1. Parable of Ten Virgins
Matthew 25:1 tells us about the kingdom of heaven that it is like the ten virgins who went out to meet the bridegroom.
Among the ten virgins, five of them were foolish while the other five were wise. The foolish ones had the lamp but not the oil while the wise ones had both the lamp and oil.
But because the bridegroom was delaying, they fell asleep. Soon, there was a shout, “Behold, The bridegroom! Come out to meet him!” They all rose and prepared their lamps. The foolish virgins asked the other wise five virgins to give some of their oil to them, for their lamps were going out. But the five wise virgins said, “No, there will not be enough for us and you [too;] go instead to the dealers and buy [some] for yourselves.”
The foolish ones hurried themselves to buy some oil, but in the meantime the bridegroom came and went into the wedding banquet with the five wise virgins. By the time the foolish ones came back with oil, the gate was closed, and even when they asked the door to be opened, it was not opened for them saying, “I do not know you.”
The Lord is telling us clearly that those who are like wise virgins who prepared to meet the bridegroom will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the foolish ones will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Then, who is the bridegroom and who is the bride?
The bridegroom is Jesus Christ, who was crucified and resurrected for us and is coming back for us. The brides are the children of God who accepted Jesus Christ and have prepared their oil.
Therefore, in order for us to meet the Lord and get into the wedding banquet, we have to prepare ourselves as a bride. Even for wedding on this earth, the bridegroom wants a bride who is good, kind, and beautiful. Then, what kind of bride will the Lord want, who is blameless and spotless? The Lord our bridegroom wants brides who are beautiful as flowers, wise as snakes, honest, clean, neat, and elegant. Also the bride should be bright, humble, but not blatant to have beautiful heart.
The Lord Himself became the atoning sacrifice for us sinners so that we might gain true life and salvation to possess heaven and enjoy eternal life and happiness. So, He wants a bride who has the qualifications of this kind.
2. Qualifications of Bride that the Lord Wants
A. Never-shaking Faith
Matthew 7:24-25 says, “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.” Those who listen to and put into practice the word of the Lord, namely those who are standing on the rock of faith without being shaken are the wise ones.
Therefore, the bride of the Lord are wise ones who get rid of their evil, do their duty, love God with all their mind and soul, and love their enemies, standing on the rock of faith.
Furthermore, they meditate on the law day and night, keep God’s commands, and give glory to God whether they eat or drink. They will not worship idols, commit adultery, covet other people’s possessions, or get offended by anybody.
B. Preparation of Oil
The five foolish virgins among the ten could not go into the wedding banquet even though they went out to meet the bridegroom, because the bridegroom came while they were gone to get some oil. Therefore, in order for us to go into the wedding banquet, we have to prepare the oil beforehand and wait for the groom.
What, then, does the oil stand for here? Just as we can light the lamp with oil, even though we have already accepted Jesus Christ, we must have the fullness of the Holy Spirit by praying fervently. Even though you have already received the Holy Spirit and become a child of God, you will lose the fullness of the Holy Spirit and not be able to live according to God’s Word unless you pray.
Just as the light will go away and darkness will come when the oil runs out in a lamp, if you do not prepare oil, you will lose the grace of the Holy Spirit, compromise with the world, live in sins, and finally, you will fall apart from salvation. Therefore, the oil stands for prayers and fullness of the Holy Spirit.
What, then, do we have to do to participate in the wedding banquet as a bride of the Lord? We must prepare oil like the five wise virgins. Namely, we have to pray continually to be always filled with the fullness of the Holy Spirit to meet the groom.
C. Being Awake
The five foolish virgins could not enter the wedding banquet because they did not prepare the oil. If they had known the groom would be delaying and prepared enough oil, they must have been able to enter the wedding banquet.
Also, if they had not been asleep but awake at midnight, they could have prepared oil not to let the lamp go out, and entered the wedding banquet. Namely, if they had the time to prepare for the oil, they could have gone to the kingdom of heaven.
Therefore, we must always be awake to meet the bridegroom. Because nobody knows when the Lord our bridegroom is coming back, only those who are awake can meet the Lord. It is because the day of the Lord will not come like a thief to those who are awake (1 Thessalonians 5:4).
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief to those who are not awake. It will be same as the people did not realize until the flood destroyed them at the time of Noah. That is why Matthew 24:44 says, “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
The heaven and earth will disappear but not even one stroke of the Word of the Lord will disappear. The Lord is telling us that He is at the door through the parable of the fig tree, and that all things will be done before this generation passes. We should keep in mind the Second Advent of the Lord will take place soon (Matthew 24:32-36) and be awake.
If you want to have the qualifications of the bride to meet the Lord our bridegroom, as mentioned above, we must stand on the rock of faith and pray to prepare the oil, and be awake not to let the day of the Lord surprise you like a thief.
We cannot prepare the oil in a couple of days. We cannot have faith as we want in a moment. We should do the best to pray and fight against the enemy devil to receive the strength to live in God’s Word.
We should be wise and prepare ourselves as brides, believing that the Lord will come back soon as He resurrected and ascended into heaven. When the Lord comes back, if He says, “I do not know you,” how miserable it would be!
Therefore, we should prepare ourselves as beautiful brides of the Lord, longing for His second coming. We should be able to meet the Lord with joy saying, “Amen, Lord Jesus, Come!”