Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour. Matthew 25:13
In the bridesmaid parable there is no mention of the 5 on the outside being sinners. All 10 are sinners. We are all sinners. Sinless and perfect aren't the criteria for entry.
The difference between those who enter and those who are shut out is genuine faith in the work of Jesus and repentance (asking forgiveness and truly wanting to follow Him and change…even if we mess up frequently). It isn’t just receiving the invitation, looking the part, and carrying around an empty lamp. It is believing, knowing, confessing that Jesus is Lord and Savior. It is constantly refilling our lamps, making sure they are shining the light of Jesus. We can’t make the light shine just by holding the lamp. We need the Holy Spirit. We need to want to keep it full and bright. And it doesn't mean we get it right all the time...we won't! It is about deeply wanting to. It isn’t reciting magic words or being sprinkled with water as an infant; it is a changed heart. Jesus regularly points out the hypocrisy of the “religious” people He encounters who look the part on the outside, who say all the right things, who even want to be with God for eternity. They have on elaborate wedding clothes and carry a beautifully polished lamp, but they have no oil. They miss the key ingredient to create light.
This parable isn’t for us to look to the right or left to examine who has oil and who doesn’t. We likely won’t be able to identify them, and it is not for us to do. This parable is for us to look within to examine whether or not we are prepared. How will Jesus – who sees straight inside us – find us when He returns?
God, turn my eyes inward to see what You see. Let me never get too apathetic, lazy, content, assuming, to not be prepared for Your glorious return. Help me to be poor in Spirit, with a hunger and thirst for righteousness. Thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit and forgiveness.
Questions: How can you keep your “light filled”? How would Jesus find you if He returned today?