The parable of the ten virgins at the beginning of Matthew 25 is a parable that many Christians are familiar with but there are some questions you need to ask yourself. 1) Who is the bridegroom? Christ. 2) Who is the bride? The Church. 3) Does the bride have any difficulty getting into the marriage feast? No. So if you are a Bible-believing Christian why are so many of us worried about being one of the foolish virgins being left out in the cold? In part this may be due to those who argue that a Christian can lose their salvation, and see this parable as evidence for a loss of salvation. But as the bride is symbolic of the corporate body of Christ, are the ‘virgins’ to be interpreted as individuals or bodies? The virgins are symbolic of persons known to the bride but not necessarily the groom. There are many pseudo-Christian sects about that in this day and age the secular public think as being Christian (such as the JWs and Mormons). Could those be the foolish virgins? If so who are the wise if they are allowed in? Maybe what Jesus is trying to get at here is that there are out there whom you would label as heretical because of their views in one particular area or another but they may not be as bad as we might like to think. The virgins were the bride’s “fellow-travellers,” a phrase that has fallen somewhat out of fashion these days, but before the collapse of communism it was often used of left-wingers who sympathised with the communists but were not actually members of the party. Of course when communists did come to power the fellow travellers would often be the first to be lined up and shot. Just merely being associated with the church will not guarantee salvation. So what was the difference between the wise and the foolish virgins in the end. Now most commentators argue that the oil is a metaphor the Holy Spirit. But that does not necessarily mean they were all speaking in tongues. The Holy Spirit’s role in salvation is first to convict the sinner. So by responding the wise virgins received the seal of the Spirit. All ten had fallen asleep but maybe there was also an unbelief among the foolish virgins that the Bridegroom would not come for his Bride, hence the lack of preparation. People looking at the Church today can see many obvious imperfections and doubt that Christ would have anything to do with it.
But let us consider the positive things about this parable, the Bridegroom meets with His Bride and takes her into the feast. The five wise virgins get into the feast because they are with the Bride. To get in we need to be with the Bride. True, mainstream denominations seem to be compromising in many areas to such an extent that we may begin to doubt that a particular denomination has ceased to be a part of the Bride. And there those that are always looking to criticise and find fault for the sake of it. They would write off all ten of the virgins on one ground or another. But the five wise virgins still get in. The thing is if we witnessed the scene beforehand we might have come to wrong conclusions about who would have been considered wise and who would be foolish. The virgins strictly speaking were not invited by the groom by name, he was inviting the bride and she was expected to come with her friends and they would get in only because they were with her. So the bridegroom was never coming for the five foolish virgins only the bride so make sure you are part of the Bride then all your fears are baseless.
David Rose, 2018.