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Previous Editorials:         "And the Door was Shut"

And the Door was Shut

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  "And the Door was Shut"  

"...and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut."   Matthew 25:10     The whole parable

There are few scripture more descriptively final than this. They that were ready went in, and then the door was shut sealing the fate of countless millions for all eternity. Solomon made it just as plain when he said, "...in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be." (Ecclesiastes 11:3)  There is a day coming beloved, a finality which will forever place you on the inside, or the outside of that door. There is no mystery here, that door is Christ Himself. (John 10:7)

In the story of the ten virgins, you know that five were wise, and five were foolish. The Greek word for foolish literally means heedless. The call went forth to prepare, but it was how they responded to the call that separated them when the door was shut.

Jesus said that, "as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all." (Luke 17:26-27)  Life continued as usual until the day the ark door was shut. If you're waiting for some big sign to warn you that Jesus is coming so you can make quick preparations, your out of luck. This was the problem with the foolish virgins, they tried to prepare at the last second not having the necessary oil, and missed the open door.

"By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house;" (Hebrews 11:7)  Likewise, by faith the five wise virgins prepared to meet the bridegroom, though not seeing Him, they were moved with fear lest they should miss the open door.

All who started out to meet the bridegroom were virgins, all took lamps, however, not all took oil, and as a result were not ready when the door was opened to them. Jesus warns His Church, "Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity." (Luke 13:24-27)

But how can this be? How can those who would go out to meet the bridegroom not be ready. "...these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended. And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful." (Mark 4:16-19)

Many will not enter in on that day because they will not by faith heed the call to prepare themselves now, these are the foolish virgins. "And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always..." (Luke 21:34-36)

And again, "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. 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? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matthew 7:21-23)

Those that are truly wise prepare themselves because they are in love with the bridegroom. They desire to be adorned with the beauty of holiness for their Lord. There is no effort, no struggle, no cost so great. They heard Him say, "Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away." (Song of Solomon 2:10)

Oh beloved, our hope as a true child of God is to be with Him, to be like Him. What could possibly be more worth your time and effort than to be ready when the door opens on that day? "it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." (1 John 3:2-3)

Jesus is coming, and the door will only be opened briefly, but only for those who are ready. Once the door is shut, no argument, no plead, no cry will open it again unto you. Rather you will hear, "I know you not", and the Door (Christ) will be closed to you forever. "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." (2 Corinthians 6:2)

Read more on The Wise and The Foolish Virgins

— Randy Munter    Editor and Webmaster


Preparation for the Coming of the Lord
By Charles H. Spurgeon   (1834-1892)

"And now, little children, abide in Him. That, when He shall appear, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming." 1 John 2:28

OUR first anxious desire is that our hearers would come to Christ. We lay ourselves out to lift Him up, as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness and to bid men look to Him and live. There is no salvation except by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He said, "Look unto Me and be you saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God and there is none else."

When men have looked to Jesus, our next anxiety is that they may be in Christ, the City of Refuge. We long to speak of them as "men in Christ Jesus." My beloved Hearers, you must be in living, loving, lasting union with the Son of God, or else you are not in a state of salvation. That which begins with coming to Christ, as the engrafted branch is bound to the vine, continues in your growing into Him and receiving of His life. You must be in Christ as the stone is in the building, as the member is in the body.

When we have good hope that our hearers have come to Christ and are "in Christ," a further anxiety springs up in our hearts that they may "abide" in Christ. Our longing is that, despite temptations to go away from Him, they may always remain at His feet. That, notwithstanding the evil of their nature, they may never betray their Master but may faithfully hold to Him. We would have them mindful of that precept "As you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk you in Him." Oh, that they may be rooted in Him, and built up in Him and may always be in union with Him! Then shall we present them to our Lord in the day of His appearing with exceedingly great joy.

To this third anxiety of the minister of Christ I would give my mind this morning. John says, "Little children, abide in Him." How sweetly those words must have flowed from the lips and the pen of such a venerable saint! Methinks he is, in this, the echo of the Lord Jesus. For in the fifteenth chapter of the Gospel of John, the Lord Jesus said, "Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can you, except you abide in Me. If you abide in Me and My Words abide in you, you shall ask what you will and it shall be done unto you."

That word, "abide," was a very favorite one with the Lord Jesus and it became equally dear to that disciple whom Jesus loved. In our Authorized Version, the translators have interpreted it sometimes, "remain," and sometimes, "continue." But it is not very wise of them to have so changed the rendering. It is one of the virtues of the Revised Version that it generally translates the same Greek word by the same English word. This may not be absolutely requisite, for a little variety may be tolerated. But it is eminently instructive, since it allows us to see in our own mother tongue where the Holy Spirit used the same word. And if the translation is correct in one case, we may naturally conclude it will not be incorrect in another. "Abide," is one of John's special words.

May the Lord help us to consider these blessed words! Better still, may He write them on our hearts and may we fulfill their teaching! First, notice to what he urges them "abide in Him." Secondly, under what character he addresses them "little children." And thirdly, by what motive he exhorts them "that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming."

I.   First, then, OBSERVE TO WHAT HE URGES THEM "Abide in Him."

By this he meant one thing. But that thing is so comprehensive that we may better understand it by viewing it from many sides. He meant fidelity to the Truth taught by our Lord. We are sure he meant this, because, a little previously, in the twenty-fourth verse, he had said, "If that which you have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, you also shall continue in the Son and in the Father." Beloved, you have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ unto the salvation of your souls. You have trusted in Him as the Son of God, the appointed Mediator and the effectual Sacrifice for your sin.

Your hope has come from a belief in Christ as God has borne witness to Him. Abide in the Truth which you received from the beginning for in your earliest days it worked salvation in you. The foundation of your faith is not a changeable doctrine, you rest on a sure word of testimony. Truth is, in its very nature, fixed and unalterable. You know more about it than you did. But the thing itself is still the same and must be the same. Take care that you abide in it. You will find it difficult to do so, for there is an element of changeableness about yourself this you must overcome by Divine Grace.

You will find many elements of seduction in the outside world. There are men whose business it is to shake the faith of others, and thereby gain a reputation for cleverness and depth of thought. Some seem to think it an ambition worthy of a Christian to be always questioning, or, as the Apostle puts it, to be "ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the Truth." To throw doubt into minds which, by a gracious certainty, have been made blessed, is their chosen lifework. Therefore, you will be often led to try your foundation, and at times you will tremble as you cling to it.

Hearken, then, to this Word from the mouth of the Holy Spirit "Abide in Him." Stay where you were as to the Truth which you believe. That which has justified you, will sanctify you. That which has, in a measure, sanctified you, will yet perfect you. Make no change as to the eternal verities upon which you ground your hope. As a stone, you are built on the foundation abide there. As a branch, you have been grafted into the stem abide there. As a member, you are in the body abide there. It is all over with you if you do not. Abide in that holy mold of doctrine into which you were at first delivered.

Let no man deceive you with vain words, though there are many abroad in these days who "would deceive, if it were possible, the very elect." Abide in Jesus, by letting His Words abide in you. Believe what you have found to be the means of your quickening. Believe it with a greater intensity and a greater practicality. "Cast not away your confidence, which has great recompense of reward."

Continued



Matthew 25:1-13
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  1.   Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
  2.   And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
  3.   They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
  4.   But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
  5.   While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
  6.   And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
  7.   Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
  8.   And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
  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.
  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.
  11.   Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
  12.   But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
  13.   Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

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