Let us go to a parable of Jesus in Matthew 25, that is the parable of the virgins: Out of the ten wise virgins which represent the population of the Born Again, Holy Ghost filled, and rapture-expecting Christians, we discover that only five of the ten virgins qualified to meet with the bridegroom. Virgins represent those who are pure, chaste, who have not defiled themselves. In the account of this parable of the virgin, we read that they were expecting the bridegroom. They had left the whole world and separated themselves so that they would not defy themselves. They kept their bodies in purity for the groom. Their lamps were filled with oil. They were awake, with the light burning. Their hope was high. Imagine, a young woman, meeting her husband for the first time. But suddenly, they fell into the same situation that we have are now: because ‘the bridegroom tarried’, they fell asleep.
The church has fallen into a deep slumber now. The virgins slept so deeply that they did not even know when the bridegroom came, but suddenly they were awoken by the shout: ‘behold the bridegroom cometh’! They rose up quickly because the love was still there. The expectation was still burning like fire. They were happy that at last, He had come. But alas, five of them could not turn on their lamps again because they had ran out of oil. That oil is the Holy Spirit. The fire was gone, yet the bridegroom whom they had been waiting for had arrived, waiting.
They struggled and made effort. They asked the wise virgins to give them JUST A LITTLE. They begged them because they knew the importance and the repercussion, but alas, it was too late. Out of the ten virgins, expecting the bridegroom, it was half that eventually went. So, out of the already qualified percentage in our 30 million genuinely Born Again (Virgins) it means only 50% would eventually go in to meet the bridegroom! Remember, THIS IS JUST A DATA WE ARE PLAYING WITH AND IT IS NOT IN ANYWAY MAKING AN INFERENCE OR A CLAIM but only trying to awaken us to the reality of its gravity!
Does the number even represent one person in every state in our country? Not even one person in two states! While this might not be very true in its literal sense, but, it gives a pattern consistent with the Bible. Comparing this ratio with what happened in the time of Noah, it is still far generous, because the time of Noah represented the whole creation including Africa, Europe, Asia, America, etc. Yet, only eight people made it! Many nations today have the memorial of the flood.
The population of the present world is estimated at about 6 billion. One in a million thus means about 6,000 people, which is very fair and generous compared to the time of Noah, which was only eight people! But what Jesus Himself said is that AS IT WAS in the days of Noah, so shall it be! When we look at this critically, we may understand the reason why Jesus asked if when He comes back He would find faith! It literally means when I come back, would I find anybody that remains in the SAVING FAITH? He found eight people in the time of Noah, three in Sodom and Gomorrha, two in Israel… Only God knew why Jesus asked that question, but he must have seen something we are taking with levity. It is the end of the age and immorality abounds, even in the Church. When homosexuality is no more a sin but a way of life, even among bishops, then those who engage in adultery and fornication will be seen as good people!
History and tradition has it that the world in the time of Noah was perhaps, much more advanced than our present world. Scientist claimed to have discovered debris of built cities under the deep that suggest a far more advanced technology than our present world. An example of this is the tower of Babel which the then world ruler and the builder of the city of Babylon and the father of witchcraft, Nimrod presided over. As advanced as we think this world is with our present world is, I doubt if there has been any structure that exceeds 200 floors. But in the time of Nimrod, their target was not even floors, it was heaven and they were dead serious. It took God Himself to personally come down to halt them (Gen. 11:5-8). Have you ever imagined how the building would not collapse despite the great height or what technology would take bricks, cements, water, and other building materials and people, etc, to the floors, let’s say from 300 floors and above? Perhaps, lift was available then because steps would not do. For instance, imagine a labourer with a pan of cement going to 500th floor. How many days he would spend to take it there and return?
At anytime in history when evil is unrepentantly prevalent, total obliteration of such race is imminent and that is what our present race is dangerously exposed to. “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, … And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth” Gen. 6:5-13.
“But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly” Gen. 13:3. It is sad that as hard as Abraham pleaded for the city, they could not find 10 people who were righteous in both the city of Sodom and Gomorha, not even 5! Rather, they were great homosexuals to the extent that they even wanted to sexually molest angels! (Gen. 19). Sodom and Gomorrha was an economically prosperous city like many cities today. Many of their leaders, celebrities, business people, etc, were homosexuals (Is this not the order of things today in great cities of the world?) to the extent that the only righteous person there, Lot, was a foreigner!
What is it that happened in Sodom and Gomorrah that has not happened in our world today? I recently learned that even in the city of Ibadan, there is a group of homosexuals comprising of highly placed people who determines the future of the country, how much more Lagos, London, New York! In secondary schools, many female students are chronic lesbians, to the extent of introducing it to their dormitory mistresses! Yet their parents call them ‘innocents’. On their own part, they are busy pursuing money and pleasure, losing their children to Satan! Bestiality will soon be embraced like homosexuality since everybody is talking about freedom and not God.
It took God some time before He destroyed both the then world and Sodom and Gomorrah. He first sent warnings, which were never heeded. He sent prophets whom they mocked. They must have messed up Noah to the extent that he would almost doubt if he was normal. Lot, the Bible says, vexed his righteous soul. He even offered his daughters to the homosexuals so as to spare the angels but they did not listen. A Yoruba adage says a dog that will be lost will not heed the hunter’s whistle of the hunter. But the hunter has not ceased blowing the whistle. For instance, this is a whistle, some will take heed, some will not.
How would the present world listen when instead of listening to Jesus they crucified Him? Although the church is sleeping, but there is shout now: ‘behold the bridegroom cometh’. Revival is returning to unlikely places. The Pentecostal is returning to the ‘sin’ of the orthodox while orthodox seems to be catching fire! The recent romance of the Pentecostal with titles, fame, regalia and passion for money bear credence to this shame. The first becoming the last while the last is becoming the first. He would come like a thief in the night, TO THOSE WHO ARE NOT PREPARED. At such hour when the REAL OWNER OF THE HOUSE (Christian) is sleeping: at an unguarded hour. When they shall say peace and safety, then sudden destruction will come to them unawares! (1Thess. 5:3). The church is shouting ‘prosperity’; the angels are shouting ‘behold he cometh’.
NEARER THAN WHEN WE BELIEVED
I received an email recently, which I believe is a wake-up call to us as Christians. Please, read it below:
‘It is an event that occurred here in Nigeria to a Minister of the Gospel. I want you to take it serious, as it is a warning to the people…
A minister was coming from a ministration in the town of Ado Ekiti, a town here in Nigeria when along the road, he saw a well-dressed lady who dressed as a Christian sister should. He zoomed past her but the spirit of the Lord asked him to go back to pick that lady. He went back to pick her and as they were conversing, he discovered he was right, she was a Christian. She told him the following:
‘The angels of God were ready to blow the trumpet last Sunday 20th of June, 2004. They had already taken their trumpets and were only ready to blast had it not been for Jesus that went to the Father asking him to give him a few more minutes to warn his saints since they were no longer well ready for him. They were busy looking for money and the love of money had filled their hearts’.
“The lady then told the man that he should go and warn all that will care to listen to this and she disappeared right in the car. She was not an ordinary lady but was an angel.
Now, we don’t know so many things part of which is how many minutes God is granting Christ else we would have been able to calculate the time we have left. So, in essence, we don’t know how many days or weeks or months or years we have left but one fact is sure: for now is our salvation nearer than when we first believed.”
It is perhaps closer than we think it is. Christian, are you sleeping? Born Again, where are you? Which of the virgins are you: wise or foolish? Where is your oil, is it burning? Christian religion does not qualify anybody to go in rapture. Jesus is coming for FAITH, a personal one-on-one relationship with Him like a husband and wife. Even if you are Born Again, you need to CONTEND for your faith that you don’t lose it? If it is indeed one in a million, do you think you will be among? If it is one person in 2 states what will be your fate? “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed” Rom. 13:11.
Rapture has nothing to do with your title or your activity or even your church! Are you even sure whether your pastor will be among? It has nothing to do with how long ago you became a Christian. Are you after prosperity, healing, miracles, deliverance, possibility, faith, etc, or His return? Alas, those ones will not be criteria to qualify you for rapture. When last did you hear about eternity? Compare the ratio of the time you hear about things in heaven to the time you hear about things on earth (Col. 3:2). You know so much about earthly prosperity, breakthrough, etc, which moth would destroy, but little or nothing about where your soul will spend eternity (1Cor. 15:52). Are you not too non-challant and casual with your soul, despite that there is still time today as tomorrow may even be late. God is looking for FAITH-WALKERS not FAKE-WALKERS. He is looking for those who desire not only His acts but His ways.
Sadly but truly, the message of rapture is one that has not enjoyed such seriousness and prominence on our altars today like prosperity, healing and miracles, but ironically, it is the only hope upon which our Christian profession is anchored. Paul graphically illustrates it in 1Cor.15:19: “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable”. Yet, this hope in Christ has virtually disappeared from the ‘menu list of preachers and extinct from the vocabulary of new generation Christians, replaced only with immediate gains and benefits.
An average Christian today will be more comfortable with topics on ‘The 7 Laws of Divine Riches’, ‘How to Change your Situation’, ‘3 Ladders of Successes’ and other prosperity messages, or, better still, commercial jingles and promos on TVs and radios with an urgent invitation for unconditional miracles and instant solution to problems with less regard to the sin that brings the problem. We know His Acts but not His Ways.
One of the many surprises in heaven is that God will not ask you for the miracles, healing, deliverance, financial breakthrough, which are yardsticks that qualifies some as a Christian. As useful as those things are here on earth, they have no eternal relevance. You will not even be congratulated if you have gained the whole world. There is nothing that you are running after today that somebody has not yet gotten. He aptly confessed that: vanity upon vanity, all is vanity. If this is the reason why you believed, or are called a Christian, or the only benefit you think Christ was sent, Paul says, of all men, you are the most miserable, for what does it profit you, if after you have gained all these things, including the whole world (perhaps) and then, lose your soul, the very essence of your brief existence? (Mt.16:26).
AS A THIEF IN THE NIGHT.
You have no excuse, o man! If the rapture happens tonight where will your portion be? Thank God for your Sunday Sunday church attendance, but that will not be useful for rapture. Do you have a personal, one-on-one relationship with Jesus or there is a ‘secretary’ between you and Him? Will you be at the marriage supper of the Lamb or pass through the great tribulation and receive the number of the beast, 666. The number (6 being the number of man which is imperfection) will be put in the forehead and right hand of those who receive it during the tribulation period. The fore-head represent the will and the right hand represent the work. No will, no work without receiving it. Rev. 13:17-18.
1Thes. 4:15-17: “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a SHOUT,(Revival) with the VOICE (Warning) of the archangel, and with the TRUMP (Arrival) of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord”.
“But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh AS A THIEF IN THE NIGHT. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, BRETHREN, ARE NOT IN DARKNESS, THAT THE DAY SHOULD OVERTAKE YOU AS A THIEF. (it is only those in darkness that it will come to as a thief in the night. We have been asked to watch. Keep your eyes on world events, especially, Israel and the EU). Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. THEREFORE LET US NOT SLEEP, AS DO OTHERS; BUT LET US WATCH AND BE SOBER” 1Thes. 5:1-6. (Emphasis mine throughout).
Brethren, it is nearer than we imagine. It is real. Don’t let it happen before you believe. If you claim to know Him, does He know you? When the roll is called up yonder, will you be there? What is it that will separate you from the love of Christ? “Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword”? Rom 8:35. Or is it work, time, fashion, money, comfort, possessions, power, anger, malice, hate, jealousy, position, problem, inanities, etc, “And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched” Mark 9:43.
“Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” Mat. 24:42-44.
The extra oil the wise virgins had is the Holy Spirit. Do you have Him to make you see when you wake up from sleep? Sleep is good for the body but connotes rest, relaxation, physical enjoyment like breakthroughs, miracles, prosperity, etc. (Woe unto them at ease in Zion). Wake up, Saint and go for the oil while the trumpet is yet to sound; For night cometh when no one will be able to work. Brethren, it is nearer than we think! Will you be in that number?