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Apr 3, 2016 Sunday AM

Weddings are often a time of great joy and excitement. While the customs and traditions change over the years from country to country there are similarities to which most of us can relate. As Jesus prepared His disciples for His physical absence, He used a series of stories to illustrate the importance of being prepared for His return. One of those stories is before us this morning. It is the story of a wedding and the saga of ten bridesmaids — some that were prepared and some that were not.

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Study Notes

Weddings are often a time of great joy and excitement. While the customs and traditions change over the years from country to country there are similarities to which most of us can relate. As Jesus prepared His disciples for His physical absence, He used a series of stories to illustrate the importance of being prepared for His return. One of those stories is before us this morning. It is the story of a wedding and the saga of ten bridesmaids — some that were prepared and some that were not.

  1. The Kingdom of Heaven is Like... (review)
    • Remember Mt 4:17 ... "Change the way you are thinking because..."
    • Remember Mt 13 ... Jesus used a number of illustrations from everyday life to describe the present kingdom.
  2. The Kingdom of Heaven is Like... (customs of the day)
    • The wedding celebration lasted a week.
    • The exact time was not stated.
    • The groom went to take the bride from her home to his.
    • They took the "long way home..."
    • People were free to join ... along the way.
    • The gates were closed...
  3. The Kingdom of Heaven is Like... (illustration)
    1. The Bridesmaids
      They were invited, appointed, notified, equipped and given all they needed to be ready. Five were wise (prepared), five were foolish (unprepared).
    2. The Procession
      The groom was delayed and all the girls took a nap. When the "crier" announced the grooms presence, the torches were lit and the girls were to join the festive procession.
    3. The Problem
      Because the foolish girls were unprepared they had to leave the procession to find some oil for their lamps. They took so long they missed the window of opportunity and the door to the party was closed. sad
    4. The Plea
      "Lord, Lord, let us in..." He responded, "I don't know you..." In other words, it is too late to enter the party now. The unprepared are left out.
  4. The Application
    • A reminder of great joy!
    • Preparation is personal...
    • The temptation of the delayed Groom...
    • "Eternity Amnesia" is dangerous...
    • Mt 25:13, "So watch, be ready!"

Conclusion

SO, the question may not be, "Do you know Jesus?" Maybe we should ask, "Does Jesus know you?"

AND

Being ready means saying yes to Him in what you are facing today...

Questions for small group, family and personal reflection

  1. Philip Yancey wrote, "The question of the modern era is, "Where is God now?" How would you answer that question?
  2. How can we be prepared for the Lord's return?

Further Study

What does 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15 contribute to the way we should live while waiting?

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