On the Alert

Answer for Students
Unit 04 - God's Plan for Me

TEXT: Matthew 25:1-13

The firemen realized people were counting on them to be ready.

Clang! Clang! Clang! the fire bell rang! It was 1:42 a.m.! Jeff rubbed his eyes as he rolled from his bunk in the firehouse. He knew that every minute counted when that alarm sounded. The firemen began their race with the clock. But . . . something was wrong.

“Where are my boots?” yelled one of the men.

“Your boots? Where are my boots? I’m sure they were at the foot of my bed. Now they’re gone.”

Time was flying. Someone’s life might be in danger right now, but these firemen were still looking for their boots!

Suddenly someone shouted, “Hey, you guys, your boots are down here in the garage by the rigs. Now let’s get going.”

The men slid down the fire pole and grabbed their boots.

“Oh, no,” shouted one of the drivers. “The pump truck’s hoses are all over the garage. Didn’t anyone check the trucks since our last run? What are we going to do?”

“Someone call the other station and ask for help,” Jeff yelled.

“I already did and it’s no use. They’re out on another call. This is an emergency—people are counting on us for help and we aren’t ready!”

Aren’t you glad this is just a make-believe situation? This wouldn’t really happen, because firemen always make sure they are ready for any emergency. They have to be prepared at all times—day and night. It’s too late to get ready after the call comes.

Being ready on time is very important. In the Bible we can read a parable that Jesus told about being ready when He comes again.

He said there were ten virgins who wanted to meet the bridegroom. They had known there was going to be a wedding, so all of them had started to make preparations. They all had lamps that were burning, but there was one big difference among them. Five had made sure that not only were their lamps burning, but they also had extra oil in their vessels. They wanted to make sure their lamps never stopped burning. The other five had neglected to provide enough oil, and soon their lamps had gone out.

After a time, the call came, “Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.” The five virgins who had an extra measure of oil were ready and went in to the marriage. But Jesus’ story had a sad ending for the other five virgins. The Bible says that while they went to buy more oil for their lamps, “the door was shut.” When they returned and asked to be let in, the Lord said, “I know you not.”

There is a warning here for everyone. The ten virgins represent people who have given their hearts to Jesus. The division comes when a person is not careful in his Christian walk. The oil, which the foolish virgins did not value, represents the Spirit of God. It is so necessary to the Christian’s walk with Christ. It is the possession of this oil which made the wise virgins ready. When Jesus comes it will be “like a thief in the night.” It will happen as quickly as lightning flashes from the east to the west. There will be no time then to get ready.

If you have given your heart to Jesus, you have received from Him a most valuable possession—salvation. As with anything of value, you must guard it carefully. Do all you can to follow Jesus. Your prayers keep you in touch with God. Through prayer you can be filled with holiness and the wonderful Spirit of the Holy Ghost. This communion with God will keep your faith alive. A love of the truth will remain in your heart, and there will be excitement inside of you as you watch for Jesus’ soon return.

As the fireman must always be prepared, so must the Christian be ready. Through Jesus’ parable we learned that only the five virgins who were prepared—had extra oil in their vessels—went in to the marriage. Just so, only those who have valued their salvation and have made all the necessary preparations, will be ready for the coming of Jesus. Those who are not ready when Jesus comes again will be left behind. That could be any day now! Are you prepared?