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DON'T BE CAUGHT BY SURPRISE! SERMON SERIES | THEME: The Return of Christ & The Destiny of Believers

DON'T BE CAUGHT BY SURPRISE!

SERMON 3/5 | 23 & 24 MAY 2020 | All Services

Rev Stanley Chua, Pastor-in-Charge

Scripture Passage: Matthew 25:1-13

WATCH | SERMON (Video)

(Click on video below)

READ | SERMON NOTES

Summary |The parable of the ten bridesmaids reminds us of the need to wait and be ready for Christ’s return. When Jesus prophesised about his return, he included exhortations on how we ought to be living to prepare for his return. When we take the three parables in Matthew 25 together, it broadens Jesus’ warnings and emphasis. The parables were directed at people who look like believers, and who even think they are, but are not, and who will not be ready when he comes back.

The parable of the ten bridesmaids is poignant, realistic in its details and contains profound lessons. The main point is that five bridesmaids were ready, while the other five were unprepared.

The bridesmaids had started out with seven things in common:

  1. They had been invited to the banquet.
  2. They had responded positively to the wedding invitation.
  3. They were part of the visible church.
  4. They had affection and even love for the bridegroom.
  5. All had confessed the bridegroom to be their Lord.
  6. All were waiting for the groom’s arrival.
  7. All became drowsy and fell asleep when the groom’s arrival was delayed.

When the bridegroom suddenly arrived, the seven similarities vanished. The critical difference was that five were ready while five were unprepared. The unprepared were excluded from the kingdom of God. Jesus’ stern warning is to keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.

When the unprepared bridesmaids begged for the doors to be opened, Jesus replied ‘Truly, I tell you, I don’t know you’. (Matt 25:12) This was a reference to those that Jesus considered to be false disciples (Matt 7: 21-23).

We can glean four lessons from the parable in today’s scripture reading:

  1. The Lord will come without warning.
  2. Some things just cannot be borrowed.
  3. Some things can’t be put off till the last minute.
  4. Lost opportunities can’t be regained.

Doing God’s will does not only involve works of piety, but also a transformation of our heart and character. God’s will is for us to grow in holiness and to bear the image of his son. (Rom 8:29) Without such a transformation, our outward pieties and religious devotion is hypocrisy.

God is more concerned with our character and transformation, than our comfort and outward piety. Will God be able to see the likeness of Christ in your life today?

(Sermon Notes by Denis Koh)

PONDER | REFLECTION QUESTIONS:

  1. What are the seven similarities found in the ten bridesmaids? From these similarities, what do they suggest about the spiritual condition of the ten bridesmaids (i.e. are they believers or non-believers)?
  2. According to the speaker, what is the main point of the parable?
  3. According to the speaker, the key to understanding this parable is found in the bridegroom’s response in Matthew 25:12. How has the speaker’s explanation helped you in understanding this parable?
  4. What are the 3 lessons that we can learn from Matthew 7:21-23?
  5. According to the speaker, doing the will of God means not only our outward piety but it also includes the transformation of our heart and character to be like Jesus. Do you agree or disagree? Explain your responses.
  6. According to the speaker, what was the sin of the five foolish bridesmaids?
  7. According to the speaker, what are the four lessons from this parable?
  8. What is the one promise or takeaway that I will act on?

Sermons In This Series:

  1. Part 1 – The Return Of The King (Matthew 24:1-30) – 02/03 May 2020
  2. Part 2 – The Return Of The King (Matthew 24:31-51) – 09/10 May 2020
  3. Don’t Be Caught By Surprise! (Matthew 25:1-13) – 23/24 May 2020
  4. What Does The King Require? (Matthew 25:14-30) – 30/31 May 2020
  5. Who Is In & Who Is Out? (Matthew 25:31-46) – 06/07 Jun 2020