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The Parable of Jesus: Preparing the Way of the Lord

Chris Buttery
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In the distant past preparing for the coming of an earthly monarch involved repairing the road over which he was to travel.  A king is coming.  Not earthly royalty, or someone of worldly fame.  Does the way need to be prepared for Him?  Find out the answer, and discover what that involves in this weeks message by Pastor Chris Buttery.

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  • November 15, 2014
    11:30 AM
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I King is coming not earthly role today. Not someone of. Wildly fame but the creator of all things the savior of the world he is coming again. Jesus is coming back. And the question that we need to ask him will be asking here this morning is does the way need to be prepared for him. Does the way need to be prepared for him. And if so what will that entitle. And what does that mean. So we're over here in Matthew chapter twenty four the disciples. Had just heard Jesus describe the demise of their beloved temple what you see standing here Jesus said. Right now. Not long here off to it's going to. Just going to crumble it's not going to exist. The way you see it here. And thinking that Jesus was referring to the end of the world they asked. Jesus in verse three. What will be the sign of your coming then and the end of the world. They associated the destruction of Jerusalem and that temple with the end of the world in Jesus' coming. And so Jesus proceed. To explain to them all to give them. His response involves two things one. He gives them an awesome. Overview of what the world. Would expect to look like what we would expect the world to look like. Prior to the second coming. The return of Jesus. And number two what kind of people will be awaiting his return what type of people ought. God's people be as they await his return and so. In Matthew twenty four in Matthew twenty five one seven Jesus outlines what the world is going to be like. Prior to Jesus' return. And then secondly he shares several stories to illustrate. The readiness of God's people. For the time that they have to live in prior to his return. And among the identifying characteristics of those looking for his appearing. Jesus mentions those that will in verse. Do you notice that there are those that will in due out. Until the end they shall be saved. And also in verse fifty four tane it says they will also be his witnesses. They'll also be preaching and sharing the Gospel not only. Verbal a but also through their lifestyle. Then Jesus goes on to share four stories in Matthew chapter twenty four. He shares a story in three in Matthew twenty five. The first story is the story of the faithful and wise. Serpent and servant. There is a faithful and wise. Servant and. That is a very you know the P. and then of course you've got the. Ten bridesmaids. And then you've also got the business men who are distributing responsibilities. To his employees and then of course you've got that very familiar parable about the sheep. And the goats. And there's a common thread. In all of these parables and they are the one question that Jesus poses and it's in Matthew chapter twenty four of those forty five. We're going to put it up on the screen so we can all read it here. Together Matthew twenty four verse forty five. Notice this is the common thread this is the question that is asked. Who then is a faithful and wise servant who his Master maid ruler over his household. To give them food in. Season. So this is the question that is being asked in these four stories. Who is the faithful and the wise. Steward who is the faithful and why servant. The one who is being made over the household the one who is being given stewardship management over the goods of God to feed. To give food. And in this case. Not only physical food but also spiritual food to those in. Juice season. Who are the faithful. Who are the wise. What is the common thread. The common thread is this that readiness for the second coming of Jesus is not a matter of last minute preparation. It's not a matter of last minute preparation as if you're cramming. For a final exam. Being then. Done That's not like that or if you. If a hurricane is barreling toward us. Although you although it didn't see it is definitely a part of the committed Christians life there's no doubt of that but readiness for the for the soon return of Jesus readiness for the second coming of Jesus is a matter of not a matter of. Last minute cramming. But about steadily growing. In the grace of God. That's what it involves. For example notice in Matthew twenty five in verse the thing. At the end of the story the parable of the. Ten Bridesmaids which were going to be looking at here. This morning. The parable of the ten's brought ten bridesmaids in verse thirteen notice. What Jesus said at as conclusion to this story. He said Watch therefore. For you know you NEED THE DAY nor THE HOUR in which the Son of Man is coming. His command is to do was watch. To watch. Watch they form. That refers to. Constant vigilance. That's what it refers to. Delightful. Expectancy. In other words. Always being ready. Always being ready. So in this story about the ten bridesmaids. The ten bridesmaids. Did they tell us anything about preparing the way. Of the Lord. Because he is the king that is coming. He is the one that is soon to return. Does this story have anything in there regarding. Preparing the way of the Lord and if so how do we do that. What does it look like the parable of the tens brought ten bridesmaids answers the question here it is. Let's read from verse one. And down through the story. Matthew twenty five. Jesus said then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten the. Jinns. Who took their lamps and went out to meet. The bridegroom. Now five of them were wise and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took. No oil with them. But the wise took oil in their vessels. With their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed they all slumbered and slept and at midnight a cry was heard. Behold the bridegroom is coming go out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose and trim their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise. Give us some of your oil for our lamps are going out. But the wise ods is saying no less they should not be enough for us and you go rather to those who sell and buy for yourselves. 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. After with the other virgins came also saying look. Look open to us. But he answered and said. Assuredly I say to you. I do not watch. Therefore. For you know neither the day nor the Allaah in which the Son of Man is coming. Powerful parable. Perhaps you are reading this for the some of you reading this for the first time perhaps. You've read this many times. We're going to take it. Verse by verse and try to understand what this parable. Is getting at what Jesus is trying to teach us. In verse one it says the kingdom of heaven. This has to do with what friends. The Church. The kingdom of heaven. Is likened to ten virgins who took their lamps. And they went out to meet the bridegroom. Ten bridesmaids rep. And they represent God's. Professed. People. And these people profess I faith. They represent. God's last day church. That is upholding the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus Christ that has the testimony. The Spirit of Prophecy in their midst. This is representing those who have the pure faith. And what these. What are they doing. One of these particular bridesmaids doing they waiting for something. They waiting for the bride. Grooms appearing. There waiting for the bridegroom's appearing. The bridegroom represents simply. The coming of Jesus. That's what these symbols represent the bridesmaids represent the church. Who are prepared. Lighting the Way. For the coming of the bridegroom who represents. Jesus Christ and His second coming. You see. And what is the bridesmaid's responsibility according to the parable there out there as I mentioned to help. Aluminite the way to help the bridal party arrive at the bridegroom's. House. So initially. And this really does the parable have anything to say about any type of preparation the people of God. To be involved in in a to suppose. For the coming of the king. Shu it's. It's there's evidence right there they're out to do that to do all of that to light the way to Aluminite. The way to the bridegroom's house. Their role is vital in that. The bridal party must end up at the final destination. The bride groom wants to marry the bride. It's got to happen. Jesus is going to come for His church you say all right number two. Those two. Let's go down. Now. All of these ten. Bridesmaids notice. Notice it says. Five of them were wise and five were foolish. I line of demarcation is drawn in the church. Some act wisely while others act foolishly. And we'll see here in just a minute what that is and what makes the difference between these two groups right now however what we know is that we want to be among those that I was I meant. We don't want to be called a full fullness. We want to be among those that are wise. Now it's the wise that showed. What. Show us what type of preparation is needed for Jesus' arrival. By way of contrast being the wise with the foolish. Will learn something about preparing. The way. Of the king and not misunderstand what we are expected to do. All right. Those three. Let's continue with the story so you've got the bride's maids there are ten of them five wise five A full of those three and we'll read those four as well now. Those who A foolish. Took their lamps and took no oil with them. But the wise. Took in the vessels. With their lamps. So here is why. Some A wise. And here. Here's why some A foolish. The wise carry was or oil or. Extra or all because they've got they've got their lamps. And obviously they're limiting the way for the bridal party already. So it's not that they don't have oil. But they don't have extra. I don't have extra oil but the or the at least the wives have extra oil but the foolish. They don't have any extra oil. They don't have any extra oil. What is the land. What is the lamp in the bridesmaid's hands represent. Is simply represents the would of God Remember the psalmist in one nineteen one hundred five he said. The I word is I. Lamp unto my feet. And I live on to my path the wood of God is in the hands of the church. Lighting the wife full of the coming of the Lord. It's. Through the Word of God that the message of Jesus is. Proclaimed and the church. Has the word of God in their hand and the oil. That helps light that lamp. What does that oil represent over and over again in Scripture is oil. Is used to symbolize the Holy Spirit. In Zachariah. Chapter four Zechariah saw this. These all of trees in this golden oil running down into these vessels. Into a bowl that would help light the seven. Golden candlesticks in the sanctuary. And inch. In chapter four. And verse fourteen the Lord says to Zechariah. It's not by might it's not by strength but it's by My Spirit say with the Lord. The oil. Lighting those lamps represents the Holy Spirit. You see. So in essence the wise have the WOULD OF GOD. With the Holy Spirit. And the foolish. They have the Word of God but they have no. Holy Spirit. What does that mean. And what does that look like. Because if we had to come to terms with this parable. Then we'll be well on our way to aligning ourselves with the wise. And being in that awesome position. Of preparing the way. Of the coming of the King so let me propose a couple of things here for us this morning number one. The difference between the wise in the foolish. Doesn't necessarily lie. In the doctrine that they believe. The difference isn't in the doctrine that they believe. Because we're told that they are all virgins. But the wise in the fullness of versions I carry a pew a faith. I PUA. Doctrine from the Word of God. So the difference isn't in the doctrine they believe. But what the doctrine has done for them. Personally. That's where the rub is is not the doctrine they believe they believe the truth of God's word. But what has that doctrine done for them personally. Look and. Oil lamp. If you've ever used an oil lamp before. It isn't worth much on a dock night without oil. It's an oil lamp you need oil. In your lamp. Flashlights. What are they good for without batteries you need batteries. In order for them to operate a lamp. Is just simply an instrument. And its only purpose is to make something happen. And what's it to do. What's a lamp to do it's to shine the light. That's exactly right. So in this parable. As in real life. The light. Is neither the lamp is not the Word of God and the light is not the oil. It is not the Holy Spirit. As in real life is. Not specifically doctrine. No matter how pure that doctrine is or how much is known and nor is it. The Holy Spirit. The light. Is the reality and here it is the light is the reality of a Christ. Like life. A person. Transformed by the miracle working power of the Holy Spirit. Molded by biblical principles. That's what the light is a person who is being transformed by the teachings of scripture. The in working of the Holy Spirit that is changing their lives. No one thing is clear. One thing is very clear in this particular parable. Bible. Quoting church. Going members who have not been letting the Holy Spirit transform them. Not preparing the way for the coming of the king. They are not. And I was shut themselves. Out of the kingdom when Jesus comes back. You can read that in verses ten through twelve they came. And they wanted to get him but the Bible says The door was shut the door was shut. It's sad to realize that those who knew the way. Eventually become lost. And as I read in a great book once said to be so busy selling peanuts that one misses. The parade. So let's understand this. Let's understand this the foolish not lost. Because they couldn't answer. Doctrinal questions or. Didn't know they way around the Bible perfectly They're not lost because of that. But because biblical information. Became an end. Instead of a means. That's the difference. The Bible didn't become. Or the Bible to them becomes and. An object of faith and not an instrument. Of Faith. The object if the Bible is an object of faith. There is reverence for the word. There is a knowledge of the word the word of God may be on your bookshelf and now you may have a family. A place where you have the big family Bible open up. And the Bible is simply just become an object of your faith. Not an instrumentality an instrument of your faith faith faith. Became. Well becomes merely a matter of the head. And a prevents a work that needs to be done in the hot. That's the difference between the wise and the fullish. The wise in this parable use the Bible. For its intended purpose. And what's the purpose of the Bible. To bring us closer to. Jesus Christ is not right. Bring us closer to Jesus to be drawn nearer to him. To have a living connection with him. And to experience Him This leads the way for us to say yes. To whatever God says is whatever principles he puts forth in the Scriptures. Becomes the lore of allies and we let the Holy Spirit. Work that law in our hearts in an ally. And so that's one proposition. I put before us here this morning. The wise. Allow the Word of God to transform their lives a fullish. I don't allow it. They make excuses they step back and say no not for me. Now another way. Another way the Bible can lack the Spirit the Holy Spirit. Is revealed in an interesting statement by my favorite author and it's on page. It's on page four seventy four of the book of Acts of the Apostles noticed this very interesting. She says To many the Bible is a lamp. Without oil. How is that. Because they have turned their minds into channels. Of speculative belief. That brings misunderstanding and confusion. She says the the work of higher criticism. Today we use the phrase historical critical. Method of. Coming to the Word of God. And this is what it does. In dissecting conjecturing reconstructing. The Bible is destroying faith in the Bible as a divine. Revelation. It is robbing God's power of God's word of power to control uplift and inspire. Human lives. So I critical. Or I skeptical approach to the Bible causes the effectiveness. And power of the word to be lost. A lamp. Without oil. A lamp without oil. Or a Bible without the Holy Spirit. And the results are devastating. On the character. Thus contributing to lack of preparedness for the second coming of Jesus. The undermining of the Bible sole authority and trustworthiness. Is generally performed by those who are intent on accommodating biblical truth. With modern science and culture. And this leads many to deny the validity of the miracles in the working of the supernatural. Number to those who accept some all or even all of the Bible's miracles and supernatural events. But they maintain that the Bible is not fully reliable on. Everything it says since it contains. Suppose that mistakes and discrepancies and inconsistency is in in accuracies or even era. And this leads to explaining the source of the mistake and then how to identify the. Identify them for example. It's asserted that some mistakes occur in the Bible. Do to the Bible writers a limited knowledge or their cultural prejudice thus. Attempts to explain away the Bible's very strong stand on homosexuality and. Gender roles. All the Bible writers were ignorant I don't have the science we have today. And so therefore we can apply what they've said in these areas. That's called accommodating. The scripture. Allowing cult cultural preferences to interpret it for us rather than accepting all of the Word of God as being inspired. Didn't pull right to Timothy inside. All Scripture is given by. Inspiration of God not just a little bit here and not just a little bit there but. All Scripture. Is given by. Inspiration of God. And so when a person. Approaches the scripture in these two man is the denying the miracles of scripture. Coming at Bible with a very critical perspective. Or just simply asserting that you can trust. Everything in the Bible. That has the power to weaken the Scriptures influence in a person's life. A Bible. Without the Holy Spirit. A lamp. Without oil. To be applying biblical truth to the life. Is a good thing. I meant. Applying biblical truth to life's a very good thing to not do that will be absolutely catastrophic. But before anyone starts looking around wondering whether the person next to them is at fault. Listen. Both the wise in the foolish both have a problem don't think. What's their problem according to verse five What is a site. They all fell asleep during the delay of the bridegroom's coming. They all fell asleep. Now fortunately the wise. Awaken. They sense the emptiness of a spiritual experience and they determine. To change. They very determine to change when the emergency comes. Their prepaid. But when the emergency strikes the foolish. They behave like anyone else who has no you knows nothing about the Bible why. Because they have been learning to lean on others to supply their spiritual strength. For so long that their own faith has become actual feed. They're looking to others and trusting in others rather than. What Christ can do for them. They discover. Unfortunately way too late. The courage that peace. That trust and strength of spirit. Couldn't be transferred look at verses seven through nine. Then all these virgins arose and trim their lamps. And the full is said to the wise Give us some of your oil for lamps are going out. But the wise odds is saying no. They said should be. Not enough for us and you to go rather to them who sell and buy. For yourselves. Look just as no one can breathe for another. No one can trust God for another. Conduit. The Bible. Believing Bible quoting church going. I'm not regenerate member. Unregenerate unregenerate member will not be ready for the second coming of Jesus. I know that's hod. Those are hard words. Church going. Bible believing. Bible quoting the regenerate members. Will not be psyched. They will not be side. Somewhere in the life of the foolish. Unlike the wise who are saying OK Lord. If that's what your word says it OK I'll do it. But unlike the wise the foolish to still say no noise somewhere in their lives somewhere in their hearts is so saying god. Not that one can't give you that. Sorry. Too much for me to give. Somewhere this still saying. No they're not acting on the truth. It is sad to know that men and women. Will be shot. Out of the kingdom of heaven by their own unfitness for it's companionship. But there is fantastic news in the power of friends. Fantastic news in the parable because the wise brides. Wise bridesmaids. They know exactly what God who God is they know exactly what they need to do. And to be ready for the events that it take place. A cup prior to Jesus' return the wise have oil. Extra oil. In their lamps. The light boon stay light burns within. Undimmed flame through the night of watching. The shining light which is the beauty of Christ likeness of character. Coupled with the sharing of their faith. Both serving as to intertwine purposes. One working for the Aleut for the illuminating of the way. Of the Bridegroom the preparing of his wife. And secondly to eliminate the way of travellers. To be able to see their way to the kingdom of heaven. Two things. Preparing the way. Here we are lowered the light is the light is on for you. And Jesus comes preparing the way. And then of course shining the light. All the way to the kingdom of heaven. Two fold purpose. For this light that shines in the book Christ object lessons on page four fourteen. It says through the Holy Spirit. God's Word is a light. As it becomes a transforming power. In the life of the receiver. By implanting in their hearts the principles of his word. The Holy Spirit develops. In men the attributes of God. The Light of His glory. His character. Is to shine forth to his followers. Thus they ought to glorify God to lighten the path to the bridegroom's home. To the City of God. To the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Their Lives. The Word of God is a light. As it becomes a transforming power in the life of the receiver. That's the light. It's powerful. Poll. Poll reminds us. In second Corinthians chapter four. And verse six. He says those. That God is the one who caused the light to shine out of darkness is the one who shined in our hots. The light of. Of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ and notice what eyes eyes his and eyes I Chapter fifty eight verses seven eight he says is it not to deal bread to the hungry that thou bring the poor that it cost out of the house. When thou see the naked the Tao cover him. And the hide not by self from my own flesh. Then shall VI light. Break forth. As the morning. Friends were all told to share. All we are all cold to be the light of the world. Jesus was the light when he was here. And he gives that commission. Commissions his church to be. The light of the world not to just dispel Doc Mis. But to prepare the way. For the coming of the King not just to bless others. But to point them in the direction of their eternal home. God expects us to prepare the way for the coming of the king. So the responsibilities ours but what a privilege it is. To pave the way. To point others in the direction of glory men. So there are many. There are many from whom hope is deposited in friends you and I can prepare the way. For the coming of the King by bringing some sunshine. Into their lives. Many have lost faith in courage. And we prepare the way for the coming of the king. By speaking words that make them smile. And brighten their day. Praying with them. And sometimes. Praying for them and sometimes with them. There are those who need the bread of life. And we prepare the way for the coming of the king. By sharing. The WOULD OF GOD. With them. There are those who are suffering. With sorrow. With guilt. And with FIA. And we prepare the way of the king. By brightening. Bringing them to Jesus Christ. Who washes away all the sins and cheese they ha. It's with his. Abiding presence. Friends. Want to let you watch what you let your light shine. And by doing so. Pave the way. For the coming of. This media was brought to you by audio first a Web site dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio. And much more. If you would like to know more about audio verse. If you would like to listen to more service. Leave a visit. W W W. Audio verse or.

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