Anticipating the Kingdom
Open Your Bible
Matthew 25:1-13, John 14:1-4, John 14:18, John 14:25-26, Colossians 3:1-17, Romans 8:28-30, 2 Peter 3:11-14
While we wait for Christ’s return, the Spirit equips us to live faithfully in light of our redemption in Christ.
Most of us have experienced a nightmare in which we arrive for a work presentation or a school exam unprepared. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t been to school in a decade or to work in weeks—the panic of being unprepared sets in, and you wonder how you could have forgotten to study or do the work necessary to perform well. For me, I wake up in a state of stress and don’t calm down until I realize the scenario isn’t real.
The parable of the ten virgins feels like this nightmare. How could the five, foolish virgins not have been prepared to meet the groom? They obviously knew what needed to be prepared, yet they were foolish enough to forget to bring plenty of oil with them to keep their lamps burning until he arrived.
We should heed the warning that comes with a life not prepared to glorify Christ daily and welcome His return. We don’t want to miss the kingdom of God at work in this world today or the return of our bridegroom Jesus.
The five, wise virgins who came prepared with extra oil for their lamps remind me of a woman who is living a life of “holy conduct and godliness” (2Peter 3:11). Though she may not know the hour of her groom’s return, she endures the wait. Easier said than done, I know. For a follower of Jesus, His coming kingdom can sometimes feel like a mystery too difficult to understand and a promise that seems too far away to actualize.
Thankfully, the mystery has been made known: “You know the way I am going,” Jesus tells His disciples (John 14:4). Jesus Himself has gone before us, prepared a home for us, and will lead us. He reassures His disciples, saying, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me” (v.1). We can rest now, knowing that kingdom-living is not impossible because we have assurance for our future place in God’s kingdom and the Holy Spirit to help us live faithfully today.
We are asked to wait, trusting in Jesus’s promise. Peter tells the church that “based on [Jesus’s] promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness dwells… Therefore, dear friends, while you wait for these things, make every effort to be found without spot or blemish in his sight, at peace” (2Peter 3:13–14). Let’s be women who are prepared—not anxious for the future because we walk with Jesus who presents us as a spotless bride, but eager with anticipation as we wait for our bridegroom to lead us to the banquet table.