The Joy of Being Prepared

Key Verse: “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.”
—Matthew 25:13

Selected Scripture:
Matthew 24:1 – 25:13

OUR LORD’S TEACHINGS IN this lesson are centered around the events of his long awaited Second Presence, and he gives a parable relating to his followers who would be on the scene at that time. In that parable, Jesus brings to our attention two classes of Christians: first, those who would be watching the signs relative to his return and preparing themselves accordingly. These he called ‘wise virgins.’ Others who were careless and neglectful were called ‘foolish.’ During the long period of his absence, both classes had developed together. But as the end of the Gospel Age drew near, a great change was about to take place. Since the late nineteenth century, a separation work has been progressing as part of the harvest of the Gospel Age.

It is noted that all of the virgins were slumbering, and all arose, trimmed their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom at midnight. The difference between the two classes becomes apparent when the foolish virgins realized that they had not prepared themselves by taking sufficient oil along for their lamps. The wise virgins had considered the importance of taking adequate oil along with them. They were not willing to part with any of their supply when asked to do so by those who were less prepared. They answered: “Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.”—Matt. 25:9

While the foolish virgins went to seek oil, the bridegroom came, and those who were prepared went in to the marriage, and the door was shut. And the Lord said to those who were left at the door, “I know you not.”—vs. 12

For over a hundred years, our Lord has been present to direct the affairs of his church as well as to prepare for his future kingdom. Throughout this time his people have been awakened to the message of truth, including many of the ‘end time’ prophecies that had been sealed up until the closing years of the Gospel Age. Some Christians will be more alert to these wonderful promises, while others will have less appreciation for them. Those who seek a greater measure of the Holy Spirit of understanding, and who keep their lamps trimmed and burning, will be among those of the faithful class who will enter into the ‘marriage feast.’

A period of approximately 2,000 years, called the Gospel Age, was alloted by God for selection of the bride of Christ. The requirements for this selection have a very high standard, and only 144,000 are to be selected. These are pictured by the wise virgins who are described as “called, and chosen, and faithful.” (Rev. 17:14) Those unwise virgins, who did not provide enough oil for their lamps, are pictured by a “great multitude.”—Rev. 7:9

We understand that the door to the High Calling in Christ Jesus is still ajar for those who seek to enter in. When it is shut, it will never open again. This special calling has been limited to the Gospel Age. There will be joys forevermore for those who will have prepared themselves for the marriage with our Lord Jesus, and the wonderful work of the kingdom.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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