AVOIDING SPIRITUAL BURNOUT


The parable of the ten virgins is a good example of our need to be prepared and ready for what is to come.


Matthew 25:
“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps.The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
“At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
“Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
“‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’
12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’
13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.


Bible Commentator Matthew Henry said:

It was a custom sometimes used among the Jews on that occasion, that the bridegroom came, attended with his friends, late in the night, to the house of the bride, where she expected him, attended with her bride-maids; who, upon notice given of the bridegrooms’ approach, were to go out with lamps in their hands, to light him into the house with ceremony and formality, in order to the celebrating of the nuptials with great mirth. And some think that on these occasions they had usually ten virgins; for the Jews never held a synagogue, circumcised, kept the Passover, or contracted marriage, but ten persons at least were present. [i]

These girls were part of a very important procession. It was a wedding march and five of the girls were not ready when the time came. What a sinking feeling that would bring!

This parable answers an ancient question: ‘What will it be like just before the Kingdom of God comes fully to the earth?’  The answer seems to be that 50% will not be ready and miss the main event. We are in a time of massive spiritual burnout. People that had a passionate flame of faith for decades fizzle out and suddenly have no light.

You may consider yourself to be part of God’s Kingdom.  You have entered into a relationship with God and would call yourself a Christian. But let me ask you, “How prepared are you to be with Jesus?” Are you ready to follow him into the dark?

We notice that there are ten virgins that have a number of unifying traits marking them; they all have lamps, they all went purposefully to meet the bridegroom, they all tarried in the same place together, they all became weary and slumbered, they all heard the cry announcing the approach of the bridegroom, they all arose and trimmed their lamps.  All of which indicates that all ten were of the same purpose and intent.  In outward appearances there would be nothing to distinctively set one virgin apart from another.[ii]

So what is the difference? Jesus could foresee a day when people would live their lives foolishly, ill equipped for life in the coming Kingdom.  We live in a day when people fall asleep and are not ready to leap into action. 

There are those who have nothing to give them light in the darkness.  Not just in the distant future, but even now… are you ready to respond to Christ?


Comments