They Didn't Have The Oil
"Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps." Matthew 25:1-4 What is the difference between these two groups of people? It has to be such a huge difference that later the Lord ends up saying to the foolish virgins: vs 12: “But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’” How terrible! He never knew them, he said, yet they had gone out to meet him. In other words, they knew ABOUT him, they were "religious," they knew enough to know that he would come at some point, yet they didn't "KNOW" him. The element on which this story stands is the oil that they did not take with them. In the Scriptures, oil is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. There are many - MANY - churches today who meet regularly on Sunday mornings and sing hymns and have a Scripture reading and do good works and love each other. This is all fine and good, but if they are lacking the most important thing, the Holy Spirit, then it's all worthless. And many, if not most, churches in this Laodicean day are in this category. They do religion. So how can you tell whether they are lacking the Spirit of God? Here's how - the Holy Spirit is all about testifying of Jesus. It's all about revelation. What revelation? Jesus. It's all about Jesus. When a church gets off into "service," good works, community outreach, building programs, books and videos, professional-sounding musicians, pot-luck dinners, and so much more, it's all fine and good except for many, the focus is not on JESUS. As time comes closer to the "last days," as the world is being set up for the one-world religion, as Satan's agenda is about to break forth and is doing so even now - it's no coincidence that Jesus is no longer the focus in the churches today. Those churches think they're ok, they see it too - the approaching Tribulation, and their response to it is to stock up with goods to get them through the hard times of the Tribulation. But there's no stocking up on ...OIL. They've missed the whole point. And when the Bridegroom comes, they will be left behind to consume the goods they've prepared with. Those who are stocking up and preparing to survive the Tribulation, are watching and preparing for the Antichrist. But those who have the oil are watching for Jesus Christ. One day I asked the Lord, "what is the difference between works of gold, silver and precious stone, versus works of wood, hay, and stubble (1 Corinthians 3:12)? He answered me with a question: "Look back upon your walk with me and tell me what is the difference between each time you were successful in bringing souls to me, versus the times you weren't." That took awhile, because I wanted to look deeply and "get" what he was saying. After reviewing the stories, I came to a startling conclusion. Every single one of those that succeeded was a story HE set up; they happened totally unexpectedly, and it was easy. The other stories in which I tried so hard to convince people unsuccessfully, failed. And now I "got it!" Now I understod! The difference was the Holy Spirit. HE created the stories, HE brought about the circumstances that led to the success, HE did the work when the time came, and HE accomplished what HE was doing. These works were the works of gold, silver, and precious stone. Any other effort on my part was wood, hay and stubble, and the proof was in the pudding. One succeeded, the other didn't, and the difference was the oil, the Holy Spirit. To "know" the Lord is not to know ABOUT him, it's to have a PERSONAL relationship with him. That starts when a person recognizes his terrible sinfulness, realizes he can do nothing about it, hears the Gospel and responds with surrendering his/her life unto the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ becomes the Savior and brings about the new birth. He becomes their Lord and they follow him intimately for the rest of their lives. All others, those who are perhaps religious, those who maybe grew up in a Christian home, go to church, do good works, but who have not been born again by the SPIRIT OF GOD - these do not KNOW him. Their lives are all about what they can do for God with their programs. The ones who have the oil, are those who know to walk intimately with him, trusting him to bring about whatever he so desires, how he desires, and when he desires. As for the former, they will hear in the end, "Assuredly, I say to you, I never knew you." Friends, we need to get serious with God ON HIS TERMS, not ours. Our good works and religious practices will not save us. In fact, the Scriptures say they are a stench in God's nostrils, because they are done from self, not from his Spirit. Especially if you are "religious," take some time to examine your heart to see whether your life is rooted in the Spirit of God, or in self. If you're not sure, if you don't have a strong assurance of your salvation, then go to the Lord and get this settled between him and you. You'll need to come to a deep honesty about yourself, and pride has to go. "God RESISTS the proud" (James 4:6). You will have to ovecome your pride and stop justifying yourself before him. He will meet you there and you will come to know him in a way you'd never, ever, thought possible. It will change everything. Then when the Bridegroom comes, your lamp will be filled with oil and you will go with him. Don't miss this!