Saturday, November 27, 2021

Bridesmaids And Servants

Bobservations Column
Pastor Bob Lawrenz

Every once in a while we hear of a birth, and the mother’s report that she didn’t even know she was pregnant. Though it’s hard to believe, who is going to refute someone else’s personal experience?

At the end of Matthew 24 in verse 50, the scriptures quote Jesus, “The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of.”  Jesus’ arrival will be an unexpected arrival for all that are not discerning the signs of the times. For nations and individuals who reject God, His Word, and His Holy Spirit, they willfully turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the forewarnings and advance arrival notices for the King of kings.

For believers, this is a most foolish move. It goes against our grain for the simple reason that our personal experiences reveal God’s faithfulness to His Word, because God never changes. He tells us that all His Word will be fulfilled, and that He will not change a single word that He has spoken. [Malachi 3:6- “For I am the Lord, I change not....” Matthew 5:18- “For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law.”  Psalm 89:34 - “My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.”]

Believers stand on the Rock of Ages, not the shifting sands of human cultures or manipulated observations. God’s Word is true. He cannot lie. He will never change, and for this reason we can lean on Him as our strong tower.

Do we need a current example?

People have lost their jobs because of a vaccine mandate, now applied almost universally. But there have never been vaccine mandates for any job description until now. What changed? Fear. God has not changed. People have changed, they have become fearful because of media coverage of the current pandemic. The media didn’t cause the pandemic; they are just reporting the thoughts and whims of specific human leaders, driven by personal gain.
“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some covet after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” - 1 Timothy 6:10

Today's Audio Message:

Matthew 25:1-30 - "Bridesmaids And Servants"


Beginning in chapter 25 of Matthews Gospel, the next couple of parables given by Jesus is with the intent of teaching us the suddenness and the unexpectedness of the coming of the Lord which, therefore, should call us to preparedness so that we are not caught in that unexpected moment unprepared for His coming.

The first time Jesus came, the world was not ready. They should have been. The prophets had marked out very clearly the signs to look for. They said there would be a forerunner. There was. They identified him as a voice crying in the wilderness. That’s exactly what John did. They said the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, He was; born of a virgin, He was; of the line of David, He was. They said He would come to Galilee, He did. They said He would have great power, He had it. But the world still was not prepared and not ready.

Jesus came unto His own, and His own received Him not. He was in the world, the world that was made by Him, but the world knew Him not. If they had only known what time it was, if they had only known that He was here, and now it’s too late. And this parable warns the world not to let that happen again. For there will be no recourse in the future.

The theme of the first parable is very simple. The parable is meant to teach us that Jesus is coming. That He is coming to judge sinners and to reward the righteous. That He is coming in a sudden and unexpected moment and everyone should be prepared. And afterward there will be no second chance. People may knock all they want, but the door will be shut. The day of opportunity will have come and gone forever.

The first parable in Matthew 25, is the parable of the ten virgins. 
Their presence symbolizes their interest, and their torch symbolizes their profession of faith in Christ. They show outward marks of watching for the coming of the bridegroom. They show outward marks of readiness. They show outward marks of commitment to Jesus Christ. They’re part of the believing community. They’re gathered as bridesmaids, as it were, ready to be received into this glorious marriage celebration. They profess to love Christ’s appearing. They profess to hear the gospel and believe. They profess to be disciples to wait for the Son, to desire the Kingdom.   At first glance they're not very easy to distinguish. They are all attending to the bride.  They all have their torches.  But as the parable goes on, what is hidden becomes known.  The searcher of our hearts knows.  Outwardly they are indistinguishable, but inwardly they are very different.  

Of these ten virgins, or bridesmaids, there were five that were wise, and five that were foolish. The wise bridesmaids had been preparing for a wedding.  They were excited, watching and waiting in anticipation for the Bridegroom to call. They knew what their role was and they were making themselves ready. The foolish bridesmaids were not ready.  From what we read, we can hardly believe that they took their role seriously.  They did not make time to prepare.  They weren't excitedly anticipating the moment the Bridegroom would call.  They were by all accounts foolish at best, and wicked at worst. They knew what they were supposed to be doing, and they just didn't do it.   They were not committed.  They hadn't taken their responsibility to heart.  They had their lamps, but had no oil.  The oil of the Holy Spirit is true faith.  Born again believers have the oil of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit who fills us, seals us and leads us into all truth.  He is the One who sanctifies us and readies us to see Christ. 

The five virgins who have extra oil represent those who are truly born again and who are looking with eagerness to the coming of Christ. They have a saving faith and have determined that, whatever occurs, however long the wait or adverse the circumstances, they will be watching, waiting, and ready when Jesus returns. The five virgins without oil represent those who are false believers. They enjoy church socials and programs and all the benefits, but they have no true love for Christ. No saving faith. They have an intellectual knowledge of the Lord, but don't know Him personally. They offer lip service, and maintain ritual, but there is nothing from the heart.

The second parable is the parable of the talents. The parable deals with entrustment and opportunity in our service to the Lord, its emphasis is on working. while we are waiting and while we are looking and watching, we are to be serving. These two parables provide a masterful balance of living in anticipation of our Lord’s coming.

Everything we have is given to us by God, and we are making the most of our opportunity and stewardship, and magnifying the very role that God has given us to serve Him.

In this parable two of His servants used their opportunity to serve the Lord and therefore proved the genuineness of their salvation. They were willing to spend their time for the sake of their Master. One servant buried his Master’s money in the ground and spent his time doing exactly what he wanted. He called himself a servant, but he wasn’t.  He said he belonged to the Master, but he didn’t and was ultimately thrown out. He didn’t really know his Master. He didn’t think highly of Him. He thought Him to be hard, and to have unfair and unrealistic expectations of him. He lived his life in fear, and hid that which was entrusted to Him. He had no faith in His Master, and didn’t care much about pleasing Him.

Christian, be sure that even though you are outwardly associated with God’s kingdom, that you are also inwardly belonging to Him.

May the Lord examine our hearts and may His Spirit do whatever must be done to bring truth out of falsehood, that our faith would be real.

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