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How Much Oil Is In Your Lamp?

In the parable of the "Ten Maidens," or "Ten Virgins," and their lamps, Jesus Christ described "five who were foolish and five who were wise." All ten had lamps, but the wise ones had plenty of oil to make their lamps do what they were created for, while the unwise ones had nearly-empty lamps that did almost nothing to overcome the darkness.

Lamps The lesson of the parable is that Christians should be diligently preparing for The Return Of Jesus Christ, regardless of when that happens from their own perspective (see Resurrections), and not wait until "the last minute" (i.e. later in life, or if Christ's return actually seems imminent) to become serious about their religion. The "oil" is the study of God's Truth (see The Holy Bible and 52-Week Bible Reading Plan) and the good behavior that makes the "lamps" of the five wise maidens "shine," while the five foolish maidens had lamps (i.e. they claimed to be Christian) but very little oil (i.e. they didn't diligently study or live according to Christ's teachings).

The Parable Of The Ten Maidens

"Then the kingdom of heaven shall be compared to ten maidens who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept."

"But at midnight there was a cry, 'Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.'"

"Then all those maidens rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.'"

"But the wise replied, 'Perhaps there will not be enough for us and for you; go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.'"

"And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast; and the door was shut."

"Afterward the other maidens came also, saying, 'Lord, lord, open to us.'"

"But he replied, 'Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.'"

"Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour." (Matthew 25:1-13 RSV)

Fact Finder: Are Christians to "let their light shine"?
Matthew 5:14-16


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