Sr. Pastor Darrell G Vaughn

                                                                        Faithfulness – A Key Step to Happiness

Dec 12 2012:                                                   “Lights OUT!”

Wed PM Worship      I know who I am and I know who God say I am and what God says I can do.                     

Text Mat 25:1-13 (King James Version)  

  “Father, I am your servant, willing and desiring to be used to bless your people.”

                                           The Fields are white and the laborers are few!
C.H. Spurgeon said, “If God does not save a man by truth he certainly will not save them by lies, and if

the old gospel is not competent to work a revival, then we will do without the revival;”

 

In April, 1988 the evening news reported on a photographer who was also a skydiver. He had jumped from a plane along with several other skydivers and filmed the group as they individually dove out of the plane and opened their parachutes. As the video was being shown of each member of the crew jumping out and then pulling their rip chord so that their parachute opened to the wind, the final skydiver opened his chute and then the picture went berserk. The announcer reported that the cameraman had fallen to his death, having jumped out of the plane without a parachute. It wasn’t until he reached for the ripcord that he realized he was free falling without a parachute. Up until then, he was enjoying himself and was absorbed in what he was doing. But tragically, he was unprepared for the jump. It did not matter how many times he had done it before or what skill he had. By forgetting the parachute he made a foolish and deadly mistake. Nothing could save him, because his faith was in a parachute which he had never taken the trouble to buckle on.

 

Mat 25:1  Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.

Mat 25:2  And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.

Mat 25:3  They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:

Mat 25:4  But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

Mat 25:5  While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.

Mat 25:6  And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

Mat 25:7  Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.

Mat 25:8  And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.

Mat 25:9  But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.

Mat 25:10  And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

Mat 25:11  Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.

Mat 25:12  But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

Mat 25:13  Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

 

Let’s pray. Father,  Open my eyes so I can see Your truth.  

Open my ears so I can hear Your voice. Open my mind so I can understand Your Word.
And open my heart so I may receive all that You want me to receive. AMEN

 

I only wish I could stand here and tell you with assurance you have all the time in the world but I would be foolish in heart to even attempt it.. Truth is many professing

Christians are committing spiritual suicide and playing Russian roulette with their souls.

 

The foolish virgins in the Gospel reading (P) looked, dressed and marched like bridesmaids.

They were pretty, radiant and even charming on the outside, but dreary, dim and dull on the inside.

The word “foolish” is none other than the Greek word “moros,” which is the root word for the politically incorrect English word “moron”.

 

Pro 16:25  There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

 

Mat 7:13  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

Mat 7:14  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Mat 7:15  Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Mat 7:16  Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Mat 7:17  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

Mat 7:18  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

Mat 7:19  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Mat 7:20  Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Mat 7:21  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Mat 7:22  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

Mat 7:23  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

 

This parable of the ten virgins has been interpreted in several different ways. There is biblical basis for these variations. The interpretation we use today employs the following symbolism.

1. “The kingdom of heaven” refers to all professing Christians, some of whom are born-again believers and some “have a form of godliness, but denying its power.” (2 Timothy 3:5). It was to this latter group that our Lord Jesus said, "Not everyone who says to Me, ’Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, ’Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ’I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ Matthew 7:21-23

2. “The lamps” refer to the testimony of their lives:
Our Lord commanded us, saying, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glory your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16.

Referring to John the Baptist, Jesus said, "He was the burning and shining lamp and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light.” (John 5:35)

 

A well known Christian wrote, "the last days are upon us. Weigh carefully the times. Look for Him who is above all time, eternal and invisible." That was not written by a modern prophecy expert. It was written by a man named Ignatius about 110 A.D.,

just a couple of decades after the apostle John wrote Revelation.

Another Christian wrote, There is no doubt that the Antichrist has already been born. Firmly established in his early years, he will, after reaching maturity, achieve supreme power." That was written by an influential Christian named Martin about 375 A.D.

Another early church father, Hippolytus, wrote in the year 236 A.D. that Christ was sure to return by 500 A.D.

The years surrounding the year 1000 were filled with predictions about the imminent return of Christ - to the point where Christians didn’t plant crops for the next year, buildings weren’t repaired and the details of daily life were ignored.

In the 1500’s, Martin Luther wrote, "We have reached the time of the white horse of the Apocalypse. This world will not last any longer . . . than another hundred years."

A little known fact of the life of Christopher Columbus is that he was a student of biblical prophecy. He wrote a volume called "The Book Of Prophecies," in which he predicted that the world would end in the year 1656. He even wrote, "there is no doubt that the world must end in one hundred fifty-five years."

The year 1666 saw an explosion in end times speculation. One pastor wrote in his journal that every time a storm hit that year, his people would go to the church building to await Christ’s second coming.

In the 1800’s a man named William Miller predicted the return of Christ. He laid down the date of somewhere between March of 1842 and March of 1843. The hopes of the Millerites were dashed when it didn’t happen. Their hopes were down but not out. In New Hampshire, in 1844, one of the brothers stood up and declared His return would be in the seventh month of the current Jewish year. More fervently than ever, the Millerites set out to warn the world. October 22 - the end of the world was pronounced. In ten weeks, the great day was at hand. In a Philadelphia store window this sign appeared, "This shop is closed in honor of the King of Kings who will appear about the 20th of October. Get ready friends, to crown Him Lord of all." A group of about 200 left the city. They waited, but the days past and nothing happened. Five years later, another date was set, and another date passed.

It never stops. About 1992, I saw a popular book in Christian bookstores by Harold Camping. The title was "1994." Another date set. In 1993, he wrote another book called, "Much More Evidence That 1994 Could Be The End Of The World." 1994 came and went. Today you can walk into a Christian bookstore and see dozens of books making bold predictions about the return of Jesus.

It is a story not unlike the parable which Jesus told about the foolish bridesmaids forgetting to bring something very important and necessary. He was not ready. He was unprepared. It would do no good to try and borrow a parachute of someone else on their way to meet the ground. He could not go back to the plane to retrieve it. He was not prepared and he passed the point of no return.

This is the very thing Jesus was trying to prevent, and yet Christians persist to this day - The Left Behind Series does it too. Though it is presented as fiction, Tim Lahaye suggests that the events of our day point to the imminent return of Christ, fulfillment of end times prophecy.

Jesus, on the other hand, as we saw in Matthew 24 last week, insisted that we could not know the time of His return.

 

There are a few relevant points that this parable makes. The first is: You must be spiritually ready. If there is one thing that Jesus consistently and continually preached it was that we need to be ready. Over and over again we hear him say, “So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him” (Matthew 24:44).

We in this culture try to live for today as though there is no tomorrow. Our finances reflect this. The way we eat and treat our bodies reflect this. And certainly the moral lives of Americans reflect this. One of my great concerns for our country, and even within the church, is the great moral disconnect between personal faith and ethical /moral behavior. Many people within the church, as well as outside of it, seem to have lost their conscience, or the ability to respond to it. The whole message of Jesus’ warnings to be ready had to do with doing the right things. Being ready meant actively living in faithfulness to God. It is more than just calling yourself a Christian. It’s more than a name.

Dennis was a guy from Katy, Texas who had an emergency and needed his suit dry cleaned before he left on a trip. He remembered one store with a huge sign, “One-Hour Dry Cleaners.” It was on the other side of town, so he drove out of his way to drop off his suit. After the clerk filled out the necessary information, he told her, “I have some errands to run and I’ll be back in an hour to pick it up.” She said, “I can’t get this back to you until Thursday.” “I thought you did dry cleaning in an hour,” he said. “Oh, no,” she replied, “That’s just the name of the store, we don’t actually do that.” There are many folks today who wear a sign saying they are a Christian, but they fail to deliver the goods. There are many churches who do not deliver on what the sign out front says either.

Eph 5:6  Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

Eph 5:7  Be not ye therefore partakers with them.

Eph 5:8  For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

Eph 5:9  (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

Eph 5:10  Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

Eph 5:11  And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

Eph 5:12  For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

Eph 5:13  But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.

Eph 5:14  Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

Eph 5:15  See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

Eph 5:16  Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

 

Rom 13:11  And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.

Rom 13:12  The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

Rom 13:13  Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.

Rom 13:14  But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

 

Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.

Joh 9:5  As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

 

Col 1:10  That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

Col 1:11  Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

Col 1:12  Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

Col 1:13  Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

Col 1:14  In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: