One day, Jesus will return. Scripture makes this quite clear. We don’t know the day or the hour on which He will return (Matthew 25:13), but Jesus Himself gave us a good picture of the events that will surround His return (Matthew 24:5-12). These events include the appearance of false prophets and deceivers, wars and rumors of wars, famine and earthquakes, and persecution.
The signs are quite clear, but we will never know the day or the hour of His return. That is why we need to be watchful, we need to be prepared. Jesus gave us a wonderful illustration of our need to be prepared in the parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1-13). The virgins were waiting for the bridegroom to arrive for his wedding. Five of the ten virgins were wise and five were foolish. While all of the virgins brought lamps with them, only the five wise virgins thought to bring oil for their lamps. When the bridegroom finally arrived, the wise virgins trimmed their lamps and went out to meet him. The foolish virgins, having no oil, had to go to buy some. The bridegroom arrived in their absence and when they returned, they found the door to the wedding shut to them.
Since we do not know when Jesus will return, we need to be prepared. In this parable, the oil in the lamps represents faith, righteousness, and the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. As we wait for Jesus’ second coming, we need to persevere in our faith through a personal relationship with Him. We also need to live righteously. We need to guard our hearts against the temptations that can lead to sin. We need to live our lives in a way that honors the Lord. Finally, we need to allow the Holy Spirit to dwell in us. His presence is what we need to persevere in faith and live righteously.
If we are prepared, if we make sure that we have “oil” for our lamps, we can watch with hope and joy for that glorious day of His coming knowing that we are prepared.