To further emphasize the importance of being prepared, Jesus taught His apostles a parable of ten virgins. He compared the kingdom of heaven to a wedding feast.
Wedding feasts began at the bride’s father’s house and concluded after the bridegroom had taken his bride to his own house where a more elaborate feast was served. It was the duty of his servants and household to have everything ready for their arrival and to give them a rousing welcome.
Ten virgins were a part of this welcoming group. Each had a lamp to provide light for themselves. These lamps were small and did not hold enough oil to last all night. Five of the virgins were said to be wise because they had extra oil with them. The other five were foolish and did not bring extra oil.
While they waited, the virgins slept, but at midnight the alarm sounded that the bridegroom was coming and the order was given to go out and meet him. When they began to trim their lamp wicks for more light to be produced, the foolish virgins discovered that they were out of oil and their lights were going out. There was not enough oil for the wise virgins to share.
The bridegroom came while the foolish virgins were buying oil. Those who were ready went in with him and the door was shut and no one else could enter!
Some lessons learned from this parable are: No one knows when the bridegroom (Christ) will come; being partly prepared with some oil (obedience) is not enough; one cannot be saved by the obedience of someone else; once the door is closed, it will not be reopened. Be prepared!