Throughout the Gospels, when Jesus is teaching about the last days, it is quite clear that there are ultimately only two types of people – those whose names are written in the Book of Life, and those whose names are not. In one parable, Jesus refers to the process as separating the sheep from the goats, and in the parable of the ten virgins, Jesus refers to them as the wise virgins and the foolish virgins. It is always only two groups, with no middle ground. This is the clear teaching of the Bible, and should never be in dispute within Christianity.
What Jesus also makes very clear is that there are many who will think that their names are written in the Book of Life but ultimately learn that they are not known by Jesus. This is the full extent of the parable of the ten virgins, as the virgins who are classified as foolish by Jesus share much in common with the wise virgins. They are all dressed for the wedding banquet, they all carry torches, and they all are waiting for the appearance of the groom to escort them into the banquet. From outward appearances, they all expect to be welcomed into the banquet. Yet half of the group has no oil for their lamps. They look ready, but the reality is that they are not, and the door to the banquet is shut before they can fuel their lamps and get to the banquet themselves. They stand outside the locked door, knocking and pleading to be let in, but they are denied.
If there were to be performed on Earth today a reconciliation of church membership roles with names written in the Book of Life, there would be a great number of names that are not written in both locations. Far too many people attending church or affiliated with churches are unknown to Christ, even though they fully expect that they are one of His. They are going through the motions, dressing the part and talking the talk, but daily they seek the fulfillment of their own will instead of asking that God’s will be done. They proclaim Jesus as their Savior, without considering what it means that Jesus is Lord. They love what Jesus can do for them, but don’t love Jesus for what He has already done. As a result, they don’t seek to obey Him, and the Holy Spirit does not abide in their hearts. They have not been sealed by the Spirit as His own, and they are therefore lost.
Only those who will surrender everything to Christ will be saved. It is all of us, or none of us, and until we relinquish everything, we are not prepared to meet God. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been attending church for 50 years. It doesn’t even matter if you have been a pastor or leader in the church. If you don’t have the fuel for your lamp, the Holy Spirit in your heart, you aren’t ready. So get on your knees, repent of your ways, and leave everything at the foot of the cross while you still have time. You don’t want to find yourself standing outside the locked door, begging to be let in.
Peace and blessings – Pastor Aaron