Joyful greetings to you in the name that is above every name, our Lord Jesus Christ.
From my perspective, times like these need a Bible like ours. God’s infallible and authoritative Word is a foundation and guide for those who long to follow Him in the realtime twists and turns of life.
Equipping people to build lives solidly anchored upon the Bible is a component of pastoral ministry. Your pastor is called by God to walk alongside and help you make wise life decisions that align well with Scripture. In times like these, we need Matthew 25:1-13.
“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps[a] and went to meet the bridegroom.[b]2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3 For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5 As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. 6 But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7 Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. 11 Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12 But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.Matthew 25:1-13
Essentially, this parable is very simple and profound. There are two groups of people, the wise and the foolish. The wise are awake and prepared. The foolish are asleep and unprepared. The wise gain entrance into the kingdom of heaven. The foolish do not gain entrance to the kingdom of heaven.
The series of twos are fairly uncomplicated; wise or foolish, awake or asleep, prepared or unprepared.
The complexity enters at the level of application. In times like these…
- What does it mean to be wise?
- What does it mean to be foolish?
- What does it mean to be awake?
- What does it mean to be asleep?
- What does it mean to be prepared?
- What does it mean to be unprepared?
Of course, to some degree, the answers are unique to circumstances and situations. For example, a common question at this time is, “Pastor Kent, is it morally wise to receive the COVID vaccination?” Truthfully, there is no one correct answer for this soul searching question. Wisdom, in my view, encourages some to be vaccinated and others not to be. To my knowledge vaccinations are not directly addressed in the Bible; thus vaccination decisions are to be made from a basis of Biblical principles rather than specific scriptural commands. One of my close friends said it this way, “Kent and I have read the same materials and have come to different conclusions.”
Wise, awake, and prepared are an unbeatable combo.
For times like these, may I suggest the following Bible passages for your serious consideration?
The Bible reveals an unprecedented level of pandemic difficulty in the future.
8 By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed, by the fire and smoke and sulfur coming out of their mouths. 19 For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails, for their tails are like serpents with heads, and by means of them they wound.
20 The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk, 21 nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.Revelation 9:18-21
The Bible reveals the entrapment of systems that are anti-Christ and requires markings upon people in order to buy and sell.
16 Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, 17 so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. 18 This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.Revelation 13:16-18
The Bible reveals increasing division among the people.
41 And as you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom, but some of the firmness of iron shall be in it, just as you saw iron mixed with the soft clay. 42 And as the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle. 43 As you saw the iron mixed with soft clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay. 44 And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever, 45 just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.”Daniel 2:41-45