible is infallible
  • Indifference to how much time is spent in prayer and quiet time

When I was saved, and gave my heart to Jesus I thought that all Christians frequently read the Bible and prayed, at least once, every day.

But it didn’t take me long to discover the truth – that the average Christian doesn’t pick up, or look at, a Bible from one Sunday to the next.

Can we honestly say that we are ready for the Second Coming of Christ?

AW Tozer wrote that if the Holy Spirit were completely withdrawn from the Church, “95 percent of what we do would go on and no one would know the difference”.

Tozer is undoubtedly correct. Only a very few churches that I have attended since being saved have had the presence of the Holy Spirit. Very few Ministers and Lay Preachers ever refer to the Holy Spirit in their sermons and my impression is that very few members of their congregations know what the Holy Spirit does and can do for them.

Many Biblical Scholars believe that the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25: 1-13) is eschatological – referring to the last days. I am sure that God meant this parable to be prophetic.

This parable refers to the customs of the Jews, when celebrating a marriage. The bridegroom used to go in the evening to fetch home his bride by the light of oil lamps. These were carried by bridesmaids (the ‘virgins’), which could be as many as ten, and when they arrived at the bride’s house, there was a feast awaiting them.

Christ is the bridegroom of the church and those who are of the true faith are the companions of the bride, and they are patiently awaiting the arrival of Christ.

However, this does not refer to all Christians; some Christians cannot be included because they have strayed from the Lord’s pathway and are only lukewarm and synthetic Christians.

Of the ten bridesmaids/virgins mentioned “five were wise, and five were foolish”.

The foolish virgins had lamps, but no oil in their vessels to replenish them with: that is, they had enough religious knowledge to make a plausible appearance but their hearts were not truly sanctified and stored with holy affections and dispositions by the newly creating Spirit of God.

But the wise virgins already had oil in their lamps as well as a firm foundation in the Word of God.

In Matthew 25: 5 Jesus is saying that because the bridegroom took some time in coming, both the wise virgins and the foolish virgins fell asleep.

The five wise virgins, who have extra oil, represent those who are ready for that which is going to come; they are preparing themselves with great enthusiasm and excitement for the Second Coming and the return of Christ.

They not only have faith in Christ but they trust him implicitly and they are determined to wait patiently, for as long as they need, for Christ to return.

The five wise virgins have real grace in their hearts and who are, notwithstanding occasional lapses through sleepiness, in habitual readiness to meet Christ, either in death or in judgement, and they shall graciously be permitted to have eternal fellowship with Christ in His heavenly kingdom.

But the five foolish virgins represent false believers, who profess to know Gospel truths but they are more concerned about their worldly wealth and enjoying themselves rather than any deep desire to see the bridegroom (Jesus).

Their hope is that because they are associated with true Christians this will be enough to bring them into the Kingdom of God at the End Days.

The foolish virgins, when awakened through death or judgement, will soon discover that all their false truths will come to nothing and that their pleas for salvation will be too late and that they themselves will be permanently excluded from fellowship with Christ.

For in Matthew 25: 11-12 it is written: –

11 Afterwards came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.

12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

And in Matthew 7: 21-23 we read: –

21 Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name, have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

This parable dynamically demonstrates the wisdom and profound effect of being ready and the devastating effect that will take place if one is unready and unprepared,

The five wise virgins, being ready, were admitted to the marriage feast, but the door was then immediately shut; and the five foolish virgins, coming afterwards, were denied admission and disowned by the bridegroom, as persons with whom He had no acquaintance.

Are you prepared for His Second Coming?

Will you be invited to the Lord’s Table?

Amen

The Ten Virgins

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Suffer Little Children

But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

(Luke 18: 16)

Children need to be taught about Jesus. Churches are in serious decline because the parents are abdicating their responsibilities to ensure that their children go to Sunday School and learn about our Heavenly Father.

As a child, my mother used to read Bible Stories to me when I was in bed and before I went to sleep. How many parents do that nowadays?

Thirty years or so ago many churches had thriving Sunday Schools but somehow they must have failed abysmally to capture the interest and imagination of the children who went to Sunday School because these children neglected to tell their own children about the miracles of Jesus.

And if you go back in time to the 1800s, you will read in the newspaper archives that most churches were so full every Sunday that they could hardly accommodate everyone who wanted to attend!

Children are – or, at least, should be – the lifeblood of all churches but it is with great regret that I have to say that very few churches – here in the UK, anyway – have responsible adult members who encourage their children to go to Sunday School every week.

Jesus loved children – do you love your children and grandchildren enough to make sure that they read their Bible and go to Church every Sunday?

Praise be the Lord. Hallelujah

b

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Good Friday

Jesus fell with his face to the ground and prayed:-
 
“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will but as you will.”
 
(Matthew 26: 39)
 
And in John 19: 28-30 we read:-
 
28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.
 
29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.
 
30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
 
Thank you, dear Jesus, for having the courage and strength to suffer all the pain and humiliation of being crucified upon the Cross at Calvary so that all our sins may be forgiven and so that we may enjoy eternal life in your Kingdom.
 
Amen
Good Friday
With many peaceful blessings
Geoffrey

“Get Thee Behind Me Satan”

Since Jesus saved me one very important lesson I have learnt is that people can – and often will – let me down but God never will.
 
There is a very illuminating scriptural passage in Mark 8: 33 when Jesus says to Peter:-
 
“Get thee behind me Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men”.
 
Many people are only interested in living their life materially, or carnally, and there is never going to be much room left in their heart or mind to do that which is pleasing unto God!
 
But God loves even the serial sinner – and He will always be there for you, at the end of a prayer request, when people around you, both in business, and in your family, are letting you down time and time again.
 
Hallelujah!
 
Praise be the Lord our God.
With many joy-filled blessings
Geoffrey

Isaiah 44: 3

Isaiah 44: 3:-

(For I will pour water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring and my blessings upon your descendants.)

Loving Lord Jesus I am not worthy to address you by your Holy name or to come into your Holy presence and receive good things from you.

I come to you in Jesus Name, responding to your invitation. I believe your promises.

Come to me all you who labour and heavy laden and I will give thee rest.

Today I desire of you Lord Jesus the gift of your Holy Spirit. No one can see you, Jesus, without holiness.

It’s my desire to live a holy life and enter heaven one day to see you face to face. For this very purpose I need your Holy Spirit so that your Holy Spirit will keep me holy and blameless until that day.

Grant me your mighty Holy Spirit so that I will have the power to resist sin and the evil works of Satan. With your divine strength I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Without your power in me, I cannot live through even one single day.

Burn up my evil intentions and my desire to sin by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Heavenly Father, God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob, your Holy Word says that my body is your temple and the palace of your Holy Spirit, your promise. You know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more, beloved heavenly Father, will you give to those who ask Him?

For in the Bible Jesus says: –

‘Ask and it shall be given unto you. Seek and you will find’
(Matthew 7:7)

Grant me your Holy Spirit, dear Father God, right now

In Jesus name

Amen

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Faith and Prayer

As you go to your church today remember that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

(John 3: 16)

And through our belief in Him comes also faith:-

And Jesus said unto them, because of your unbelief, for verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, remove hence to yonder place, and it shall remove, and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

(Matthew 17: 20)

May our Father God bless you mightily this day that our Lord has given us.

faith-and-prayer

Wishing you a very God-filled Sabbath

God Bless

Geoffrey

A Dream: Turned Away At Heaven’s Door!

Laija awoke with a start, confused by the strange events in her dream. Why had she been refused passage through the door that led other people to a better place? Her mind kept going back to what the man at the door had told her: “This is not for everyone, but only for a selected few.”

Woman Lives Without Peace

Laija faithfully worshipped her family’s gods and delighted to participate in the religious ceremonies, yet her life was devoid of peace. She and her husband raised seven children and watched several of them marry, but love did not reign in their home. Financial struggles created a tense atmosphere, and her family quarreled continually.

Laija had heard about Jesus’ life and had visited worship services led by Gospel for Asia-supported workers, but like most people in her community, Laija had little room in her heart for anything other than her own beliefs.

Wife Befriends Beacons of Hope

Then one day, Laija met Vivaan and Abeyma, the Gospel for Asia-supported women missionaries ministering in her area. Laija heard again about the love of Jesus and the transformation He freely offers, but the seeds of faith still fell on the roadway of her heart and found no good soil in which to grow.

Laija’s friendship with the two missionaries did grow, however, and she soon confided in her new friends, explaining her family’s problems and the thoughts of her heart.

“I do not know who to believe,” she shared. “There is no peace in my life, and I am fed up with everything.”

Vivaan and Abeyma prayed for Laija and visited her often to share words of encouragement. Laija recognized the grace of Jesus being lived out in her two friends, and an earnest hunger to experience that same grace developed in her heart. The two women’s testimonies of God’s hand in their lives inspired Laija, but although she understood the goodness of the Lord, her dedication to the gods she had worshipped for all of her 47 years made Laija hesitant to embrace Jesus.

Dream Bewilders, Explanation Illuminates

Then Laija had a dream. In her dream, she saw a long line of people waiting to pass through a door. When she asked what was happening and why so many people were standing in a line, someone in her dream replied, “Everyone is getting ready to go to a cool and better place because it is becoming hotter here.”

“Oh, that is good,” Laija responded. “I also want to go there.”

But when Laija reached the door, a man stopped her and said, “This is not for everyone, but only for a selected few.”

She woke up, bewildered by her dream and the rejection she experienced in it.

The next day, Laija visited her missionary friends and told them about her strange dream. While Abeyma listened to Laija, she remembered Jesus teaching in Matthew 7 that only those who do the will of His Father will enter the kingdom of heaven.

Abeyma and Vivaan prayed for their friend and spoke into Laija’s life again by sharing passages from the Word of God. Gradually, Laija understood the meaning of her dream, and the many seeds that God had been sowing in her heart finally found good soil. She longed to know Jesus personally, so that day, she decided to follow Him.

A Dream: Turned Away at Heaven's Door

Laija (pictured) hungered to know Jesus the way her two missionary friends did, but she lacked the courage to embrace Him as her Saviour.

A Dream: Turned Away at Heaven's Door

An overwhelming peace and joy immediately followed Laija’s decision to embrace Jesus as her Saviour. But her husband quickly tried to squelch her new hope.

Faith Holds Fast Under Opposition

“At this age, how can you be so serious about [following a different god]?” he demanded. “I do not believe a single word about whatever you are telling me. The sooner you take back your words, the better. I do not want to hear nonsense.”

When Laija stood firm in her faith in Christ, her husband’s aggression reached beyond verbal abuse. He began hitting her frequently, and when he observed her praying before eating her meal, he would take away her food and taunt her, telling Laija to ask her Jesus to give her food. Even Laija’s children began mocking and disrespecting her.

Although her husband and children turned against her, Laija steadfastly clung to her hope in Christ. She knew Vivaan and Abeyma cared deeply for her, and she went to them often for comfort, prayer and encouragement.

Laija grew in her knowledge of God while Abeyma and Vivaan shared from the Word of God, just as these women learn by reading their Bible.

A Dream: Turned Away at Heaven's Door

“God gives me the strength,” Laija said, grateful for the prayer support of her friends.

Today, even in her difficult situation, Laija holds fast to her Prince of Peace, and she prays her family may one day also experience the joy she found in Christ.

Share Seeds of Faith

Through Vivaan’s and Abeyma’s faithful demonstration of Christ’s love, Laija’s heart was ready to receive the seeds God scattered into her life, and Laija found peace for today and courage to face tomorrow.

Gospel for Asia-supported missionary Abeyma (pictured) also faced opposition from her family and community because of her love for Jesus. Now, Abeyma encourages Laija during her trials.

A Dream: Turned Away at Heaven's Door

By supporting the work of national missions and partnering with a woman missionary through prayer, you can help share hope with women in Asia. Sponsor a woman missionary today.

These women missionaries rejoice in the hope they found in Christ and desire for others to discover that same joy.

Sponsor a woman missionary today

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With many peaceful blessings
Geoffrey