The Bridegroom Cometh, Go Ye Out To Meet Him - Part III
“While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him.” —Matthew 25:5-6
Will The Rapture Really Take Place?
There are some who do not believe that the rapture is a literal event, but rather figurative. They base their belief on the simple fact that the word rapture is not mentioned in the Bible. If truth were told, they are right. The word rapture is not found in Scripture, but let’s take a look at this word for a moment. The word rapture means “a feeling of intense pleasure or joy.” I cannot imagine a greater feeling of intense pleasure or joy than to be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, and we will forever be with Him (I Thess. 4:13-18). The world in which we live is filled with violence, hatred, war, death, disease, and things that have brought so much trouble and heartache to the lives of untold millions of people. If you need proof, look at social media. Social media is a tremendous tool to interact and reach people whom you couldn’t reach through any other means of communication, but it is full of vileness and vulgarity. Long gone are the days of agreeing to disagree. Through social media, the idea persists that if there are opposing views on certain topics, the only option is hatred and vileness toward each other. If I disagree with you, then by today’s standards, there will be animosity, and even hatred, toward me because I hold a differing viewpoint than you. That should never be the case, but yet, it’s all around us, and it has produced a toxic environment. One could say that leaving a place like that will be a rapturous moment—a moment of extreme pleasure and joy. It is exciting indeed to know that one can leave a world of torment, problems, debt, sickness, disease, war, poverty, and heartache to spend eternity with our creator in a place where none of these things exists.
Believe me, saint of God, the rapture is going to take place, and it is the next great event on God’s prophetic time clock. This means that there are no more prophecies left to be fulfilled in order for the rapture to take place. It could literally happen at any moment. However, when we read Christ’s words concerning these ten virgins, He mentions that five were prepared, but five were unprepared. Could it be that throughout the world of Christendom at this present time, only half of God’s people are ready and prepared? Could it mean that half of Christianity is not ready? I don’t know, but I do know that there are many who simply are not prepared for the coming of the Lord. These five virgins had enough oil for the here and now, but they were not prepared for the future, which means that they were not really looking for the Bridegroom. It is the same presently with many Christians around the world. They have enough of a spiritual supply for the here and now, but that is all. They have started this Christian journey with much anticipation, but through the course of everyday life, they have become complacent, which leads to being unprepared. We, as Christians, need to live our lives as if we believe that Christ is coming back today. We cannot afford to become lackadaisical about our faith.
So, what can we do to stay prepared? First, we need to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith (II Cor. 13:5), which really means to prove that our faith is anchored in Christ and the cross. All faith must be tested to see if it can be proven as genuine faith, and if it’s genuine, it will be proven as such.
Secondly, we must have enough oil for the here and now, and enough for the journey ahead. I refer to being filled with the Holy Spirit. While we are here on earth awaiting the return of Christ, we need the help of the Holy Spirit to do what God has called us to do. The Holy Spirit is the Comforter, the one who walks along beside us to help. We need to be filled, and constantly refilled, which will allow our lights to burn bright continuously to a world that is full of darkness.
Thirdly, our wicks must be continually trimmed. What does that mean? As we continue to look at these ten virgins, we see that when their lamps were lit, meaning that there was plenty of oil in their lamps, and their wicks were clean. However, there were times when the oil needed to be replenished, and the wicks needed to be trimmed to remove the charred portions. If, for some reason, the wick were not trimmed, it would produce more smoke than light, which would cause the light to eventually burn out. As stated, this is where many Christians are—their lamps are producing more smoke than light, and they are on the verge of spiritual burnout. However, the trimming of the wick is a work of the Holy Spirit relative to our sanctification. It is imperative that the dead, charred portions of our lives be removed, and that can only be done through the means of faith in Christ and the cross. This allows the Holy Spirit to work in our lives to remove all traces of the flesh. To trim a wick involves cutting, which, spiritually speaking, is a violent process. However, in order to produce more light, there needs to be pruning, cutting, and removal of that which is of the flesh.
Time Is Running Out
As we look at the latter portions of this passage, we find that when the Bridegroom came, five virgins were unprepared, and they were standing on the outside, knocking on the door, desiring to enter. There came an answer that they were not expecting, “I know you not” (Matt. 25:12). Despite their profession, and despite what they once had, they had been excluded from this event. Once the door is shut, it will not be re-opened; and yet, there will be scores of people standing outside, trying to get in, but because they are unprepared, they will miss the rapture. They will be so close, but yet, so far. If we are not prepared, then we will miss the single greatest moment in life—the chance to be with our Lord forever. We are to live as if Christ is coming back today, or as if this is our last day on earth. For some, today is your last, and even though you may not know it, you are about to breathe your last breath. Be ready and live your life as prepared as you can be. Time is running out!
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