70 myths about losing salvation (22): The parable of the wise and foolish virgins.

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Myth 22. let your lamp go out by failing to keep extra oil in your vessel, and be shut out of God’s kingdom. Matt 25:1-13

The parable of the wise and foolish virgins or the 10 virgins when wrongly interpreted suggests that Christians will be left behind. The traditional interpretation of this parable centers around what the oil represents. It is pertinent to note traditionally the oil represents the Holy Spirit. As such believers were taught that if there is no oil in your lamp, that is, if you are not filled with the Holy Spirit, you will not be allowed to enter the marriage of the Lamb. So there you go. That’s the interpretation of the parable. Hence you can lose your salvation.

BUT.

How do you have oil in your lamp? Let me rephrase that. That is a wrong question. Both set of virgins had oil in their lamps. Just that one set of virgins had oil to spare. Hmm, is Jesus try to teach out not to fully utilize the Spirit so that there would be more of Him left? Is Jesus trying to say that the Holy Spirit can be saved up for further use? What say you?

I think you can see the silliness of that interpretation. The Holy Spirit is a person. You cannot have more or less of him. You either have Him or not. By the way John 14:16 tells you the Holy Spirit is given to you forever and Paul tells you in Ephesians 4:30 that the Holy Spirit is sealed until the day you meet Jesus face to face. Then what in the world is Jesus talking about? 50% saved and 50% not saved. Is he saying half of the church will be saved and half not?

If so how do have more oil? By doing more for Jesus? By accumulating works? Hmm that cannot be. Cause if that is true, how much works does one person has to do before its considered enough? I had always struggle with this.

Let me give you an idea of what happens at a Jewish wedding. Yup I said it, that’s the 1st clue. It is a  Jewish wedding and not a Gentile wedding. Here’s the roll call. The Jewish marriage took place in three stages over a long period of time. When the couple was still very young, an Engagement was arranged by the parents, sometimes with the help of a “matchmaker”. Second, there was a Betrothal ceremony held at the bride’s house. The couple exchanged vows and the groom gave the bride presents. This period lasted for a year or two, but the bride continued to live with her parents. During this time the bride was said to be “betrothed” or “espoused” to the young man. The Marriage Supper came next. It usually happened at night. The groom and his friends came to the bride’s house. She would be wearing a thick veil. She and her friends would accompany the groom and his friends to his father’s house or maybe a larger hall where the festivities would take place. A contract was signed.

The bride and groom would spend time together, then the bride would remain by herself for seven days. At the end of the week, the bride would return to the group, remove her veil so that everyone could see her. If the young woman had never been married, the feast would last for seven days. If she were a widow remarrying, it would last for three days.

The five foolish girls had no extra oil. They wanted to borrow some from the wise girls, but they refused. They said there might not be enough for all of them. They urged the girls to go and buy some oil from someone who had it for sale. The girls left to go find a merchant who would sell them oil. While they were gone, the bridegroom arrived and the five wise girls and the rest of the wedding party went inside. The door was shut. The five foolish girls came back. They shouted for someone to open the door for them, but sadly there was no way for them to enter. The bridegroom replied, “I tell you the truth. I don’t know you.”

More problems. If the “oil” is the Holy Spirit then pray tell me, can you buy Him? If it is your works can you go outside and buy more credits to works?

I guess not. Hence what is this parable about?

It is about being prepared. Be prepared because the Lord can come anytime.

But the nagging issue is this? Does it mean of 50% of believers will make it to the wedding supper?

Dear friends, I too struggled with this …. Until I read these words in Matthew 24, the previous chapter.

36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[f] but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.”

50%! But let’s look at the context of Matthew 24. I had earlier written on this yesterday. Note what I have highlighted about the elect whom I believe are believers and Messianic Jews in verse 30:

30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth[c] will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.[d]31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.”

Note when it comes to the elect they are all taken away. As such the people whom Jesus is referring to cannot be believers. Who are these people?

This concept is fundamental to understanding this parable. These portions of Scriptures actually refer to Jews and what is going to happen to them as nation. They do not refer to the church. You must understand that the star of the wedding is the bride not the virgins. The bridegroom is coming for the bride, not the virgins. Who is His bride? Paul tells us it is the church. Ephesians 5: 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

Note 3 things Jesus says about the church. She is holy, radiant, without stain or wrinkle. She is holy and blameless.

The star of that wedding is the bride not the virgins. We the Gentile church is that bride. It is not the bride that lost her salvation. Neither are the virgins who did not manage to do so. They were never believers. The other virgins were saved because they as Jews had prepared for His coming. It is a known fact that theologians agree that half of Israel will be saved. They will look up to Him and “Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord”. When that happens Israel is saved. That is why out of 2 one is taken away.

Be at peace, lovely bride of Christ.

Also you can follow the refutes of  70 ways of losing your salvation by just click to this link:https://hischarisisenough.wordpress.com/tag/70-ways-to-lose-your-salvation/)

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12 thoughts on “70 myths about losing salvation (22): The parable of the wise and foolish virgins.

    • Same here, I taught on grace in my local church. The pastor taught the next sunday that you can fall from Grace. But he taught how one falls from grace is by sinning, while bibilically it is by going back to the Law. I am now “technically” suspended from preaching or teaching bible study, till I meet him and we discuss on my message of grace and the teachings of grace.

  1. Simon you are a blessing, @ rick2lacy keep preaching grace even Christ was opposed because His massage was not what the people were used to. A revival or riot breaks out after truth is preached. Its upto them to choose

  2. This is an awesome post. Seems like everybody who reads the parable at first sight forgot that the church is the ‘bride’ and is highly concerned as to which side of the virgins they are…

  3. I struggle with this parable in terms of reconciling it with my beliefs about salvation. I like your interpretation but have a few questions.

    1) in the parable, the virgins with the extra oil go in with the bridegroom to the wedding banquet. According to Scripture, doesn’t the marriage ceremony of Jesus and the church take place after the rapture but before His second coming? So, if the parable is referring to the bridegroom coming to take the virgins to the wedding, how is it possible that the virgins don’t refer to the church but the Jews?

    2) If the virgins do refer to Jews, are we talking about Jews during the tribulation? If so, I still don’t understand the parable. Is salvation conditional during the tribulation period? You say the five virgins without oil are unbelievers. How do we know this? And the five with oil – are these Jews who come to find faith in Jesus during the tribulation?

    3) What does the oil represent for these Jews and why is preparedness so important. Wouldn’t their faith in Christ alone suffice?

    Thank you for any help.

    • The salvation of the Jews are slightly different from us Gentiles. They have to be saved as a nation. Also, this parable is placed at the end of Matthew which speaks generally to the Jews. It does not refer to the Gentile church. Israel is never referred as the bride of the lamb. The church is. The marriage supper is celebrated I believe after Jerusalem is restored. Peace .

  4. Simon, I never thought of it this way. Thank God no one asked me till now. More grace.

  5. for a Month or two i can say this parable has been on my mind. I have researched on it. From my research. There are many people’s view. Like Simon, I agree with your view and saw in the bible the virgin refers to Israel.

    But as I dug deeper one parable can also be interpreted two ways to the Jews and to the church. One may argue, this parable can also be applied to the church. My point here is to show how the story points to the church.

    To establish this, we need to establish some principles first. Lets take the virgins refer to the church. The begging question is how is it that the virgins with no extra oil are left, is there something like not save enough surely not.

    Lets read the text carefully, note in this Story the foolish virgins brought no oil, its nothing to do with extra oil….in verse 3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:

    In the versions it says they had no extra oil its not present in the original greek. What does oil stand for the Holy spirit, the virgins were not believers. They had no holy spirit in them. The traditional thought is that all the brides lit up their lamps and slept, it is not in the text, why would you need a lit lamp and are asleep. The other traditional thought is that the lamps they had, had a storage for the oil, the word here for lamp in the greek is Lampas and is the same word used in John’s account of soldiers coming to arrest Jesus had torches which had no storage for oil, they only had a wick and a wooden handle, so if you needed to light it, you would apply oil on the wick and light it. The other question is there is the word trim in the KJV, looking up this word in the greek kosmeō means to make ready. Simply the virgins awoke to make ready the lamps only to realize they had no oil. The other Q is if they had no oil, why then did they say that their lamps had gone out, this is their excuse for foolishness the underlying truth is that they took no oil with them. The Q would be if they had some oil with them then how comes all of the 5 foolish lamps went off all at the same time. The best probable answer is that the 5 foolish virgins had no oil so no lamps could be lit and hence their excuse. Even better the explanation that the wise virgins could not share their salvation with the unbelievers, they had to “buy”.

    The other Q is how can you buy salvation and who sells this salvation. This is a big one I tell you. But i did a search in the whole bible where do this two words first appear in the whole bible.
    Sell- Gen 25:31 And Jacob 3290 said 559, Sell 4376 me this day 3117 thy birthright
    1062.

    Buy Gen 41:57 And all countries 776 came 935 into Egypt 4714 to Joseph 3130 for to buy 7666 [corn]; because that the famine 7458 was [so] sore 2388 in all lands 776.

    Buy refer to Jacob wanted his bro sell him his birth right. Really did Jacob have to buy it so that he can get the first born blessing? Jacob was blessed from his mothers womb. The same we can cannot buy salvation with fleshly things including money but only by the currency of heaven which is the blood of Jesus free to everyone who uses the currency here on earth to access this currency of Heaven which is faith. we “buy salvation” by currency of faith, which gives us access to the currency of heaven which is his blood which washes our sins. By the way buying and selling is the same thing only depends whose the buyer or seller. But to be fair lets look at sell

    Joseph is a type of Jesus. He gave physical food to all the earth, they had to buy the food. Jesus on the other hand when he came, we were all spiritually dead. To get his food he needed to make us alive, we were bankrupt to buy his food, he paid for it with his own currency- his blood so that we can now have the right to eat spiritually his food.

    When the 5 wise virgins told them to go to them that 1. sell and 2. buy. Note even the order in the scriptures. rem the two above 1st Mention of sell and buy.

    Having resolved this. Those that were ready went in into the marriage. How were they ready the HS was in them, they are in Christ.

    To emphasis on this, when I first got to study the first focus was on the wise and foolish. The bible is very clear, Christ is made unto us wisdom. so even the first thing is that we who are in Christ, Christ is our wisdom we are not foolish.

    Even if we don’t under stand the above and some still disagree. Let’s look at what the foolish virgins say on them being late, they say Lord, Lord. This phrase is familiar in Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

    Note above Jesus is very clear on those who say Lord, Lord….same as the foolish virgins. He never knew them meaning what they were never saved….How this gives us security for those who are in Christ

    Verse 21 of same Matt 7 is very clear on who shall enter heaven!!!! 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

    two things here, 1. do 2. the will of the Father. Note the will…..which means one and only will. Lets resolve this two ways.

    One, to do is no issue if we just know the will of the father, then at least we are half way. In Matthew 21:28 But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.

    29 He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.

    30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.

    31 Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first.

    What is the will of the father, that the son goes to work in the fathers vineyard. The emphasis is for the son to work and is singular.
    in John 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?

    29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

    Here they wanted to do works, Jesus tells them the only work is to believe Him. When we believe him we have done the work of God, we have worked in the vineyard, we have done the will of the father. Since we have done the will of the father we in Christ and we will enter the Kingdom of God

    Second way to resolve, Jesus is the way to the father, if he does the will of the father and we believe it, it is recorded in our account too, rem faith is our currency down here to receive Salvation….it is by grace (his blood) through faith. What is this will of the father in hebrews 10:9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.

    Jesus did the will of the father, which is to work in the vineyard to cancel the law legally by his blood and establish the new covenant by his blood also of grace. Our work in the vineyard is to believe him who did the work on our behalf (which is the will of the father for us).

    Finally, what did Jesus say about this parable. He said watch!!! which means being alert, those in Christ are already alert, they have crossed from death to life.He also said

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