“Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’
“But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”
The coach calls timeout with 3 seconds on the clock. His team is down by one point with the championship on the line. He draws up a play to get his best shooter a clean look at the basket. The ball is passed in, shuffled across to the open man who turns, jumps and releases the ball just as the buzzer sounds. The ball swishes through the net, a perfect shot to win the game. Except that, upon further review, the ball was still in his hands when time expired. He made the shot, but it was too late. Wave off the basket. Game over. The other team wins. In sports, when time runs out, the game ends, and there are no do-overs or second chances.
God doesn’t play games with the eternal destiny of people He loves, but Jesus warns us that time will run out for people to accept his offer of new life. Jesus died and rose again to offer salvation to every person on earth. He gives away this priceless gift free of charge and sends out his church to invite people everywhere to accept it. Each person needs only to say yes and accept the gift of new life through faith in Jesus. There are no catches and no fine print, no gimmicks or strings attached. People just have to open their hearts to Jesus before time runs out, before the door is shut forever. Time runs out for each person in one of two ways, either when they die or when Jesus returns. We have to accept Jesus’ offer of salvation in this life, because when we die or Jesus returns, it will be too late.
Jesus told this parable to light a fire of urgency in the hearts of his listeners. The foolish virgins who don’t keep their lamps lit and miss the wedding are like a flashing warning signal to those who don’t yet believe in Jesus: Don’t wait! Now is the time to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. The parable should also give urgency to the church’s mission. Jesus calls his followers to go and make disciples, to invite others to find salvation in Jesus, before it’s too late. We don’t know when that day or hour will come, so we keep watch for Jesus as we share his love and message with the world.
Lord Jesus, I am watching for Your return and will rejoice in that day. For now, give me strength to serve You and to share the good news of salvation. Help me to show people who You are and to love them in Your name. Amen.
Pastor Mike Mirakian