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Joyce Meyer - The Ten Virgins




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Joyce Meyer - The Parable of the Ten Virgins
Joyce Meyer - The Parable of the Ten Virgins

You know, the Parables of Jesus are just wonderful. They're stories, but they bring the Gospel to a level where we can fully and completely understand it. I don't like things that sound spiritual but they're way over my head, and when I leave it seemed awesome, but I don't know what was said. Amen? I like to go home with something that I can hang onto and remember. So, most of you, if you were here last night, the thing you're gonna remember is: I'm gonna do more right in my life than I do wrong. How many of you agree, if you were here last night, you'll remember that from last night? How many of you remember, you're not built for guilt?

Okay, we don't have time to go over last night. We're gonna start in Matthew chapter 24, which is a chapter in the Bible about signs of the end times. You know, everybody wants to know when Jesus is coming back, and he didn't tell us on purpose because he wants us to live everyday as if he was coming back any moment. So, let me just start by saying this. If you knew for sure, if I knew for sure, that three weeks from now, on Sunday morning at 10 A.M. Jesus was coming back, I guess my question is: what would you change in your life? We really, honestly, should be able to say nothing. "I'm doing what I believe God wants me to do and I don't have to hurry up and try to straighten up my life because I think Jesus is coming back".

And that's the goal is to live as if he's coming back at any moment. Let me tell you something. We have a big job in front of us, right now. The world is in such a terrible mess and people don't have much, your bumper sticker doesn't do much for anybody, to be honest. I mean, you can have it if you like it, but that little fish doesn't say much to an unbeliever. Now, at least to another believer it's like, "Hey, were buddies". But the only thing that's gonna really convince the world that Jesus is real is if we act like Jesus. If we let him shine through us. And in order to do that, that requires getting yourself off your mind and being more occupied with what you believe God wants you to do.

So, in Matthew 24, it's a long list of signs of the end times. And many of them have already come to pass. Most of them, I would say, have come to pass. And so, obviously, we're getting closer. No man knows when the time will be, but we're getting closer. And so, when he gets over to verse 42, he says, "Therefore keep watch, because you don't know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: if the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would have not let his house be broken into. So, you also must be ready, because the son of man will come at a time when you do not expect him. 'who then is the faithful and the wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns'".

And so, we wanna live ready. Not hurry up and get ready. Amen? Every once in a while, we need to hear this because Jesus is coming back. He is coming back. And we should be, and I believe want to, be living a lifestyle that glorifies him and shows people what Jesus is like. And in order to do that, now just listen to this: you can't be lazy, can't be complacent, can't be passive, or inactive, and you can't be a procrastinator. Do we have any procrastinators with us this morning? My message is gonna make you squirm in your seat I can... Pretty well tell you that. I'mma send you home with a homework assignment.

So, the three parables in Matthew chapter 25, which is of course, right after 24. So, in 24, you've got all these signs of the end times and then he starts with three parables. The first one is the parable of the ten virgins, and that's probably the only one that we'll get through this morning. And then, this afternoon, we'll do the parable of the talents, and the parable of the sheep and the goats. I think that's actually one of my favorite parables. And it says so much, such a deep message in what Jesus said about the sheep and the goats.

Matthew 25, it says, verse 1-4, "At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five of them were wise". Now, you know, we always have a choice, don't we? You know the cool thing about being free is God doesn't make us do anything. He won't make us do what's right. He'll certainly, try to guide us away from doing what's wrong. But bottom line is, it's our choice. And that's one of the big reasons why, if we're truthful, we can't and should not keep blaming our problems on other people. Because, like for example, my dad abused me sexually for many years. My mom didn't do anything about it because she was afraid of him. And I was a mess. But I had a choice to make, when I became a Christian and I saw that I had choices.

For a lot of years, I blamed my behavior on my past abuse, and God put in my heart one day, "It's a reason why you are the way you are, but don't let it become an excuse to stay that way". C'mon, does anybody in the building need that today? Bottom line is, we've all been hurt. We've all been mistreated. We've all been treated unjustly. And we have to shake those things off and go on. If there's anybody that you need to forgive, don't put it off one more day. I think that, that is one of the, if not, the major problem that we have in the church today, is angry Christians. And it just doesn't work. Jesus said, "If you don't forgive others, I can't forgive you". Wow, boy, that's heavy.

Well, these virgins were like what we would call bridesmaids today. And weddings were a little different back then. It was not uncommon at all to have a seven day celebration, with the wedding, and that included everybody. And back then, there was a bride price the parents had to pay the man and his family some amount of money, I guess, for him to take this girl off their hands, I don't know. I think the men should be paying up, not the women. But, the bride would be ready and prepared. And the bridesmaids were supposed to be ready and prepared. But the thing about it was they never knew exactly how long they were gonna have to wait.

Like today, if the wedding's at 10:00 o'clock you expect the bride to come down the aisle at 10:00 o'clock. But they might get there at 10 A.M. in the morning, and many times, the groom and his family was still negotiating with the girl's family. And they're all just waiting, just waiting, waiting, waiting. They believe he's coming but they don't know exactly when. But the instruction to them is: your job is to stay ready. Amen? So, we're like bridesmaids waiting for our groom to come for his bride. And we are to be wise and not foolish.

I want to read you something in Proverbs 1:20 through 21 that I think is really good. Proverbs 1:20, "Out in the open wisdom calls aloud, she raises her voice in the public square: on top of the wall she cries out, at the city's gate she makes her speech". I think that's interesting 'cause you know what it's saying? At every corner in your life, at every intersection in your life, wisdom is always there crying out, "Listen to me". Wisdom, I believe, is sanctified common sense, sanctified common sense.

And you know what? If we would just use more common sense instead of looking for something spooky supernatural, just use wisdom. And I believe that wisdom is to do now, what you'll be happy with later. C'mon, want you to get that. Wisdom is to do now, what you'll be happy with later. If I go by a sink full of dirty dishes, at night, and I think, "I should do them", and then I think, "Nah, I'll do 'em tomorrow", the last thing I wanna face when I get up tomorrow morning is a sink full of dirty dishes. So, I did what my flesh wanted the night before, but it wasn't the wisest thing.

Now, I don't lose my salvation if I don't do my dishes, but we're talking about how to live happy. I say sometimes, that you know, "Some people are trying to cast out devils and they don't even have authority over a sink full of dirty dishes, yet". I think we have to start at home where it makes sense. Amen? And be ready, and be prepared. Now, what was wrong with the five that were foolish? Verse 3 says, "The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil". But the amplified Bible says, "They didn't take any extra oil", and I love that. In other words, foolish people only do what they absolutely have to do to get by. They don't do anything extra.

See, if you're smart, even though things might be going good in your life right now, you'll still get up just a little bit early every morning, and you'll spend some time with God because you need that extra oil. Amen? And you know, some people actually don't have the time when they get up in the morning. They can maybe, grab just a few minutes, but they don't have much time. They've got kids. I gotta get 'em off. They gotta go to work. But you know what my husband did for many years? He was in the engineering field for a while after I had already gone into ministry and we knew that someday he'd be quitting his job and coming into ministry, but we couldn't afford it at that time. And every day, Dave would eat his lunch and then he would spend the rest of his lunch hour walking the neighborhood and praying. And it was during those times that God really showed him that someday he'd be leaving there and quitting his job.

You even knew that it would be about seven years didn't you? He kind of felt like in seven years, and he told a couple of the guys at work, "In seven years, I won't be here anymore. I'll be in full-time ministry". You know, if you spend time with God, God will speak to you, and he'll show you things that you need to see. And I can tell ya, taking that lunch and spending it with God is much better than sitting around the lunchroom gossiping with everybody else about how bad conditions are at your job. You're better off to walk the neighborhood and pray and give thanks. "Well, I go to church on Sunday". Yeah, but you could do something a little extra. Come on, are you with me? You could just do something a little bit extra.

"Well, I was here at the service last night and I gave so when the offering came by this morning, I didn't see any reason to give, I gave last night". You know, so did everybody else. I gave last night and I'm here again. I'm talking about giving of my gift. And so, no, you wouldn't have to. That's good. "I gave last night, I don't need to give again", but you could do something extra. "The foolish ones took their lamps but didn't take any extra oil". You know what? They made no plan for delay.

Now, somebody here is gonna get something. How many of you have a tendency to be late a lot of places where you go? Come on, let's be real brave, okay? You know why? Because you don't plan for delay. You have all these things that you wanna get done before you leave the house. A few people are perfectionist, and they can't leave their house unless everything is perfect. But I'm gonna tell ya something and I'm not trying to be rude. I'm just trying to help you. Actually, we're all late sometimes, but if you are consistently late and people can't depend on you, it is rude and unloving. And see, sometimes it's, "The little foxes that spoil the vine". It's all these little compromises that turn into a big problem for us.

And so, I'm gonna ask all of you when you go home today, don't just be here to see what we look like... I know some of you came expecting Joel, and I'm sorry, but this is my weekend. And so, but I want you to leave with something. I wanna make a deposit in your life. And so, I wanna ask you to make a decision. See, I think it's really good if we make a decision in church about something. So, I wanna encourage you to go home and just, start just doing a little extra. Just whatever it is, just do a little bit extra. I started last week and I thought, "Well, I'm gonna try something. I'm gonna practice". Every time I get something out and use it, I put it away before I leave it. When I walk by my dishes and I see they need to be done, I do them.

The other morning, oh, Friday morning, I did not feel like working out. I have a trainer that comes three times a week, and I just did not want to work out. But I knew I'd be taking off tomorrow, after being here this weekend. So, I didn't want to miss two days in a row. I had my finger on the phone ready to call my trainer and say, "I don't think I'm gonna be able to work out today". And then, I thought, "Nope, I'm doing it". See, it's all about a decision. And you know what? It doesn't hurt sometimes, if you have to push a little bit, come on, if you need to push a little bit to do what's right.

I had a psychologist on my program a couple months ago, and she said that today, people are so unaccustomed to discomfort or having to go through anything that people are getting deeply depressed over little tiny things that really shouldn't bother us at all. We need a few little tougher things in our life. Amen? How many of you need to clean your closet out? Isn't it a mess, all the stuff we can come up with? How many pair of earrings, do you have ladies, you've never had on your ears? You bought 'em 'cause they were pretty and you're still waiting for the outfit. And I know. I've got shoes I've never worn. It's just, I'll put on something and Dave will say, "Oh, when did you get that"? "Oh, a year ago". And so, I need to clean that thing out on a rotating basis and give things away. And so, if looking at the whole closet at one time is too much for you, just say, "15 minutes everyday, I'm gonna clean out my closet". Set a timer if you have to, work on it 15 minutes a day, and before long, you'll have the thing done.

How many of you know that laziness and passivity can just kinda creep up on ya, a little bit at a time. And you know, the less you do, the less you wanna do, and then the less you wanna do, and the less you wanna do. And we can't be like that. So, this message today is about, "Wake-up sleepy Christian". Amen. If you've gotten sleepy in any area, if you've backslid in your prayer life, if you used to go to church on a regular basis, and now you just sit back in your recliner and watch church at home... You know, I'm glad that convenience is there for people who cannot come to church but it should not be an excuse for us to just put out no effort because it might be nice for you but what about the people at church that need you?

See, that's our problem. We go to get a blessing and we should go to be a blessing. Have a different attitude. "I'm gonna get myself over there today, and I'm gonna pray for the pastor while I'm on my way, and I'm gonna look around for people who need a blessing and before I get out of that building, I am gonna be a blessing to somebody". I'll tell you what, if we'd think about ourself less and others more, we'd be a lot happier, wouldn't we? Well, see, these foolish virgins, they didn't want to do anything extra. "But the wise took oil in jars along with their lamps". And I would imagine that was a little inconvenient, 'cause that meant they had to carry a lamp in one hand, and now, they got this jar in the other hand.

Wisdom is available to everybody, but we can be foolish if we want to. One of the messages I want you to get out of this today is a little three letter word: now. Start doing now, what you know you need to do and then you'll be happy later. You can either make your flesh happy now and put it off and be unhappy later, or you can let the spirit guide you and do now what he tells you to do now and think of all the freedom then that you'll have later on. How many of you that are in your 50's or 60's really wish with all of your heart when you were in your twenties, you would have started setting aside a little bit of money out of each paycheck for this age in your life?

See, what a difference would it make if we do now, "Oh, but we wanna do what feels good today. We wanna do what's easy today. And oh, just forget about tomorrow". But you know what? Tomorrow always comes. Sooner or later we have to deal with the results of what we've done. Wise people pay the price of diligence, steadfastness, endurance, and sacrifice, and later on, they're rewarded for it. Does anybody care about later on? It'll come. It'll come. I'll tell ya, if you're smart, you'll start exercising in your thirties or your twenties, you won't wait until you're my age and give it a try. Amen? I didn't start working out till I was 62. And I thought it would kill me. Absolutely, kill me. I mean, I had to fall on the toilet and pray to be able to get off. Have you ever been that sore? So sore.

One day I was sitting in a boat and I had my legs propped up and I scratched the back of my leg and I felt a lump, and I thought, "Oh my gosh, I got a lump there. Wonder what that is"? Then I felt the other side, and I had one there, too. And then, I realized it was muscle. Some of you need to work hard enough to get a couple of lumps, amen? Oh, you all think I'm funny, I'll come back there. Just think, my husband has been working out, I can't stand this, for 60 years. Argh... No wonder he still wears the same size clothes he did when we got married. And he looks like he's about 60, but he's gonna be 79 the end of this month. Wow. And he is so good-looking and solid. But see, he's paid the price for the privilege he has now.

I want you to listen to me. Is anybody willing to pay the price today, for the privileges that you want later on, in life? Then you gotta go home with a new word: NOW. Oh, and your flesh is gonna kick up a fit. "Ugh, I don't want to. I'm tired. I worked all week. I don't want to do that". Well, the bridegroom showed up when least expected. Matthew 25:5, "The bridegroom was a long time in coming". Man, have any of you noticed that Jesus takes his good old time. He doesn't seem to be in a hurry about anything. And here's the danger. When you been waiting a long time, and you don't feel like anything's happening and it doesn't look like anything's happening that's when we are very tempted to start sliding back.

Come on, now. Oh, you were full of fire when you first released your faith for that breakthrough. "Bless God, I'm gonna get victory over this. I'mma confess the word, study, and do everything that I know I'm supposed to do". And then, a year went by, and a couple years went by. Maybe, five or six years has gone by and the devil's saying, "That don't work. That don't work, you might as well, you're just wasting your time". Boy, that's when you gotta be careful because that's where the battle is really won or lost. C'mon, you gotta make your mind up that you're gonna keep on, keepin' on. C'mon.

Now, here, I'm gonna tell you something that's important. Don't forget this. Don't do what's right, just to get a right result. "Well, then why should I do it"? Because it's right, and it's your nature. It's your new nature in God to always do what's right, whether your reward is soon, or whether it's delayed. What do we read in Hebrews chapter 11, the chapter of the heroes of faith? It said, "These all believed and waited, but they never received in their lifetime because God had us in mind and he delayed so we could be gathered in". You know, what the Bible says? Jesus says, "When I come back, who will I find in faith"? So, if he's gonna return three weeks from now, on Sunday at 10 :00 o'clock, don't just start now, stirring your faith up. Keep it stirred up, all the time.

Oh, here we go, it's not somebody else's job to come along and keep you happy, and encouraged, and stirred up. Come on. We have to be very careful that we don't just turn a church service into something where we go expecting to be entertained all the time. It's not an entertainment service. This is where you should get your bottom spanked a little bit by the word. Get you kinda... "Whoo", straightened up there and re-fan your fire, and yes, be encouraged if you need that. We need to, but we need to hear all sides of it. And you're gonna find in these three parables that really, they're all saying the same thing but in a different way and that is: you better do what's right, now, otherwise you will lose your reward because the time is gonna come when we are all gonna give an accounting. And it's not about salvation, but it's about what we've done with what God has given us while we've been here.

What are you doing to help somebody else? Yeah, you were just a little bit too quiet on that one. I mean, seriously, that's a question you need to ask. "What am I doing to help somebody else"? And you know, I'm a professional minister and so, I could say, "Well, I'm helping people all the time". But many years ago, God told me, "That's your job. In your private life, I expect you to behave just like you're telling everybody else to behave". And so, I pray every day for God to put somebody in my path that I can be a blessing to. We need to get to the point where we say, "I refuse to let this day go by without showing Jesus to somebody". You don't have to preach with words if your actions show it. Amen?

Ten virgins: five wise, five foolish. Five did a little something extra. They were prepared and ready. I'll tell you what, I'm ready for Jesus to come back. I mean, I don't like the world anymore. I don't like the way it is. And the more years you put up with it, the more ready you are. I mean, I understand why Paul said, "For me, I'd just assume go, but I'll stay here for you". Amen? Well, "At midnight the cry rang out: 'here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!' then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. But the foolish", and here it comes. It's always this way. "The foolish said to the wise, 'give us some of your oil'".

And isn't that what we have a lot of today? People who don't wanna do what they should be doing, but they want to benefit from the ones who have done what they should have done. And hey, I'm all about helping people. I love to help people. But there does come a time where you're not really helping, you're enabling. And so, I just felt like I should kinda throw out in front of you that there may be some of you here that you need to say what these wise virgins said. "No". Now, you know, I'll bet they got judged for being hard-hearted and mean. Yeah. Because that's the way people are, who don't wanna do their part and they wanna take the benefit that you worked for. A matter of fact, they think they deserve the benefit that you worked for. And so, if you tell 'em, "No", they'll tell you, you're not a good Christian.

I had a brother, he's not alive anymore, he was 9 years younger than me, and he always had problems with drugs and alcohol. He got in the Vietnam war when he was 17. And they were out in those jungles and a lot of the guys started using drugs, but even before that, he just was always irresponsible. And I think his whole life, he lived off of another woman. He'd always be living with some woman who was taking care of him. And as he got older and his health was being affected from the drugs, he said he wanted to come home and get his life straightened out. So, we sent him a bus ticket, brought him home. And boy, he was a mess. His teeth were messed up and he just looked awful.

And so, we took him on as a project, and made sure that he was born-again, and we let him live in our home for about four years. And well, he got all straightened out. We got him all new teeth, and got him a truck, and he had good clothes, and he got healthy, he gained the right amount of weight, had a girlfriend. But, I came to the point where I felt like the grace was no longer there for him to live in our house. I didn't want to take care of my brother the rest of my life. I already was taking care of my mother and my father and my widowed aunt. And I love helping people but I didn't wanna spend my whole life taking care of people that could have been and should have been taking care of themselves. And this is where you need to listen to God, and be willing to say, "No", once in awhile, and not care if somebody judges you for it.

So, we told him we felt it was time for him to get on his own, we helped him with furniture, helped him with an apartment. As soon as he got out on his own, he went right back to the way he was living before. Long story short, didn't see him for another, I don't know how many years. And then, he's living out in Arizona, and he's living with another girl and they both got drug problems and no money. And so, she actually, called and told me that she thought that I should open a bank account for her and my brother... Oh, yeah. And put $2,000 a month in it, "Because after all you got this big ministry and you're supposedly, 'helping', people, and this is your brother, and you should help him". You know what I said? "No". And she said, "Well, what kind of a Christian are you? You're telling... Blah, blah, blah" so, a lot of times, you can be doing the right thing and get judged and criticized for it, but you still are not doing the best thing for the other person if you eternally enable them to stay the way they are.

Now, I don't know who, but somebody needed to hear that this morning. Well, they said, "'No, there may not be enough for both of us. So, you instead, go to those who sell oil and get some for yourselves'". Well, the problem is, is they missed the return of the bridegroom while they were gone doing what they should have done. Come on. What's our magic word today? Now. How many of you are gonna go home, and with God's help, try to make a few serious changes, you know? Get things a little bit tidier, declutter your house.

Now, maybe, you don't need to hear this at all. Maybe, you're the perfectionist and nobody could find a speck of dust in your house anywhere, but if there's areas in your life where you're procrastinating, stop procrastinating. Stop putting things off till another time. Start preparing for a little bit of delay. And then you'll stop being late everywhere you go. Because nothing in this earth is perfect. If it takes you nine minutes to get to work and you leave your house nine minutes before you have to be at work, here's the way it's gonna go. You're gonna get out to your car and realize you don't have your car keys. You're gonna go back in to get 'em and while you're in there, you accidentally leave your glasses inside.

So, you get out to your car and you gotta go back in and get your glasses. While you're in there, the phone rings. And you're curious. You can't stand it. Now, you got this call. Well, you end up going to work and lying to your boss about why you're late. And the truth is you just didn't plan. Now, c'mon, I hope you still love me. Those of you that are late a lot, do you still love me? Okay, alright, 'cause, you know, I'd rather just stand up here and tell you a buncha nice stuff. I'm not here to make people mad, but it's, "The truth that sets us free". And it's not the truth about somebody else that sets us free, it's the truth about us that sets us free.

The Bible warns against the dangers of becoming a sleepy Christian. Stay on fire. Do you ever think, "Where's that old fire that, all that enthusiasm that I had when I first got saved"? You know what? Fan your flame. Don't let those fires go out. Stir yourself up. 1 Thessalonians 5:6, "So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us awake and be sober". Matthew 13:35, "Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back, whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. And if he comes suddenly, don't let him find you sleeping. I say to everyone: 'watch!'", watch, "The devil roams about like a lion roaring in fierce hunger seeking whom he may devour".

It doesn't have to be you and it doesn't have to be me. But if we're sleepy Christians, he'll sneak up on us and start lying to us, and before we know it, we'll be believing him, and the next thing you know, we'll be losing our faith. C'mon, have any of you have gone through this? You must be tired. You're clapping awful quiet this morning. There are 66 Bible references to the importance of being watchful. Sixty-six. And that doesn't mean to watch everybody else so you can criticize 'em. It means, watch what's going on in the world and realize how close we are. It means, watch yourself, make sure you're not falling back or backsliding in areas of your life. Watch what's going on in your mind. What kinda thoughts are you having? Watch your mouth.

C'mon, how many times, you tell your kids, "Watch that mouth. You better watch that mouth". Well, God's got the same speech. "Guard your heart with all diligence for out of it flows the issues of life". Watch these things and don't let yourself slide back. Don't let yourself get lazy and procrastinate. I heard a story about how the devil had assigned these higher up demons to train newer demons on how to go out in the world and deceive people, keep 'em from being saved.

And so, after they had a little time to practice, they called 'em back in to ask 'em questions and they asked the first one, "So, what are you gonna do to deceive people"? He said, "Oh, I'm just gonna tell 'em there's no God". And he said, "Well, you may get a few like that but you're not gonna get many because most people inherently know that there is a God". Said to the other one, "What are you gonna tell people"? "I'm gonna tell 'em there's no hell. They don't need to worry". He said, "Well, you'll get more than the first one, but still not as many as you need to". And he said to the third one, "What are you gonna do"? He said, "I'm gonna tell 'em, they got plenty of time, just put it off till later". He said, "Now, you will reap many souls for the kingdom of darkness".

Do you know what? Good intentions is not obedience. "I'm gonna get things right with it. My sister that I've been mad at for eight years. I'm gonna"... "When"? "Later". Well, what if the master comes while you're still thinking about obeying him? Amen? And I'm not saying that, that's gonna cause you to go to hell, but we are going to give an accounting. I don't know what we think that day's gonna be like, but I think it's gonna be challenging. "So, what have you done with your time, Joyce? What have you done with your gifts? What'd you do with the money that I entrusted to you"? I wanna have some good answers. I wanna be able to say, "The most that I could. I tried to live my life for you. I know I didn't do it perfectly but, Jesus, you're it". Amen?

Don't live your life in such a way, where at the end of it, you look back and all you're left with is regrets. I think that must be the most terrible, empty feeling when you didn't do what you should have done when you should have done it, and now it's too late to go back and fix it. So, if you've kinda let Bible study slip, stir yourself up. Get committed. Maybe, get committed to a group of people. If you've started staying home more Sundays, than you come to church, why don't you just stir yourself up and get yourself there on a regular basis because there's other people that need you, praying for God to use you, he can't use you if you stay home by yourself all the time. You gotta get out and get among those nasty, hard to get along with people that are out there. Amen?

So, you got a homework assignment. You're gonna go home and every time the Lord shows you something that needs to be done, you're just gonna go ahead and take care of it right now. Just be a now person. You're gonna be prepared when the Lord comes back. You know, they were shocked when the door was closed and they couldn't come in, and Jesus said a very interesting thing. He said, "I never knew you". I never knew you.

Do you know how many people there are that go to church all the time and they think that's all there is to being a Christian? The Bible doesn't say, "When you're born-again, ye must go to church". I always encourage people to go to church. One of the reasons why I enjoy coming here so much is because I get to actually be in church for a little while without having a responsibility. All I need to do here is preach. I don't need to run the service and make sure this, this, that, and that, and something else. You should do things on a regular basis and be disciplined. Wisdom is what? Common sense. Wisdom is what? Doing now, what you're gonna be happy with later on. While we're waiting for the bridegroom, let's sit with the five wise virgins who always did a little something extra just to make sure they were always prepared.

Father, we thank You for the word today. And I pray that if there are any here, this morning, that don't know You that right now, they'll surrender their lives to You.


If you're here this morning, and you've not received Christ as your Savior, or maybe a better way to put it is, you have not surrendered your life to Christ... You don't have to make yourself better in order for Jesus to want you, he wants you, right now. If you're here, this morning, and you say, "I wanna make Jesus the Lord of my life. I want you to pray for me. I want to receive him. I want to be a Christian, a follower of Christ", would you slip your hand up and let me see where you're at? I want to pray with you. Put it up nice and high so I can see you. With a crowd like this, it's kinda hard to see.

Okay, if you lifted your hand, I want you to stand up right where you're at, not to embarrass you. We're not gonna bring you down to the front but if you won't make a stand in here, you certainly, won't go out there and make one. So, come on, if you raised your hand, stand up. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Okay, let's all pray this together. Lisa's gonna come and we're gonna close the service, this morning. Let's pray together.

Father, God, I love You. Jesus I believe in You. I'm sorry for the way I've lived. I turn away from sin. And I want to live for You. Jesus, I believe in You. I believe You died for me. You paid for my sins. I receive You now, Jesus. And I surrender myself to You. Thank You for saving me. Thank You for giving me a new life. Amen.

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