In the previous verses, Jesus has told of ten virgins who went out to meet the Bridegroom. They represent those who would come to the wedding feast to become part of the Bride of Christ, and especially those religious leaders who attend to the Bride as bridesmaids—like the apostles themselves whom the Lord had put in charge of His household to give them their spiritual food at the proper time, or even the scribes and Pharisees, whose lamps had gone out at the darkest part of their night even as the shout was heard to come out and meet the Bridegroom. For lacking a reserve of the oil of God’s Holy Spirit and having only the pretense of a false profession, the lamp of God’s word gave them no light to shine before men in true righteousness, and in their darkness they were blind to find the Door through which they needed to enter to partake of the feast; see Joh 10:7,9; cf. Gen 19:10-11.
What does Jesus say in Mat 25:10 happened after the Bridegroom had gone into the wedding feast with those who were ready? What is the great danger to those who have not entered in to the wedding feast of the door being shut? See Isa 22:22, Rev 3:7; cf. Gen 7:16, Num 14:30, Psa 95:11, Luk 13:25, 16:26. What does this teach us about the notion held by many that God’s door is always open and there is really no hurry to repent of one’s love for the world because God is loving and will receive sinners even until their dying breath, as illustrated by the thief on the cross? While such is true of those like the thief on the cross who sincerely repent even at the last moment, should we suppose that those who have rejected previous opportunities to repent and hardened their hearts against the truth will have the sincerity of heart to truly repent at the last moment? Or will they be more like Esau, who found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears (Heb 12:17)? What does this remind us about the time that comes to every soul—certainly at death, but perhaps even before—when the sun will set on the day of salvation and the present opportunities one may have to receive God’s grace will close, never to open again, and it will be too late to obtain what was earlier neglected and could freely have been had? How is this like other opportunities of life that if not acted upon may not always be there, such as the education of one’s youth? What does this remind us about the importance of giving heed to the word of God whenever it should come to us, and not putting off until tomorrow what the Lord is calling us to today? Should we suppose the opportunities God presents today will necessarily be there tomorrow, including the opportunity to become a citizen of His kingdom? Or should we understand that His call today is like a winnowing fork that sifts our hearts, and by choosing to resist His call, we are sifting ourselves out of His kingdom? Cf. 2Co 6:1-2, Heb 4:7.
After the wise virgins had entered into the wedding feast with the Bridegroom and the door was shut, what does the parable say happened to the other virgins? See Mat 25:11. Does the parable say how much later they came? Are we necessarily to assume that they obtained the oil they were lacking, or might they have come after the light of day had already dawned? Whether they found some form of oil to light their lamps later in the night or the light of day had already begun to shine, how are they like so many whose eyes are opened as they are being swept away in judgment and discover too late the truth they once denied that earlier might have saved them? Recall that in the darkness of their Roman oppression the scribes and Pharisees and those who followed them had rejected Jesus because He did not meet their expectations of a worldly messiah who would war against the Romans to save them from their servitude. As the years unfolded and the gospel went forth bringing salvation and peace to those who had entered in by the narrow gate, even as the cities of Judea began to fall one after another in the days leading up to 70 A.D., and Jerusalem itself became hemmed in and was about to be destroyed, how might the eyes of those who had rejected the Prince of Peace have been opened to understand the things that make for peace? Cf. Luk 19:41-44. How might they at that time have longed for one of the days of the Son of Man to enter in and join the many who had come from east and west to recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? Cf. Mat 8:11-12, Luk 17:22. But though they might plead like Esau and seek with tears a repentance by which the door could be opened, how had their own hardness of heart closed that door many years earlier and set them on a course that could not now be undone to reopen it? Cf. Heb 12:15-17, Mat 23:37-38, 24:2. How is this like so many who later in life or even on their deathbeds realize the vanity and emptiness of all their worldly pursuits that profited them nothing for eternity? Although they may wish it could be so, can the hands of time be turned back to undo what has been done—or not done—not just in an individual’s life, but in the many other lives of the whole world into which our individual lives are woven like a tapestry? Even if the hands of time could be turned back, should we suppose that the outcome would be any different for any individual? Or rather, because God is perfectly just and His unfathomable love tarries with man to provide every person every opportunity to repent, can we not be certain that whatever sorrows the lost may have are only worldly in nature, and not of the sort that would ever produce a repentance without regret that leads to salvation? Cf. 2Co 7:9-10.