Of all the parables in the final chapters of Matthew, none is more striking and sobering than the parable of the ten virgins in chapter 25. Coupled with the other parables around it, we can clearly see that at His coming, the Lord will judge and examine His people…the believing and saved ones.
This judgement will not be concerning sin or our eternal salvation. Of that, we have been assured. But in the matters of watchfulness and faithfulness, we will be examined. Not at the risk of our salvation, but at the potential risk of the reward of the enjoyment of the kingdom.
…You have to pay a price. There is some cost. To be a foolish virgin…while you were living on this earth, you didn’t pay the proper price, and the price is mainly to deal with yourself, to give up the world and to love the Lord by all means. Then verse 10, “And as they were going away to buy, the bridegroom came and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast. And the door was shut”. Not the door to go to heaven, but the door to go to the marriage feast. Not the door of salvation, but the door of the reward of the enjoyment of the kingdom age. This door was shut. Verse 11, “And later the rest”, the foolish ones, “of the virgins came also.” Not only resurrected but also raptured; “came” means raptured. They also got raptured, but late. They got the help, and they bought the oil, and they paid the price and they got it…but too late. Time means a lot. The door into the feast was shut. So they say, “Lord, lord, open to us!”
“But he answered and said, Truly I say to you, I do not know you.” The simply means, I do not approve your way. The way you lived on the earth and the way you came so late…I do not approve. That means rejection. Not rejection for eternal salvation, but rejection for the enjoyment…the participation…in the kingdom feast. Watch therefore. After we get through this completing word, we can see how to be watchful…how to be ready. You have a complete word concerning watchfulness and readiness. This is a serious matter! I do believe no other book warns us so much as the book of Matthew. Are you going to be foolish? Are we the foolish ones or the prudent ones? We all have to answer this question. It all depends upon the preparation of the extra portion of the Holy Spirit in our vessels.
In the Old Testament you had to keep the law then you can have a good fellowship with God. But today, you need to have the Faith, then you can get into the fellowship with God. Today, God’s dealing with His people is based upon the principle of faith.
If you look into God’s dealing with Abraham, you could see God’s dealing with him was based upon God’s promise. God didn’t give Abraham any commandments. God only gave Abraham the promise. So God’s dealing with Abraham was according to God’s promise. So the promise given by God to Abraham became the principle upon which God dealt with Abraham.
Then later on Moses came and God gave the law through Moses to the children of Israel. Then that law given at Mount Sinai became the principle according to which God dealt with the children of Israel. In the New Testament, you could see that today God deals with the believers in Christ not according to the law…but according to the Faith.
So Abraham’s entire relationship with God was based on God’s promise.
If the children of Israel kept the law, then they were able to have a good relationship with God. If they broke the law, however, then they were in trouble in terms of their relationship with God. We see in the Old Testament many times the children of Israel had a big problem with God because they did not keep the law, and God had to come in and deal with them and judge them based upon the principle of the law.
Well this principle didn’t work well in the Old Testament so in the New Testament God brought in a new principle and that is the principle of Faith. So today, our relationship with God is not based upon our keeping of the law of the Old Testament, but it’s based upon our faith in Christ. Actually, this Faith is not just a kind of a mental agreement with the gospel or the teachings of the Bible. This Faith is a living Faith in a living person that joins us to that Person and that causes that Person to enter into us and to become one with us.
So now we have a relationship with God in the principle of Faith which makes us one with Christ and makes Christ one with us. God wants us to live our Christian life based upon this principle. Not on the principle of trying to keep the law by the strength and the effort of our natural life. God wants us to be joined to Christ by Faith and to live by the principle of Faith.
The standard of the kingdom of the heavens is to have no anger toward our brother and no lust. Who can keep such a standard? Actually, only one person in the entire universe is able to keep this standard and that is Christ Himself. And this is precisely the key thing here. What this shows us is that if we’re going to live in the kingdom and meet the requirements of the kingdom, we cannot rely on our own natural life. Because our life is not capable of living to such a high standard. This means that we must join ourselves to Christ every day and every moment of every day by Faith.
Christ today…He’s the life-giving Spirit, and He dwells in our spirit. If we are one with Him, then spontaneously we will live a life that keeps not only the requirement of the Old Testament law, but that also satisfies the requirement of the higher law of the kingdom of the heavens. This is a life that is just the living of Christ in us.
After we have been saved according to the principle of faith, we need to live a higher life. …You are qualified to be judged at the judgement seat of Christ. And that judgement at the judgement seat of Christ is described here three times by three (3) kinds of judgement.. All 3 levels of judgement refer to that one judgement, the judgment at the judgement seat of Christ. We Christians…we the saved ones according to the principle of faith will be judged…not at the white throne recorded in Revelation chapter 20…but will be judged at the judgement seat of Christ, and this will be 1000 years earlier than the white throne.
Yes to be saved it is absolutely by Faith through Grace…that is right. But after you have been saved, be careful. You need to live a life that is higher than what the old law requires. It not only touches the outward doing…but it touches the inward moving. Such a high standard. What should we do then? The Lord’s word warns us, if you would not be serious, you’ll be put into the fire. Don’t think this is to be lost. We have to be fearful and trembling.
I must keep myself to the resurrected Christ. I must be one with Him. I must trust in Him. I must rely upon Him. I must stay in Him. I must remain with Him because the standard of morality of the kingdom of the heavens is too high for me. And this is too serious. We have to flee your temper…flee your lust. This not a small thing to lose your temper. This serious word may force us to keep ourselves to Christ.