" And I heard the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, as he raised his right hand and his left toward heaven, and swore by him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time; and as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people, all these events will be completed." (Daniel 12:7)
If you knew that you had only 3 1/2 years before the Lord returned, how would that affect your life today? How would you prepare yourself for such an event? The message in our verse describes the finality concerning the times of the end. There is a reason that a specific time is mentioned. When the people of God begin to see these events happening, they realize that life can no longer be like it was.
In Matthew chapter 25 a parable is given concerning ten virgins. We are told that five were wise and five were foolish. The five wise virgins made preparation for the time when the bridegroom would come. He didn't tell them when, he just wanted them to be ready and to keep their lamps filled with oil until He came. The foolish virgins however, did not take the coming of the bridegroom seriously. They were not prepared; they had no oil in their lamps and when the bridegroom arrived they were unprepared. The message is that the wise virgins were careful, thoughtful, and faithful, that's what God wants us to be; conversely the foolish virgins were careless, neglectful, and unfaithful. In which group do you find yourself?
We have mentioned previously that prophecy has a two-fold purpose. First, to proclaim God's message: Second, to prepare God's people. God desires for us to prepare ourselves as did the five wise virgins. We may rationalize that his coming will be later but since he has not given us the time, it is necessary that we prepare ourselves today. I urge you to make the five wise virgins your example.