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Discovery Magazine 12/1/2000

Be Prepared!

by  Josh Ketchum

It is 7:00 a.m. and you are barely awake when you hear your mom calling, "Honey, it’s time to go to school; are you ready?" You are caught unprepared, so you scramble to put on your shoes, comb your hair, and pack your books. You soon walk into school and hear the teacher say, "I hope you’re prepared, because we have a test today." Suddenly you realize that you forgot all about the test, and once again are caught unprepared. Being caught unprepared for school is quite common for many young people. But being caught unprepared spiritually is far worse than that. In Matthew 25:1-13, Jesus told a parable in which He warned Christians about the consequences of being caught unprepared spiritually.

Jesus’ parable told of ten virgins who were waiting for the bridegroom so they could enter the marriage feast with him. Jesus said that "five of them were wise and five were foolish" (Matthew 25:2). They all carried lamps to light the road for the bridegroom as he entered the feast. But the wise ones had made preparation—just in case the bridegroom was delayed—by bringing extra oil for their lamps, while the foolish brought no extra oil.

When they heard the news that the bridegroom was coming, the foolish virgins had to rush to buy more oil for their lamps. While they were away, the bridegroom came and entered into the wedding feast with the five who had brought extra oil. Jesus stated that "those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut" (Matthew 25:10). When the foolish returned, they cried for the bridegroom to open the door and allow them into the wedding feast. But the bridegroom replied, "I do not know you" (Matthew 25:12).

This parable was intended to warn every Christian about the consequences of being caught unprepared spiritually. The bridegroom represents Christ, Who will return at an unknown time to carry the prepared into heaven. The wise virgins symbolize spiritually prepared Christians who are ready for the Lord’s return. The foolish virgins represent those who are not obeying Jesus, and therefore are unprepared for the Lord’s return. In order to go to heaven, we must be prepared. Even as a young person, you should be getting prepared to meet Jesus. You can prepare by doing what God’s Word says to do to become a Christian, by studying your Bible, and by talking to God in prayer. Don’t be caught unprepared spiritually.

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