The ten go forth. The kingdom of heaven is the visible church. All true Christians are a part of God’s church.
All took their lamps, all went forth to meet the Bridegroom. We all must have the Holy Spirit in our life “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (Jh.3:3).
All had oil in their lamps, yet not all had a store of oil in their vessels “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth..”
All had come out of the world, and had gone to meet the Bridegroom.
There are no hypocrites in the parable, no openly wicked and disobedience people.
It is not enough to have been once awakened, there is need of constant persevering watchfulness “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” (v13).
They all had lamps; the lamp seems to represent the outward Christian life of worship and obedience which is seen by the eye of people ‘Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;” (I.Pt.3:3).
Remember, they all had oil in their lamps, the oil is the Holy Spirit of God. John stated,” Except a man be born of the water and of the Spirit,he can not enter into the kingdom of God.” (Jh.3:5).
This parable describes some who have made some progress, more or less, in the way of godliness.
In the visible church the evil ever mingled with the good, and among those who seem to be good. “But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.” Mt.13:25).
Hoses stated, there are always some whose “goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away.” (Hos.6:4).
Remember there was five wise and the remaining five was foolish.
The difference which exist among the ten. All the virgins took their lamps,
All the lamps were burning as they went forth. “He that shall endureth to the end, the same shall be saved”
Outwardly there was no observable difference among them, but the foolish took no oil with them, the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female,” Gen.1:21).
It is not enough to have been “once enlightened;” (Heb.6:4) We may not dare put our trust in the grace once given in baptism, or in what may seem to have been the change of repentance and the infilling of the holy Spirit.
The five foolish virgins were using the means of grace, they had been made “partakers of the Holy Ghost” (Heb.4:4).
They had seem to be living Christian lives. They had made some real progress.
But they took no oil with them. They acted as if the lamps once lighted, would burn for forever. they had no store of oil for future use “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” (Eph.5:18).
They had “the washing of regeneration” (Titus 3:5) They delighted in their past experience, and trusted in as if they had all that was need for their spiritual life.
Yet they had not “the renewing of the Holy Ghost. The apostle Paul stated “I die daily” (I.Cor.15:31).
The five foolish were like the seed that was sown upon the rock.
They truly liked watchfulness, and there was need of daily preparation for Jesus’ coming.
The wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
They new they could not trust in pass baptism, excitement, are passed experiences.
They counted not themselves to have apprehended.
They forgot what was behind. They reached forth unto those things which were before them.
They sought in persevering prayer and daily self-denials.
Let me speak of the protracted absence of the King. The end was not yet.
The second advent was not so near at hand. The time of waiting was long.
Some had left their first love and the love of most was growing cold. To the church of Ephesus the Lord stated “Nevertheless I have some what against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” (Rev.3:4).
We ought to live as men waiting for their Lord, our loins ever girded, our lamps ever burning, and living in daily expectation of Jesus’ coming, yes in constant readiness to meet him “be ye a;so ready.”
We must not forget that the shades of difference among Christians are innumerable.
Some are utterly careless, some rouse themselves from time to time to thought and real effort, some try by the power of faith and prayer to keep themselves in the love of God.
But none realize to the full the tremendous necessity of to be on the watch, none live in that fixed attention, in that constant looking unto Jesus, in that dull preparedness, in that daily and hourly anticipation of the Saviour’s coming. “Therefore be yet also ready: For in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” Matt. 24:44).