“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.” –Mark 25:1
The subject of Heaven is by far a very interesting one. Even the disciples, who were with Jesus every day, were curious about what Heaven was going to be like and what it would look like and who would be there and so forth. Jesus, because He was God, had all the answers to their questions and recorded those answers down in His Word, which has been preserved to this day, such that we have access to the very Word of God. The Gospel of St. Mark chapter twenty-five records some of Jesus’ answers to the disciples’ questions about Heaven. In verse number one, Jesus gives a metaphorical expression about what the Kingdom of Heaven will be like. “Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.” The Lord Jesus compares Heaven with ten virgins which took their lamps (their spirits) and went to meet the bridegroom (Jesus Christ). In verse two, Jesus reveals the character of these ten virgins. “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.”
We see in this parable that the Lord Jesus Christ identifies two types of people: foolish and wise. In verse number three we see the error of the five foolish virgins. They made no provisions for their journey to meet the bridegroom. In other words, they were not prepared. They took no oil with them other than that which was already in the lamp. In contrast, the wise virgins took oil with them so that they would have enough to keep their lamps burning until they got to the bridegroom’s house. We see that in verse number eight, the foolish virgins asked the wise virgins for oil, because the foolish virgins had run out of oil because they made no provision for their journey. In verse number nine, we see that the wise virgins did not fall for the foolish virgins’ plea; they told the foolish versions to go buy their own oil. In verse number ten, we see the response of the foolish virgins and eventually the response of the bridegroom in verse number thirteen.
“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.” We see that in verse ten, the foolish virgins take the advice of the wise virgins and go out to buy some oil. However, in verse eleven, we learn that while the foolish virgins were out buying oil, the bridegroom (Jesus Christ) came back and the Bible says that “they that were READY went in with him to the marriage.”
In verse twelve, we see the response of the bridegroom to the foolish virgins who had to go and buy their oil. “But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. You might think that those are some pretty harsh words. In reality though, we see that Jesus is not being cold or mean, but rather He is simply stating that because these foolish virgins did not prepare and make provision for the wedding, they are no longer fit to enter into the wedding ceremony, because they were notREADY. That is the case with anything we do in life. Wouldn’t we get annoyed if we expected someone to be at a meeting or come over for dinner, and they were not READY? That is the same way the Lord Jesus feels when people who made no provision, who were not READY, want to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Many people will not PREPARE or will not ASSESS what is needed to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Many people will simply just stroll on by and think that their GOOD WORKSor GOOD EFFORTS or GOOD INTENTIONS will get them into Heaven. However, we realize from these verses that only those who are READY, meaning those who have met the requirements, will be allowed entry into the Kingdom of Heaven and those who do not meet those requirements will be denied entry into Heaven by the Lord Jesus Christ, because He simply does not know you. So, maybe you’re asking: Well, what are the requirements for entry into the Kingdom of Heaven? Or maybe you’re saying in your heart: I want to be READY! That is excellent, because we have a God that does not hide these requirements from us. He lays them all out for us in His Word, because He loves us, and He does not want ANYONE to be denied entry into this blessed Kingdom whenever we leave this earth.