MARANATHA - THE MYSTERY IN THE PARABLE OF THE TEN VIRGINS – 3
Excerpts of Dr. Okey Onuzo's Message at the Special Digging For Gold Service, on Tuesday, November 22, 2016
There are times that people speak in the negative, but they are actually being positive because they are trying to protect something that is very dear to them. That is exactly what Jesus Christ did in all His parables. The parable is love burning in His heart and He is sending warnings to ensure that you don’t fail. It is in this light we examine the parable of the ten (10) virgins. It is not that He wants you to fail or miss the glorious wedding, He just wants you to be on your guard so that you will make it in the end, and His kingdom will prosper in your life. Jesus repeated so often this phrase “I do not know you,” and on three occasions He told stories that included it (see Matthew 7:15-23, Matthew 25:11-14, Luke 13:23-30). Therefore, it is important to look at these statements in their context so that we can strive daily to enter, as there is no room for complacency or presumptions. It is also important to look at other warnings that follow this statement because part of the reasons you may fail to enter is, all the pressures that confront you; the challenges, dangers and possible losses (Matthew 10:28-33). When Jesus says “I don’t know you,” there are certain things that may have given rise to it. One of them is the inability to stand up to the world and say “Yes, I believe!” It is either you are a Christian or not. Jesus Christ says “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven (Matthew 10:32-33). When you fail to stand and bear the loss for Christ, then He won’t stand up for you when it is His turn to testify that you belong to Him before the Father. This law is consistent with the law of eternal sowing and reaping. You cannot continue to dodge that you belong to Him because you don’t want to face persecution, or go through pain or disappointments, and think when you die, He would quickly usher you before the Father. When people tell believers that they cannot fail, I am quick to warn that people giving you false assurances won’t be there on that day. When Jesus said “I will not confess you before My Father,” He is warning so that you don’t make it impossible for Him not to confess you. That is why Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 2:19 “Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The LORD knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” Jesus knows those that are His friends, so when you are striving to depart from iniquity, He knows. You can’t be a Christian and not know it, because everyday of your life, you are resisting temptations, and the Spirit of God is giving you strength and wisdom on how to live preventively, so that you are not trapped. When Jesus says “I don’t know you,” it is not something He says with delight, it is something He says with pain and frustration. You are quite familiar with the scenario that someone can claim Jesus Christ as His Saviour and but not LORD. You always forget that the Bible is oriental and in the oriental world when you say a man is your lord, he owns you, your wife and your children.
To say “Jesus is your LORD” is a heavy statement; it means, you don’t raise a finger without Him. You need to enter into the Lordship of Jesus. Lordship means once you hear, you let go. Testing of Jesus' Lordship comes to you in various levels and ways. Unless you do the will of His Father, Jesus cannot recognise you that is why He says “I don’t know you.” There is a spirit in man and no one knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him (1 Corinthians 2:11), the same way there is the spirit of God and no one knows what is in the heart of God except the Spirit of God. The knowing of God’s Lordship works when the Spirit of God and man exchange ties, because the Spirit of God will search the mind of God and find the will of God for your life in the situation, and transmit it to your spirit. Your spirit will transmit it to your mind and your mind will inform your will that this is the way God wants you to go. You can then decide this is the way God wants you to go, but it doesn’t suit you which causes a break, and when it comes to recognition, Jesus can’t recognise you because the flow is not there. When Jesus says “I don’t know you,” it doesn’t mean He hasn’t seen you, it means that He cannot see where that exchange is taking place – the exchange determines whether you belong to Him.
Apostle Paul reveals the process of recognition in 2 Corinthians 5:14 which says “For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died, and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” Recognition is easy if you are not living for yourself. It is not difficult to follow God, the challenge is the price of those decisions. Many will hear what God wants, they would read it in the Scriptures but when they look at the price, they are ready to continue to do what Jesus wants. That is where the recognition comes and that is what gives confidence. The love described in 1 John 4:15-19 is vertical and horizontal. Your obedience to God is the vertical love and then it translates to treating people with love on the horizontal level. If you are daily pursuing the will of God for your life and pursuing it with a heart that loves God, that is the heart that is so confident on the day of judgement. The elements of recognition is to hear the Word of God, digest it, think about it and weigh all the options, choose to do it, and ask God for help. That is why Jesus says strive to enter. You will be confident on Judgment Day because you have struggled daily to live as Jesus lives, no matter the cost, pain, challenge and frustration.
“I DO NOT KNOW YOU”
· We need to take a close look at the phrase “I do not know you,” to avoid the thing that cause non-recognition. Isaiah 48:1 says “Hear this, O house of Jacob, who are called by the name of Israel, and have come forth from the wellsprings of Judah; who swear by the name of the LORD, and make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth or in righteousness,”. In other words, there are religious people who know and speak the Christainese language, but when the chips come down to obedience of what God wants, they are not loyal to Christ. If you profess the faith, but can’t live the life, it won’t benefit you. It is a meaningless religion if you live in pretence and disobedience to God. Luke 6:45 says “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. But why do you call Me ‘LORD, LORD,’ and not do the things which I say?” Change comes when there is a genuine revival. The revival is complete when the Lordship of Jesus is established in the hearts of His people, so that their primary loyalty is to their Master.
· The Parable of Ten (10) Virgins suggests to us that the 10 Virgins were pretenders who have managed to fool everyone all the time but because the LORD sees their heart, they couldn’t fool Him. When a man has loyalty to Christ it shows in the face of trials. When Jesus Christ says “I do not know you,” He may be referring to pretender’s masquerading in the Church. A pretender believer does not accept the Lordship of Jesus over his/her life, but merely professes Him. These are some of the reasons that your works will not speak if it’s devoid of a personal relationship (see Psalm 20:1-4). Works does not speak for acceptance, works speaks for reward. That is why all our service in the vineyard of God only gets us reward. Your works speaks for you only within the context of the will of God. You need to evaluate your good works and trace the motive behind it. Works don’t count when you want recognition, and the flesh won’t allow you do it the way you are supposed to do it. So, don’t expect any reward in Heaven because you have gotten your recognition here on earth. It is important for you to humble yourself and begin to seek the things that count.
· The story of the five (5) foolish virgins is quite pathetic because it is the story of the unprepared. Growing up spiritually is precept upon precept. The Holy Spirit grows the fruit of the Spirit in every Christian but when you refuse Him, problems begin to arise. It is through the process of growing spiritual fruits daily that you produce the godly character, and cement your relationship with our LORD.
· Association won’t get you to Heaven if there is no relationship with Jesus. You need to be careful not to be carried away by religion and association (Luke 13).
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