The Ten Virgins
Lesson 24

In many parts of the East, weddings are celebrated in the evening. In these festal events, the bridegroom goes to meet his bride and bring her to his home. In Christ’s day the bridal party would proceed from the home of the groom to the home of the bride’s father where he would meet the bride and return with her to his own home where a feast was provided for all the invited guests.

Christ’s ministry was rapidly drawing to a close and using this practice with which the disciples were very familiar, Christ set forth one of the last parables He was to give.

1. To what did Christ liken the kingdom of heaven?

Matthew 25:1

2. What set the wise virgins apart from those who were foolish?

Matthew 25:2–3

3. To what does Paul liken the Church?

2 Corinthians 11:2

Note: The two classes of watching virgins represent the church and the two classes of members within the church professing to be watching for Christ’s return. They are called virgins because they profess a pure faith.

4. What is represented by the lamps they are carrying?

Psalm 119:105

Note: In the parable, all ten virgins went out to meet the bridegroom. All had lamps and vessels filled with oil and for a time, there was no observable difference between them. In this we find a representation of the church that will be on the earth just before Christ’s Second Coming.

5. What awakened the sleeping virgins?

Matthew 25:5–7

Note: All who are represented by the virgins in this parable have a knowledge of the Scriptures. All have heard the message of Christ’s near approach and have confidently expected His appearing. However, as in the parable, there is a delay. A time of waiting intervenes and faith is tested. During this tarrying time, all fell asleep.

6. What did the foolish virgins request of those who were wise?

Matthew 25:8

Note: Those represented by the foolish virgins are not hypocrites. They have a regard for the truth, but like the stony ground hearers in the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:3–9), though they initially received the word with readiness of mind, they were not transformed by its principles. They have a regard for the truth, but they have not yielded themselves to the Holy Spirit’s working. When startled from their lethargy, they suddenly realize their lack, and entreat others to supply their need.

7. Is it possible for one person to supply another’s spiritual lack?

Ezekiel 14:20

Note: Character is not transferable. No man can impart to another a character which has been formed as the result of the Spirit’s working.

8. What does Paul tell us regarding many professing a form of religion in the last days?

2 Timothy 3:1–2, 5

Note: The inspired writings do not suggest that in the last days there will be no religions, but that the spiritual condition of those professing religion will not be of a nature to bring about character change, bringing the life into harmony with revealed Bible truth.

9. What will this class of believers be saying as the time approaches?

1 Thessalonians 5:3

Note: Without the Spirit of God working in the life, a theoretical knowledge of the truth is of little value. The heart remains unsanctified and the character unchanged. Without the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, men are not able to distinguish truth from error and, falling under the temptations of Satan, they fail to correctly discern the times. When the call goes forth, “Behold the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him,” they are unprepared.

10. When the foolish virgins returned and sought an entrance, what response greeted them?

Matthew 25:11–12

Both the wise and the unwise were taken by surprise; but one was prepared and the other was not. So now, when the great final test comes at the close of probation, when it is too late for the soul’s need to be supplied, it will be shown who had made preparation for the event.

11. What will be required from all who gain an entrance into Christ’s kingdom?

Luke 13:24

12. What will many be saying in that final day?

Luke 13:26

13. What will Christ’s response be?

Luke 13:27

14. At what hour did the bridegroom come?

Matthew 25:6

Note: The coming was at midnight—the darkest hour. So, the coming of Christ will take place in the darkest period of this earth’s history. The days of Noah and Lot are pictured as the condition of the world just before Christ’s return.

To be numbered among those who Christ will recognize as His own requires more than a mere acceptance of the fact that Christ lived and died for our sins. These facts even the devil recognizes, but it works no change of character. Only those who have, through the enabling power of the Holy Spirit, overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong doing will be accepted. We cannot keep Christ apart from our lives here and yet be fitted for His companionship in heaven. Though pleasant to the natural heart, it is a delusion to believe that God will accept our sincerity, no matter what may be the faith, no matter how imperfect the life. God requires now no less than He did from our first parents in Eden—perfect obedience.

15. What do the lost lack?

2 Thessalonians 2:10

16. Rather than the truth, in what have they found pleasure?

2 Thessalonians 2:11–12

Note: Not only is Satan leading the world captive, but his deceptions are to be found even within the professed church of Christ. The great apostasy will develop into darkness as deep as midnight. But out of that night of darkness God’s light will shine.

17. More than the forgiveness of sins, What will Christ do for us?

1 John 1:9

18. What was Isaiah shown would cover the earth and the people?

Isaiah 60:2

19. During this time, what is Christ’s command to His people?

Isaiah 60:1

Note: It is the darkness of misapprehension of God that is enveloping the world. As men lose the knowledge of His character, He is misunderstood and misinterpreted.

20. In this time of darkness, what are Christ’s followers to reveal?

2 Corinthians 4:6

“To His faithful followers Christ has been a daily companion and familiar friend. They have lived in close contact, in constant communion with God. Upon them the glory of the Lord has risen. In them the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ has been reflected. Now they rejoice in the undimmed rays of the brightness and glory of the King in His majesty. They are prepared for the communion of heaven; for they have heaven in their hearts.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 421

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