Parody of the holiness movement
The scenario is described as follows. Ten bridesmaids accompany the bride. This is probably an idealized number, as the number of bridesmaids was generally much higher at Jewish weddings. Bridesmaids were the best friends of the bride and groom. All ten had to be ready for the coming of the bridegroom. They should receive him with their lamps. Lamps are a picture of the church (cf. Revelation). The idealized number “ten” represents perfection. So it's about portraying a perfect community. It was inconceivable that one of the ten virgins would not be ready when the bridegroom came. Not a single person would want to miss his arrival. But the impossible happens! Five weren't ready!" Jesus, you're making fun of us! This can't be right! This has never happened before, that one of the bridesmaids wouldn't be ready!
But again, Jesus is not joking. He is dead serious - when he returns to earth there will be a 50% failure rate for the end-time church! And here he is not thinking of liberal communities that no longer represent end-time expectations, but of communities that still emphasize aspects such as sanctification and holiness. How is this possible? In our time, many have socialized their favorite sins! Most of the time it's just one thing, but it's consistently swept under the rug, and not just among church members. 50% of participants at a pastor's conference recently admitted that they have problems using the Internet!
What should we do?
“Pursue peace with everyone and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.” As a community that is close to the holiness movement, we must continue to emphasize that we can only achieve effectiveness through holiness. Teaching and living according to God's Word is important to us. It's not always easy. But it succeeds through the power of prayer and through His Word. In India, rice field workers sometimes wear masks on the back of their heads. They know that tigers might attack them from behind while they are hunched over working in the rice field. But the masks stop them from doing this because the tigers shy away from attacking face to face. Let us dress as Christians daily and face the enemy. Then one of us will flee. Jesus is victorious!
Author: Dr. Paul Schmidgall