The kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins
who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them.
But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
And at midnight, a cry was heard.
"Behold, the bridegroom is coming. Go out to meet him!"
Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps.
And the foolish said to the wise,
"Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out."
But the wise answered, saying,
"No, lest there should not be enough for us and you,
but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves."
And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came,
and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding.
And the door was shut.
Afterward the other virgins came also, saying,
"Lord, Lord, open to us!"
But he answered and said, "Assuredly, I say to you,
I do not know you."
Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour
in which the Son of Man is coming.
Many of you are familiar with this passage in the Bible, and understand it's meaning. The oil that the virgins carry represents the Holy Spirit. The bridegroom is Jesus, and the cry at midnight stands for the rapture, which will be unexpected but certain and sudden.
But is there any significance that they fell asleep while waiting? I never gave thought to this before, until recently. I believe that every aspect of a parable has a purpose, otherwise it wouldn't be mentioned. Here is what I think it means.
Prior to them falling asleep, the virgins knew that the bridegroom would be coming, though they didn't know when. Half of them were prepared and were filled with the Holy Spirit. That is, they knew Christ as their Lord and Savior and made every effort to be in an intimate relationship with Him, through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. They loved Him with all their heart, soul, mind and strength. They not only knew about Christ, they knew Him intimately. These were the wise virgins.
The foolish virgins weren't prepared, as they didn't make efforts beforehand to keep enough oil with them. They were like carnal Christians who know about Christ, they know what the Bible says about His coming, but that is all. They didn't pursue an intimate relationship with Him. They had the head knowledge but not the heart felt relationship.
The Bible has stated in several incidences that when a person dies, he has "fallen asleep", as in the story of Jesus being called to the house of a ruler whose daughter had died. He told them, "The girl is not dead, but sleeping." Then He took her by the hand and she arose. (Matthew 9:18-19, 23-25)Likewise, in this Scripture of the virgins, I believe them sleeping means that they died. They had lived their lives before the time came for the bridegroom to come.
What is interesting is what happens when the call at midnight comes. They all awaken. This represents the rapture. The five wise had been ready before they slept by having the Holy Spirit. Therefore, they were able to go in with the bride groom, and after that, the door was shut. The foolish ones hadn't had the Holy Spirit before they slept, so they weren't ready for the bridegroom. They were kept out. Separated from the bridegroom. Their chances of being with the bridegroom were gone forever.
Conclusion is this: what a person does before he dies seals his eternal fate. Once he dies, it is too late. There is no second chance. In order for a person to be with Jesus in His heavenly kingdom, he must make that important decision to accept Him as Lord and Savior, and live his life in obedience, seeking Him with all his heart, soul, mind and strength. He needs to surrender his life to the will of God. Then when he dies, and if Christ hasn't come before that, He is assured that he will be with Him forever, to celebrate the marriage supper of the Lamb.
If a person learns about Christ, but doesn't make that commitment to follow Him; if he keeps putting off surrendering his will to God's, then he will not have had the Holy Spirit's indwelling, and will miss the rapture. He will face eternal separation from God, and the fire of hell along with Satan.
An important lesson out of all of this is that what a person does with Christ before his life is over, seals his future destiny. Now is the time to make sure you are filled with the Holy Spirit. Now is the time to make the commitment of following Christ and surrendering your will to His. The worst thing you could hear Him say to you is, "I never knew you." You have this moment to ensure that won't happen. Commit your heart and soul to Him. Accept His gift of salvation and seek Him will all of your being. Love Him with all of your heart.
The current condition of our world reveals that we are entering increasingly strong birth pains, and Jesus told us that when this happens, His return is right at the door. He is coming soon for His bride. The question is: are you wise.... or foolish?