We are excited to be able to “get together” online. You will not want to miss this first message in our new message series called SHIFT - In Position for Change. We will sing two songs “No Longer Slaves” and “Psalm 103 - Everlasting” - the latter of which was written by our own Kate Bond and recorded on the new IBC Live 2020 album (CCLI Streaming License #: CSPL043706).
If The Oil is Low… You Don’t Go!
TEXT: Matthew 24:37-44 (39) / 25:1-13
We are living in a time when everything is changing. As the scripture puts it…when all that can be shaken – will be shaken. There is a SHIFT that is going on, not just in the natural world and in our society – but in the spiritual world…and only those who TUNE IN will sense the SHIFT.
We read about the similarity to how things were in the days of Noah and the Flood to how things will be in the last days before Jesus returns…in Matthew 24
And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
I would like you to remember that little phrase KNEW NOT…
There is a similar story in Matthew 25 that immediately follows that is really even more disturbing… let’s read it:
1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
The POINT – If the OIL is LOW…You Don’t GO!
Spiritually, when we are not paying any attention to the meters or warning lights – things can get dangerously low!
We are snappy, critical, grumpy, frustrated, confused…and we wonder where our joy went, where our peace is, and why everything bothers us so much.
If we don’t learn how to have spiritual preventive care maintenance and service – we can easily miss the signs!
Even though things may be running rough – sometimes we blame it on everything else…we need to CHECK OUR SPIRITUAL OIL!!!
Because IF the OIL is LOW – You Don’t Go!
The Bible – uses OIL as a symbol of the Holy Ghost or the Spirit of God in our lives…We need to have the anointing oil of the Holy Ghost topped off in our lives at all times. It is spiritually dangerous for us and those around us if we are not full of the Holy Ghost.
The Wise are Prepared – The Foolish are Occupied with other things, but miss the MAIN THING – THE OIL
The issue that I have to face very soberly are those words – “and the door was shut.” – That is very FINAL…that means If the OIL is LOW, You Don’t GO!
THE DANGER OF SPIRITUAL PROCRASTINATION
There is a fable which tells of three apprentice devils who were coming to this earth to finish their apprenticeship. They were talking to Satan, the chief of the devils, about their plans to tempt and to ruin men. The first said, “I will tell them that there is no God.” Satan said, “That will not delude many, for they know that there is a God.” The second said, “I will tell men that there is no HELL.” Satan answered, “You will deceive no one that way; men know even now that there is a Hell for sin.” The third said, “I will tell men that there is no hurry.” ”Go,” said Satan, “and you will ruin men by the thousands.” The most dangerous of all delusions is that there is plenty of time.
(William Barclay: The Gospel of Matthew, vol. 2 [Philadelphia: Westminster, 1975], p. 317. From a sermon by Matthew Kratz, The parable of the Faithful & Wise Servant, 7/17/2010)
In December of 1984 there was a huge crash following a thick fog on the M25 Motorway in England. Early in the morning a truck carrying paper crashed in the fog. The warning lights came on, there were hazard signs, the police were there.
The issue with this crash which I’m about to share with you is very unsettling and keep in mind that there were over 20 people killed.
Here was the issue…Driver after driver traveling along the M25 trying to get to work, ignored the warning lights, ignored the hazard signs, and the fog and drove on.
The policemen, realizing what was happening, became possessed with fear as they could see the destruction and what was happening, and they actually started to pick up traffic cones and throw them at the wind shields to try and stop people and the people wouldn’t stop! They kept driving!
One newspaper report that said this, “One of the policemen had tears running down his face as he threw cones at the drivers who would pay no attention.”
YOUR ACTION STEP:
If there is – No Oil – Get Oil (Repent, Be Baptized in Jesus’ Name, and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost)
If there is Some Oil – Get Topped Off (Let God renew you, come back to your first love and have a closer relationship with Jesus than ever before.)
If your Oil is Full – Pray for and reach out to someone else this week.