Pattie and Harvey,
I enjoyed reading both of your submissions here at 5 doves. I had to go back and forth to compare things to make sure I understood where you both agreed and disagreed. It caused me to once again go through those same chapters in Matthew and review the parables in case I had missed something in previous studies. What I was immediately aware of was I agreed with all the scriptures you mentioned Pattie, those are the great promises to the church left by God through the authors He chose when giving us the scriptures that we enjoy today. That is why I am very cautious to give every account to every word that is left. Pattie, I think you missed an important word. That is Matt. 25:1 THEN...that's it, it ties what was written previously to what is now being presented. It involved the faithful and the wise servants vs the evil servant, both being given rulership over the household while the Lord was gone. This is servant, not bond servant so it was someone in the employ of the Lord. This servant was in the position to receive payment for the job done in reference to what was in view and that was the giving of meat [food] in due season. The evil servant instead let the cares of this world pull him into bad acts toward the family and when the lord returns he takes HIS servant and separates him from the faithful and wise. After this scenario we have the word THEN before we enter into further information used to help us understand the former. We now know that we are talking about the kingdom of heaven and once again instead of wise and evil, the terms are wise and foolish. Both are in possession of a goal, they all go forth to meet the bridegroom. They are all in possession of lamps and in verse 8 of chpt 25 you see that they are also in possession of oil, only not enough to keep their lamps lit for the duration. As Harvey showed, the oil is the presence of the Holy Spirit. These virgins (set apart ones which is what the term virgin alludes to) all belonged to the Kingdom of heaven (vs. l) all set forth to meet the bridegroom (vs.l) all had oil with them (vs 8) and the foolish were told to go BUY more oil. Since when are the unsaved told to BUY there way into heaven? So Pattie if you are having a problem combining the truths in these passages with the great promises left christians by God in the N.T., maybe there is more to learn and understand rather then disreguard. These passages show the importance of a Godly walk in this life. Like Esau of the O.T. , he thought he would receive the right of the first born up until the day his father bestowed it on Jacob. The promise was there, the right was his, but because he at one point in his life placed too little value on his inheritance he off handedly offered it to Jacob for some food. That showed his overall respect for the the title and office he was to one day assume and because of that cavalier attitude that permeated his life and actions, he forfeited the right even though he sought with tears to have his father over turn the blessing he had given Jacob. Heb 23:17.
As much as I am learning to grasp onto all the promises left for us in scripture I am also reminded of the IF clauses also left to help us balance our lives. Some are
Heb. 10:36 For ye have need of patience, that , after ye have done the will of God, ye MIGHT receive the promise.
Heb. 4:l Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
1 Peter 1 speaks of a living hope given us by the resurrection of the dead through Christ, to an incorruptible inheritance, reserved for us in heaven. Just like Esau's inheritance was reserved for him. We are guarded by the power of God through Faith unto this salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. vs. 9 shows what the guarding was for "Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls." The salvation of the soul is the last salvation needed by man. The salvation of the spirit comes when the life giving breath of the spirit quickens the dead spirit within us at the point of spiritual salvation. We now have the ability to worship and commune with God because God is spirit and to worship him you must do it in spirit and in truth. But the life that is left for us to live here on this earth has an incentive too that can only be accomplished by the continual change within us as we slowly surrender the things of our old nature to God while he transforms us into the image of his son. We can stop the spirits work in us, not valuing the inheritance out ahead like Esau, or we can understand and value the process that God is willing to put us through by bending and giving up of our will to the Father as He does a work in us. The end of this is the salvation of the soul. This is the goal for all christians and some will pay more attention to it then others, hence the wise and foolish virgins. If the process needed in a christians life is not completed , I believe that God will continue to work in a different way in heaven. After all, we see the 5 foolish virgins told to go buy, they must have done so and then they end up at the door into the marriage supper of the lamb. We know this happens in heaven so it is in keeping with the beginning of the parable which states "The Kingdom of Heaven is like". Something must transpire with the foolish virgins so that they could show up, but it was done too late in regards to what was in view and that was to being a part of the bride, the chosen of the chosen. That is why Christ is able to say that he does not know them, because they came trying to enter into a relationship that was reserved for those who valued the inheritance, valued the process necessary to cause the dying to self, and in return where given the salvation of the soul along with the title of Bride of Christ. They were not known in regards to what was in view, that is all. If I showed up at a Smith reunion and wanted to enter in. they would say, have you married a Smith, is Smith your mothers maiden name, are you any relation to a Smith? I'd have to answer no and that would be that, a Hane is not a Smith and I had not done anything to guarantee my being a Smith through any other means. I guess I hadn't valued the Smith reunion enough to do what was necessary to go. Same deal with the Kingdom of Heaven parables. So with that said, Happy New Year and may God give his blessing to both of you and I as we continue to search and grow for His purpose in the days that He has graciously given us. Laurie