2 Tim. 3:1 You must understand this: In the last days there will be violent periods of time.
2 Tim. 3:2 People will be selfish and love money. They will brag, be arrogant, and use abusive language. They will curse their parents, show no gratitude, have no respect for what is holy,
2 Tim. 3:3 and lack normal affection for their families. They will refuse to make peace with anyone. They will be slanderous, lack self-control, be brutal, and have no love for what is good.
2 Tim. 3:4 They will be traitors. They will be reckless and conceited. They will love pleasure rather than God.
2 Tim. 3:5 They will appear to have a godly life, but they will not let its power change them. Stay away from such people.
Every minister of God has a responsibility to warn people about the last days. Every believer needs to be aware of what scripture says about this time on earth and what we need to do in the midst of these times. This certainly does not mean preachers should be teaching that it is all “gloom and doom”, for in fact it is to be a glorious day for the children of God who know their rightful place in Christ, and walk out what the scriptures teach we should be doing. Even though this may not be the popular doctrine of the day, it is what scripture teaches.
It certainly doesn’t take much to look around at all that is going on in our world, and especially right now in America to realize these are in fact “perilous or violent times”. As you read the above verses you would think you are reading a report of what is happening just as if you were watching the evening news. Some want to ignore these things, but if we act as if they are not there then why did God see fit to put them in scripture to begin with? Because He wanted us prepared and aware of what we need to do so that we are not overtaken by these destructive works. So let’s take a look at one of the key things we need to do in facing these events as a part of the last day’s church.
In our foundation scriptures notice in verse 5 we are given a word about dealing with a certain type of people that will in fact be a part of the last days. Paul refers here to those who appear to have a godly life, but they will not let its power change their life. Paul clearly states that the believer should stay away from such people. This is not a reference to sinners, for he is referring those who have the appearance of being godly. What distinguishes them is the fact that they may talk of being a Christian, but they are not allowing the power of God to change their lives. Who are these people?
Matt. 25:1 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
Matt. 25:2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
Matt. 25:3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them,
Matt. 25:4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
Matt. 25:5 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
Matt. 25:6 “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’
Matt. 25:7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps.
Matt. 25:8 And the foolish said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’
Matt. 25:9 But the wise answered, saying, “No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’
Matt. 25:10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.
Matt. 25:11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’
Matt. 25:12 But he answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’
Matt. 25:13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.
The greatest illustration we have of those who have an appearance of being godly but deny the power of God to transform their lives is the parable of the five wise and the five foolish virgins. The power of God that changes believer’s lives scripture reveals is the power of the Holy Spirit. Anyone who denies the work of the Holy Spirit’s power in their life is not going to be truly changed for it is only by the power of the Holy Spirit working in someone’s life that this change takes place. The sad truth is there are many churches today that deny the work of the Holy Spirit in their services.
In this parable there are five wise and five foolish virgins. To become a virgin or pure in the eyes of God one must be born again. The foolish and the wise took their lamps with them. The lamp represents the light of God that comes into ones life through salvation, for the Word of God tells us as a believer that we are the light of the world and we are not to take our lamp (salvation) and put it under a basket, but let it shine for the whole world to see. The oil represents the Holy Spirit and His anointing upon our life (power) to transform us.
Notice the foolish did not take oil with them, but the wise did. Oil is seen in the Bible being used to anoint the priest, kings, and prophets to be empowered for their calling. Believers are a part of the body of Christ, which the word Christ means anointed One. But to have that anointing on your life (the power of God) you must yield to the Holy Spirit, not just once but continually so that you can be empowered to see Him change your life, and then go and see Him change others through you by that same power.
Where does this anointing of the Holy Spirit take place? When you read the New Testament you will find the number one place this occurred time and again is when the disciples came together and worshiped, prayed, and heard the Word of God taught. It was what we call “church” today. But the Holy Spirit must be welcome in the church and we must yield to Him so that we stay anointed. Doing so is what the wise virgins did that represented taking oil with their lamp. They took the anointing with them from these meetings wherever they went.
It was the foolish virgins who when they began to hear that Jesus was coming soon tried to get the wise virgins to go with them. They were in fact making light of church, not attending regularly, or going to churches where the Holy Spirit was not allowed to manifest so there was no fresh anointing. No anointing, no power. No power, no changed life, nor were they seeing God’s power work through them to change the lives of others. They talked about Christianity, but they did not demonstrate the power of God in and through their life. Just remember Paul was warning us for a reason to make note of such people.
The foolish virgins today don’t think church is that important. They would rather be off doing their own thing or just sitting at home thinking T.V. church is good enough. The believers who took oil with them got that anointing from being in the presence of the Holy Spirit as they worshiped together in God’s house as well as having such meetings in their homes during the week where the Holy Spirit and His power was welcome. Why the importance of the Holy Spirit being a part of these services? Because you can’t get revelation from the Word of God without Him (he who has ears to hear let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the church). You can’t have burdens removed and yokes destroyed off of your life without the anointing (or power) of God. You also cannot do the miraculous works that Jesus did, which we are all called to do, without the power of the Holy Spirit.
Now remember what Paul said about those who appear to have a godly life, but they are denying the power of the Holy Spirit to work in them to bring about true change. Change that involves not only what someone says and does in their own life, but most of all change that involves them going forth as the Book of Acts disciples did seeing the power of God working through them to bring deliverance and healing to others. Paul said and I quote, “Stay away from such people”. That is what Paul said.
What Paul is referring to can be seen back in the parable of the virgins. To stay away means to not allow them to get so close to you that you begin to allow them to influence you in becoming a foolish virgin. The foolish virgin is always trying to get the wise virgin, who is in a church where the Holy Spirit is welcome, to leave their church or to get them out of church all together. They make fun of and often speak against such churches. Simple truth, do you attend a church where there are testimonies of the power of God in people’s lives working, and do you see the gifts of the Spirit ever manifested? If not don’t be a foolish virgin, go find such a church and receive all that God has for you.
So one of the key things that will help us to be victorious in the last days is to stay anointed by the Holy Spirit, and to not allow anyone who may appear to be godly, but they put down churches where the Holy Spirit is welcomed, to pull you away. This is the work of the anti-Christ (anti-anointing). Without God’s power believers will unfortunately begin to see the things Paul talked about become a part of their lives. Stay anointed! Live your life like the wise virgin! Keep plenty of oil with your lamp! What a blessing we have in the power of the Holy Spirit to not only set us free, but to free others also.
See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”
May God’s Best Be Yours!
Pastor Darryl Baker