Message delivered at Princesses of the King Regina Chapter
Date: March 28th, 2015
Scripture Passage: Matthew 25: 1 to 13
Theme: How full is your tank in 2015?
Speaker: Pastor Deborah Olukoju
Someone was sharing on the internet as to how many of us run out of gas! The person said, “In most audiences, this would be nearly everyone. I cannot verify these statistics, so I caution you that they may be flawed. It would appear that every year at least a half million people call for help because they have ran out of gas. Besides flat tires, dead batteries, and misplaced keys, and running out of gas ranks right up there in the reasons why people call for roadside service. One might understand this happening a generation ago, when gas gauges were not entirely accurate, and when all the warning lights/signals of our day were non-existent. But now we have warning messages that our fuel is running low (giving us perhaps an hour more of driving), and then additional progressively urgent warnings indicating just how many estimated miles or kilometers of driving we have left. One must say that most people who run out of fuel are “without excuse”. Why, then, do we do it, seemingly as often today as people did years ago, when all of the advantages of technology were not available? In our text, it is not gasoline that is lacking, but olive oil, and we are reminded that “the fuel burned in the lamps of Jesus’ day”. And, I believe we will discover that the five foolish virgins did not really “run out” of oil; they never had it.
Who are the ten virgins?
The ten virgins symbolize the Nation of Israel and the NT Church, the Christians of today. And in retrospect, the passage is referring to you and me. You are the church, and I am the church. The church is not a building, but the people who fellowship there.
Why would Jesus use the analogy of ten women and not ten men? What do we call men who have never had sexual experience before? Are they called virgins? There are so many things going through my mind as I prepared this message. We just assumed that virginity has more to do with women than men.
For me, it tells me how Jesus desires so much for his bride to remain pure even after she has lost her “Virginity” and to not further pollute herself.
Why would Jesus use the word “virgin”?
I believe Jesus used this word, “virgin”, to explain the particular glory that the word carries, when a woman is able to carry herself pure and stainless, before her wedding night.
In Opinion magazine, one Olayemi R. Ibrahim said that,
“Most cultures across the world right from pre-historical times place high value on women’s virginity, and those found to be virgins are held in high esteem. Women also from time immemorial see their virginity as a prized possession .Virginity refers to the state of never having had sexual intercourse. But times are changing and for an increasing number of young men and women, pre-marital sex is no longer a taboo, much to the chagrin of the older generation.
A woman’s virginity used to be celebrated on the wedding night in many communities and it is a big disgrace if the newly wedded bride is discovered to have lost her virginity. Hence, the fear of losing it is the beginning of wisdom. Maintaining virginity till marriage is also based on religious injunctions. Christianity and Islam teach women to remain virgins until they are married. The Holy Bible for instance says in Hebrews Chapter 13 vs 4 that : “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” How many women now wait till their wedding night? How many men are patient till that night?”
What is the importance of Virginity to women? It is a prized possession. It immediately builds trust in marriage. It helps a man to feel that he has not married a whoremonger and an adulterer. It takes the grace of God to move pass such a stage in marriage if a girl was not a virgin on her wedding night.
Even though virginity is the glory of women, but it cannot sustain us throughout our life time. In this story, the 10 women I believe are all Christians. They have made it to the point of Salvation, but the five foolish virgins failed to sustain their Salvation through the power of the Holy Spirit. If we notice here, it is not their virginity that is the problem; it is the oil to service their Salvation. I know that there are many translations of this passages, and but I am sharing what the Lord laid upon my heart.
These ten women are Christian women, Bible believing believers, workers in the church, and in the Kingdom of God, but they lack the Holy Spirit fire. How do I know that? They have no oil in their lamps. The Bible says, in Matthew 5: 14 – 16 that; 14 “You are the light of the world. A town/city built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. So, their number one sin is that they failed to live out their identity. These women have identity issue. (Let the real Christians stand out in the face of ISIS) They failed to shine for the bridegroom.
I like the way the Message Translation puts it. From Verse 13th, of Matthew chapter 5. It says, that;
“13 “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage. 14-16 “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
They are not effective in sharing the good news, the gospel truth, in making use of their spiritual gifts, according the John 15: 1 to 10. I am reading the Message translation again.
15 1-3 “I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken. 4 “Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me. 5-8 “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples. 9-10 “I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love. That’s what I’ve done—kept my Father’s commands and made myself at home in his love.
They failed to let the oil (that is, the Holy Spirit) connect them to the Vine. They failed to labor for their faith now, for the rest that is set before them. To labor means, hard work. No baby breezes through the birth canal. Even the one who came through C/S still caused pain. They are Christians, but not sold out ones. They are Christians, but not disciples. They are the ones who failed to preach the word in season, and out of season. They only believed in Christ for their own self convenience, and what they can get out of Christ. They are the ones that Jesus said, Jesus answered, “You’ve come looking for me not because you saw God in my actions but because I fed you, filled your stomachs—and for free.
Their motive of coming to the Lord was wrong. They left Holy Spirit out of their lives. And all they are doing is performing (church)/Christianity in their own strength. What about us today? Let me close with few thoughts:
- The devil is after the virginity (purity, innocence, integrity) of every born again child of God
The devil wants to make sure that we do Christianity without the Holy Spirit. Remember, these women were “Supposed believers/Christians.”
We cannot follow the crowd to serve the Lord.
God expects us to be sure of our identity in Him
Having a Spiritual identity crisis messes things up.
We as women know and perfectly understand what it means to be fruitful. Failure to be Spiritually fruitful equals being discarded. We still have the time to redeem the time.
We can avoid being busy bodies. These are people who make someone’s business their own business. The Bible says, Jesus said, “Occupy till I come.” Princesses of the King, Regina Chapter, what are you doing for Jesus? Let us pray.