Ten Virgins, Two Shut Doors

Posted on 09 August 2012


 

If you go to Matthew 25 in your Bible, you will find something amazing.  It’s a parable known as “The Ten Virgins,” and it should be amazing to all who believed last year’s warnings about May 21, 2011.  That’s because this parable so well describes the situation that day and afterwards.

 

People all around the world heard the Judgment Day, May 21 warnings.  Many believed there would be great physical signs that day.  Many Christians expected the Rapture and resurrection to occur then.  It was supposed to be the date for the Lord’s return – guaranteed by the Bible.

 

Since last year, several other dates have been proposed for the Lord’s return.  However, none of those other dates was publicized nearly so much or accepted by nearly so many people as last year’s May 21.  The warning about May 21, 2011 was a worldwide phenomenon.  It’s important to keep this in mind as you read the parable of The Ten Virgins.

 

 

The Parable

 

Here is the complete parable, from Matthew 25:1-13 (King James Version):

 

1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward 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. 13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

 

 

The Time Setting

 

As we see in these verses, it’s a parable about ten virgins.  Immediately we should ask ourselves why the parable concerns virgins.  When we search the Bible, we find that the word “virgins” (Strong’s number G3933) can refer to those who have become saved (for example, see Revelation 14:4).  However, when we read this parable we soon learn that half the virgins were not saved; so as a group these ten virgins do not represent the elect.  Instead, they must represent people who are identified with God’s kingdom – regardless of whether or not they are actually saved.

 

All ten of the virgins took their lamps and went forth to meet the bridegroom.  Who is the bridegroom?  The Lord Jesus compared Himself to a bridegroom in Mark 2:18-19:

 

And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to fast: and they come and say unto him, Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not?  And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.

 

Also, the Lord compared His return at the end of the world to the arrival of a bridegroom returning after his wedding, as in Luke 12:35-36:

 

Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;  And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.  

 

Therefore, we see that the parable of the ten virgins is actually showing us a picture of those identified as God’s people at some time near the end of the world.  They are expecting the return of the Lord Jesus.

 

 

They Went Forth to Meet the Bridegroom

 

Verse 1 tells us that the virgins went forth to meet the bridegroom.  Perhaps you’ve read this verse many times without thinking about it.  If you go to meet someone, it’s because you expect that person to arrive at a particular time.  In only a few words, the parable is telling us that the virgins were expecting the bridegroom’s immediate return – that’s why they went to meet him.

 

In verse 1, we also learn that they took their lamps with them when they went to meet the bridegroom.  Continuing with the parable, we read that five virgins were wise, and five were foolish.  The wise ones “took oil in their vessels with their lamps.”  The foolish ones, however, “took no oil with them.”  What is the significance of the oil?  The Greek word (G1637, “elaion”) translated as “oil” in Matthew 25:3 and 4 is the same word translated as “oil” in Mark 6:13:

 

And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them. 

 

Mark 6:13 is actually a little parable in itself.  It’s telling us that the apostles (Mark 6:7) anointed the sick with oil and healed them.  This is a picture of people who have not yet been saved (that is, they are “sick”) hearing the word of God and being saved when God’s Holy Spirit (the “oil”) is present to save them.   So when we read that the wise virgins took oil with them, we know that they were saved.  The foolish virgins, however, took no oil with them; in other words, they were not saved.

 

All ten virgins had lamps: they appeared to be God’s people.  The world knows them as Christians.  However, only five of them were truly God’s children.

 

 

The Bridegroom Tarried

 

Verse 5 states:

 

While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 

 

The virgins went to meet the bridegroom, but what happened?  He tarried, or delayed his coming.  The delay pictured in this parable is apparently not brief, for we read that the virgins “all slumbered and slept.”  They settled down to relax while they waited for the bridegroom, and then they fell asleep.

 

Beginning with verse 6, the parable deals with the arrival of the bridegroom.  However, before continuing with the parable we should consider some key verses about the Lord’s return.

 

 

Like Lightning

 

One of those verses is Matthew 24:27:

 

For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

 

The Lord compared His return to lightning.  A powerful flash of lightning brightens the entire sky, and does it so quickly that it appears to be instantaneous.  It might be a matter of seconds until the sound of thunder reaches someone who is distant from the lightning, but the flash can be seen from one end of the sky to the other as soon as the lightning strikes.

 

The Bible also tells us that for the unsaved the Lord’s return means sudden destruction.  We read that in 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3:

 

For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.  For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

 

The day of the Lord is the last day (see 2 Peter 3:10), and that’s the day the Lord will return.  Therefore, the above verse implies that there will be no physical signs preceding the Lord’s return.  The world – the unsaved as well as the elect – will be going about their business as usual; everyone will expect a tomorrow that brings more of the same.  Matthew 24:37-39 confirms this:

 

But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.  For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,  And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

 

On the day of the Lord’s return, there will be no doubt about what is happening.  His return will happen without any warning, and it will be seen and heard all over the world at the same time.

 

 

The Bridegroom Cometh

 

Returning to the parable, verse 6 states:

 

And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

 

What is this cry?  It is the start of events that will happen on the last day.  It is proof –physical evidence – that the last day has arrived.  Compare that verse with 1 Thessalonians 4:16:

 

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 

 

The ten virgins are wide-awake; they have heard the “cry” or “shout.”  Notice that the time setting has changed.  Time has passed since the virgins went forth to meet the bridegroom; but we cannot know how much time.   Now the ten virgins are witnessing the resurrection or something else that will occur on the last day.  They know what is happening.  In verse 7, we read that they all arose and trimmed their lamps:

 

Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.

 

It’s interesting to read that they “trimmed their lamps.”  Every other time the Greek word translated as “trimmed” (Strong’s number G2885) is used in the Bible, it’s translated as “adorn” or “garnish” (for example, as in 1 Timothy 2:9: “…that women adorn themselves in modest apparel…).   Perhaps this verse is telling us that the virgins are mentally preparing themselves to meet God.

 

Continuing with the parable, verses 8 and 9 tell us:

 

And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.  But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.

 

The foolish virgins are worried they are not saved.  We know this because of the words telling us that their “lamps have gone out.”  They witnessed the resurrection and Rapture; they see no indication that they will be taken up with the others.  Their anguish is much greater than that of other unsaved people, such as those who follow other religions and those who are atheists.

 

As Christians, the foolish virgins knew that the Bible teaches about the Lord’s return; but they thought they were saved and ready to meet Him.  However, instead of the true Gospel they believed a false one.  They thought they could guarantee their own salvation.  These foolish virgins are the same people the Lord Jesus mentioned in Luke 12:47:

 

And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 

 

The foolish virgins now realize they have a false gospel.   They realize they need the “oil” of the Holy Spirit, and they need to be saved.  The wise virgins tell them “go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.”  This is a reference to something we find in the book of Isaiah.  There, God compares the Gospel to something that is offered for sale by merchants.  Isaiah 55:1 states:

 

Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 

 

Despite the wise virgins’ advice, it’s too late for the foolish virgins to seek God’s mercy because the time for it has passed.  This is clear from verses 10-12:

 

And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.  Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.  But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

 

 

The Door Was Shut

 

When we read that the door was shut, we are reminded of the ark’s door being shut in Genesis 7:16:

 

And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.

 

The great flood was God’s judgment on the world of Noah’s day.  Out of all the people living then, only Noah, Noah’s wife, their sons and their sons’ wives were spared.  Not even one young child came into the ark, which represented God’s salvation.  Once the ark’s door was shut, it was impossible for anyone outside to be saved.  They were condemned to die in the flood.

 

In the flood account, we see a picture of God’s end-time judgment; but we must be very careful in the way we apply its lessons to our own time. The consequences of God shutting the ark’s door are clear; but what about the door in our parable?  Should we conclude the shutting of the door in the parable of the ten virgins is teaching something similar?  Is the parable teaching salvation is possible right up to the moment the door to the marriage feast is shut on the last day?

 

We’ve seen that God often uses objects and people in the Bible to represent ideas associated with His salvation plan.  However, we must be aware that there is no guarantee an object or person will represent the same idea in every situation and whenever we find it in the Bible.  For example, Moses is frequently a picture of the Lord Jesus; but in the verses where we read about his disobedience (Numbers 20:11-12), we know that he is definitely not a picture of the Lord.

 

What about the shutting of the door in the parable of the ten virgins?  That cannot be the moment salvation ended – there is too much Biblical evidence that salvation had already ended before the foolish virgins were shut out of the marriage feast.  The very fact that the virgins went to meet the bridegroom on a particular day tells us that day is associated with God’s judgment.  Then how are we to understand the shutting of the door?  When we read “and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut,” we are reading about the end of the Rapture.  Luke 13:25-28 helps us to understand this:

 

When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:  Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.  But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.  There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.

 

In our parable, when the door is shut so that the foolish virgins cannot enter, it’s the moment they realize there is absolutely no hope for them to be saved.  It is when they see “Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God,” and realize they are “thrust out.”

 

The parable’s final events  – from the time the virgins hear the cry (“Behold, the bridegroom cometh … “) until they hear the final words (“I know you not”)  – all happen quickly.  They portray the Rapture-resurrection, and anguish of unsaved Christians when they finally understand their fate.  They show us a picture of events on the last day of the world.

 

Watch!

 

The final verse is the command associated with this parable.  Matthew 25:13 declares:

 

Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

 

This is the parable’s point.  It’s teaching us to always watch, because we won’t know when the Lord will return.

 

Before May 21 in 2011, it was commonly believed that the command to watch meant that God’s people are to search the Bible in order to learn the date of the Lord’s return.  However, all the evidence now indicates we will never know that date.  If you search to understand what is meant by the command to “watch,“ you will find that the Bible guides us to correct understanding.

 

When we check a concordance for the word “watch,” we find that there are several different Hebrew words and several different Greek words translated that way.  In our parable, the word used for watch (Matthew 25:13) is Strong’s number 1127 (gregoreo).  It’s used 23 times in the New Testament, and it’s always translated as “watch,” except for one verse where it’s translated as “be vigilant” and another one where it’s translated as “wake.”

 

The way it’s usually used, it means just what we think when anyone tells us to watch: we should keep our eyes open and notice what is going on around us.  But that doesn’t help us understand what the Lord meant when He told us to watch.  Obviously, He doesn’t expect us to spend our lives sitting around, watching the sky and waiting for His return.

 

There are some verses that can help us understand what it means to watch.  For example, read 1 Thessalonians 5:6-8:

 

Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.  For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

 

Notice that the first verse tells us to watch and be sober.  Then in the last verse we find an instruction to those who are “of the day.”  This is an instruction to the elect; and what are they told?  They are told to be sober, “putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.”  What about watching?  Does this verse only explain what it means to be sober?

 

God didn’t just skip over the idea of watching here; He’s helping us understand what it means to “watch” by telling us to be sober, and telling us about the breastplate of faith and love, and the helmet of salvation.

 

Here’s another verse telling us to watch, using the same Greek word found in the parable.  In Colossians 4:2, we read:

 

Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;

Here we see the idea of watching associated with thanksgiving in prayer.  Finally, let’s look at Revelation 3.  In Revelation 3:2, we find the word “watchful;” and in Revelation 3:3, we find the word “watch.”  In both cases, the original Greek word is “gregoreo”  – the same word used in the parable.  In Revelation 3:2-3, we read:

 

Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.  Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

 

These verses are part of a message from the Lord Jesus to the church in Sardis.  He is telling them to be watchful and to “strengthen the things which remain;” to remember what they have received and heard; and to repent.

 

Based on these examples from 1 Thessalonians, Colossians and Revelation, we can now understand the Lord’s command in Matthew 25:13 to “watch” (“Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.”).  We can see that watching has nothing to do with searching the Bible to learn the date of the Lord’s return.

 

Instead, watching has to do with examining ourselves to make sure that we are living faithfully.  It has to do with strengthening ourselves through prayer, and taking the “whole armour of God” (Ephesians 6:13-18).  We get the protection of that armor by reading the Bible and praying.  Watching has to do with spiritual growth as God works in our lives and as we pray, give thanks, read the Bible and meditate on God’s word.  God wants us to watch ourselves!

 

 

The Parable Fits the Timeline

 

The parable doesn’t give any clue telling us how long this time of watching will be; but it does help us to understand all that has happened since May last year.  It also shows that key teachings associated with the Judgment Day, May 21, 2011 warnings were correct.

 

Notice the following:

 

First, the ten virgins went forth to meet the bridegroom because they expected him to return at a specific time.  Based on the Biblical timeline about which Mr. Harold Camping and others wrote and taught, May 21, 2011 was to be the date for the Lord’s return.  People all over the world expected the Lord to return that very day.   Like the ten virgins, they “went forth” to meet Him.

 

Second, in the parable the bridegroom tarried: he didn’t arrive when the virgins expected him.  Like the ten virgins, people who expected the Lord’s return on May 21, 2011 have been forced to wait because the Lord is “tarrying.”

 

Third, the parable tells us that the foolish virgins took no oil in their lamps.  From the day they went forth to meet the bridegroom, they were unsaved.  This confirms the teaching that salvation was over by May 21, 2011 – the day people “went forth” to meet the Lord.  Also, notice that the bridegroom came at midnight.  Midnight identifies with spiritual night.  It’s a time when salvation has ended and the light of the Gospel is no longer shining with power to save anyone.

This parable should give tremendous comfort to those who believed the teachings about May 21, 2011, but have now begun to wonder if any of them were true.  It confirms our understanding that God provided end-time information, just as He indicated He would in His word (Daniel 12:10).  It also helps us understand why God’s people remain here, even though salvation has ended.

 

 

Watching and Waiting

 

What is God’s purpose in letting His people remain here if salvation has ended?  There are plenty of examples in the Bible showing that even after God has saved a person, he or she is far from perfect.  Earlier, we saw that watching has to do with spiritual growth; but that process takes time.  Depending on God’s specific purposes for each one of His children, a very short time may be enough.   On the other hand, it might take a lifetime.

 

Based on the Biblical timeline, we know that God saved a great multitude all over the world during the latter rain – the period when He poured out His Holy Spirit, starting in 1994 and continuing until the last day of salvation.  The Bible indicates that this group included people who had little or no exposure to God’s word until very recently (Revelation 7:9).  During this final part of God’s plan for mankind, these people can learn more about God’s word and God can work in their lives.  There are some verses that help us to understand this.

 

In 2 Peter 1:5-7, we read:

 

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;  And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;  And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

 

This verse shows us a picture of spiritual fruits developing in a person’s life over a period of time.  In Hebrews 12, we find another idea that helps us understand why the final group of God’s elect would remain in the world even after salvation has ended.

 

Sadly, human nature is such that God must either allow or cause suffering to come into the life of everyone of His elect.  Hebrews 12 tells us about chastening, and in Hebrews 12:6-7 we read:

 

For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?    

 

These verses appear to indicate that chastening occurs after God has saved someone.  Chastening forces a person to rely on God and seek His help in prayer.  It is one way God may use to develop spiritual fruit in a person.  Even after salvation has ended, spiritual gifts are still available to God’s children.  In fact, there is a parable showing us that very thing.

 

 

Another Parable, Another Shut Door

 

In Luke 11, we find a very interesting parable.  It has to do with a man who goes to his friend at midnight to ask for three loaves.  In Luke 11:5-6, we read:

 

And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves;  For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him?

 

In order to understand this parable, we need to realize that it is telling us something about prayer.  We should suspect this right away because in Luke 11:1, we read that one of the Lord’s disciples asked Him to teach the disciples how to pray.  For His answer (Luke 11:2-4), the Lord Jesus spoke the words that have become among the best known in the Bible:

 

And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.  Give us day by day our daily bread.  And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.

 

Then, right after this the Lord told them the parable about the man and his friend.   The fact that this parable has to do with three loaves also indicates that it is teaching something about prayer.  (Remember the words “Give us day by day our daily bread” in the verses telling us how to pray).

 

In the parable, a man has gone to his friend’s home at midnight to ask for three loaves for another friend who has come to him “in his journey.”   But the friend who is at home doesn’t immediately provide the loaves.  In fact, at first it appears that the man won’t get the loaves because of the way his friend seems to answer.   In Luke 11:7 we read:

 

And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.    

 

This verse is telling us that salvation has ended!  Remember, the man went to his friend at midnight.  That means it’s a time of spiritual nighttime.  The sun has darkened so that the Gospel is no longer able to save anyone (Matthew 24:29).  Also, the friend says that his children are with him in bed and the door is shut.

 

In this case, the shut door does indeed mean that salvation is over.  This door is like the door to the ark in Genesis 7 after God has shut it.  And notice what we read about the man’s children.  Just as the fictional Lazarus was in Abraham’s bosom after death (Luke 16:23), the children of this man’s friend are with him in bed.  The parable is definitely telling us about the period of time after salvation ends.

 

The friend’s answer from within indicates that the man will not get the loaves he requested.  However, in the very next verse of the parable we find that the man will get what he wants.  Luke 11:8 tells us:

 

I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.

 

What is going on here with the loaves?  We can see that the loaves do not represent salvation.  Notice that the man asked for three loaves; but salvation cannot have a quantity associated with it.  It’s an amazing work of God in which He gives someone a new, resurrected soul.  No number can represent salvation, and you can’t say that if you get as many as need then you’ll have it.   Therefore, the loaves cannot represent salvation; but they can represent increasing fruits of the spirit and nourishment provided by God’s word.

 

In Luke 11:9-10, the Lord Jesus begins to explain the parable:

 

And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.  For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

 

We must be careful not to misunderstand the words “every one.”  These verses cannot be teaching that just by asking God for salvation, anyone will receive it.   The “every one” here means God’s children.  We see that in Luke 11:11-13, which speak of a father’s relationship with his son:

 

If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?  Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?  If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? 

 

The promise of the Holy Spirit in the last verse is not a promise of salvation; it is a promise that the Lord will give “good gifts” to His children – those whom He has already saved.  Some statements the Lord Jesus made to His disciples support this way of understanding the promise of the Holy Spirit.

 

For instance, recall that at the Passover supper the Lord washed the feet of His disciples.  In John 13:10-11, we read:

 

Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.   For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.

 

According to these verses, except for Judas all the disciples there that evening were clean; that is, they were saved (also, see John 15:3).  Yet they had to wait for the Holy Spirit, as we read in Acts 1:4-5:

 

And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.   For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

 

About a week and a half later, the disciples were baptized with the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.  That was the beginning of the Church Age, and from that day the disciples were equipped to carry out their mission to spread the Gospel.

 

Summary

 

Once we realize that God has promised to give His Holy Spirit to the elect even after “the door” of salvation has been shut, we can understand how all of these ideas fit together.  The parable of the ten virgins is in agreement with the parable of the man asking for the loaves, although the two parables are teaching different things.

 

In the parable of the ten virgins, the shutting of the door signifies the moment when the unsaved Christians realize they will not be caught up to be with the Lord.  The point of that parable is that the elect should always be watching – and we saw that watching has to do with spiritual growth.

 

On the other hand, in the parable of the man asking for the loaves, the shut door shows us the parable’s time setting: it happens after salvation has ended.  Therefore, this parable is showing us that God’s elect remain here even after salvation has ended!

 

There’s another important lesson in the parable of the man and the loaves.  God is showing us that we can go to Him in prayer any time, right up to the last day.  God is the “friend” who is at home behind the shut door.  John 15:15 illustrates that:

 

Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

 

God’s children can go to Him in prayer for themselves and for others too.  Remember, the man who was asking for the three loaves needed them to set before his own friend who had come “in his journey.”

 

Although the parable of the ten virgins only mentions one door, there are actually two doors in view there.  The first door, the one to salvation, was already shut when the virgins went forth to meet the bridegroom.  There was no possibility that the five foolish virgins could be saved after that time.  Neither was there any danger that the five wise virgins could lose their salvation, even though they weren’t watching when the Lord returned.

 

If God has saved you, then you will be allowed into the marriage feast (Matthew 25:10) whether or not you have been “watching.”  On the other hand – if God has truly saved you – then you will want to be watching.   We can do that by reading and meditating on God’s words, thanking Him for blessings, and remembering others in our prayers.

 

 





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2 Responses to “Ten Virgins, Two Shut Doors”

  1. james says:

    Hello Robert Fitzpatrick,

    In a word “intriguing”. Thank you for posting your insight of God’s Word.

    james

  2. Chris says:

    Hello Mr. Fitzpatrick, The parable of the ten virgins does not show that salvation has ended when they went out to meet the bridegroom. God says the bridegroom tarried and all ten virgins slept during this time. But instead of getting oil for their lamps, the five foolish virgins slept. So when the bridegroom came they went to the wedding feast with no oil in their lamps, meaning that salvation was over when the bridegroom came. Then the bridegroom shut the door. If the five foolish virgins would have went to get oil for their lamps while the bridegroom tarried they would have been let into the wedding feast.
    As for the parable in Luke 11, I’m not sure what God means when He says “the door has been shut”. This parable does not relate to the Noah’s ark. People could have been saved right up to the time God shut the door to the ark, but no one came to the ark asking for mercy before the flood came.
    Yes May 21 was important for the world to know that the Day of the Lord is near, but salvation is still possible right up to the day Christ returns to gather His elect.


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