In the parable of the ten virgins they went out to meet the bridegroom (Mt. 25:1-13). Five were wise because they were prepared. They had plenty of oil to last until the bridegroom arrived. The other five were foolish because they were not sufficiently prepared. They did not bring enough oil. As a result, they missed the bridegroom. It was not enough that they took lamps, nor was it enough that they had oil. In the end, they needed of extra oil because of the delay.
Perhaps you have made some preparation as did the foolish virgins, but have you made enough: Have you given enough thought to the fact you will die, you must die (Heb. 9:27)? Or have you considered enough the possibility that Christ may come soon and find you unprepared ? Notice the admonition given at the conclusion of the above parable: “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man will come.” Have you thought enough about the value of your soul and what its destiny will be (Mt. 16:26)? Are you sufficiently aware of the fact that you will stand before your Maker in the judgment and possibly “be weighed in the balances and found wanting?”
Do you own a Bible? Most people do. Perhaps you occasionally comfort yourself in the fact that you own one. But this is not enough. Do you use your Bible for the purpose God intended? How often do you read it and meditate upon it? How often do you go to it to find the answer to life’s problems? How many times have you searched it to find out what God wants you to do? It is tragic indeed to see so many staggering in the darkness of sin and error, when they have in their very possession “a lamp” unto their feet and a “light” unto their path (Ps. 119:105). The Jews of Paul’s day were zealous (Rom. 10:1-3), but their zeal was “not according to knowledge.” Consequently, they were led by a misguided zeal to reject “God’s righteousness.” Perhaps you have a zeal to serve the Lord, but you don’t know what he requires of you. We cannot be saved unless we believe and obey the truth (Jn. 8:32 ff; Rom. 6:17, 18; 2 Thes. 1:7-9). You may say, “It doesn’t really matter what church I attend as long as I can serve the Lord.” But it does matter what church you attend. The Bible teaches there is only one church (Eph. 4:4; Col. 1:18). This is the one Jesus built (Mt. 16:18) and the one to which every New Testament Christian was added by their obedience to the gospel (Acts 2:37-47). They continued in the apostles doctrine (Acts 2:42 f 2 Jn 9). And you cannot serve the Lord, no matter how zealous you are, by being in a human institution (Mt. 15: 13,14) . In your zeal you may be led to do many things which you consider to be “wonderful,” and yet be rejected by the Lord (Mt. 7:21-23) because these things are not authorized by God’s will (Col. 3:17).
Even some who have been led by the truth to become Christians, members of the Lord’s church, have allowed their zeal to lead them away from the authority of Christ. Many are lead astray by the false doctrine that not all scriptures were inspired of God (2 Tim 3:16). Others stray somewhere between the old and new testaments as if both exist at the same time (2 Tim 2:15). And some go down a one way street of adding to and taking from God’s Word (1 Pet 4:11 ff; 1 Cor 4:6; Gal 1:6-9)
Zeal is fine. We need more of it. But make sure your zeal is properly guided by the scripture to do only that which God has authorized. Never let your zeal be guided by the commandments and doctrines of men which turn men from the truth (Mt 15:7-9 f; Tit 1:14).
Is your preparation enough to satisfy God come the day of judgment? Have you examined your soul by the Word of God (2 Cor 13:5)? Let us heed the admonition of Amos, “Prepare to meet your God.” Let us be certain that our preparation is scriptural based, sufficient enough to meet Him with His divine approval.