Years ago we used to sing a song called, "Oil in My Lamp," based on the parable of the Ten Virgins. The lyrics went like this, "Give my oil in my lamp, keep me burning, Give me oil in my lamp, I pray! Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning, till the break of day." This parable is well known but often misunderstood. The difference between the foolish virgins and the wise virgins was one thing: the wise virgins had oil for their lamps, while the foolish virgins did not. The wise virgins had the opportunity to obtain oil and did so. The foolish virgins had plenty of opportunities to procure oil but did not. The oil in the parable is an obvious reference to salvation. Jesus has been responding to the question the Disciples asked in Matt. 24:3 - "What will be the sign of Your coming?" In response, He repeatedly made the point that while the general season of His return should be recognized, no one knows the day or the hour so... BE READY!
Jesus is warning us in this parable that there will be a number of people who look like Christians, who associate with Christians, and who even think they are Christians, who will be shocked to learn that they are not saved at the return of our Lord. They have never actually obtained salvation on His terms; by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone! I believe that the five foolish virgins had no oil for the very same reasons people continue to run out of gas in their vehicles, even when the flashing message on their instrument panel tells them they are. First, people don’t believe the warning signs. They don’t think things are as bad as they are reported to be. “I must have more gas than that!” Or, “I’ve gotten this same message before, and I’ve always been able to get to the gas station before running out."
The Devil has perpetuated any number of lies that have led people to believe that somehow it will all work out in the end. What Satan knows and has attempted to cover up is that we are all sinners, under divine judgment, condemned to hell – and unable to save ourselves. The good news is there is hope! We have the opportunity to be rescued from our present condition by trusting in Jesus Christ.
Friends, have you responded to the warning signs? Is there oil in your lamp? If so, who can you share this message of hope with today?
Press On! Pastor Brian Richard