Sermon Transcript – Oil for our Lamps

Series A – Twenty-First Sunday After Pentecost – Sunday, November 9, 2014 | Pr. Chris Rosebrough

Welcome to the Teaching Ministry of Kongsvinger Lutheran Church. Kongsvinger is a beacon for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is located on the plains of Northwestern Minnesota.
We proclaim Christ and Him crucified for our sins and salvation by grace through faith alone, and now, here’s a message from Pastor Chris Rosebrough:
Intro bumper
Time StampTranscript
0:25The holy Gospel According to Saint
0:30Matthew chapter 25 verses 1-13 at that time the kingdom of heaven will
0:37be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom
0:42five of them were foolish five were wise the foolish one took tulip took their
0:49lamps but they did not take any oil with them the wise however took oil and jars
0:54along with their lamps the bridegroom was a long time in coming and they all became drowsy and they fell asleep
1:02at midnight the cry rang out here’s the bridegroom come out to meet him then all
1:08the virgins woke up trimmed their lamps the foolish ones said to the wise give
1:13us some of your oil our lamps are going out no they replied there may not be
1:18enough for both of us and you instead go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves but while they were on their
1:25way to buy the oil the bridegroom arrived The Virgins who were ready went in with him to The Wedding Banquet and
1:32the door was shut later the others also came sir sir they said open the door for
1:37us but he replied I tell you the truth I don’t know you therefore keep watch
1:43because you do not know the day or the hour in the name of Jesus
1:52it’s the end of the world for the next three weeks the church calendar focuses focuses our attention
1:59on the end of the world the end of times now here’s a trick question I have for you
2:04when is the end of the world now in some sense we don’t have the
2:11answer to that but in another sense we do and this is important you keep the two together I
2:17can tell you with confidence that the day and the hour in which you die which you don’t know when is coming that is
2:24the end of the world for you right and if you think about it scripture makes it very clear that the
2:32end times began When Jesus ascended into heaven so we are living in the end times
2:38and the end of the world comes at a day or hour with it you do not know either with Christ’s return
2:45or with your death and funny enough our Parable today kind of teases this out a little bit but you
2:51have to look very carefully at the text to get it and due to the fact that this text begins with some interesting words
2:58the words being this at that time the kingdom of heaven will be like well when you see in a text like this it says at
3:04that time Jesus is in the middle of a discourse in fact this is a very famous discourse and the name of this course is
3:11called the Olivet discourse Jesus is on the Mount of Olives and this is the big
3:16reveal regarding the end of the world and this isn’t this is critical Jesus is just about to be betrayed
3:24arrested beaten flogged crucified he knows he’s about to leave and he’s got
3:31very important information to give to us and it’s like this is a dying man’s plea
3:37pay close attention listen I’m leaving I’m about to die and you got to pay attention things are going to be really
3:44really difficult in the last days extremely difficult you need to listen
3:49to Jesus and those people who would paint the future of humanity as
3:54marshmallowed covered rainbows that’s not the future it’s not bright in fact
4:00what Jesus Paints in the Olivet discords is a little bit Bleak and it’s important for us to see what he said that’ll give
4:06us the context and then we’ll get to the parable so you have your Pew Bible open up to Matthew chapter 24 verse 1. we’re
4:15going to do a very rapid flyover of the Olivet discourse
4:20Holy Week Jesus is about to be arrested here’s what it says Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his
4:27disciples came up to him call his attention to its buildings do you see all of these he asked I tell you the
4:34truth not one stone here will be left on another everyone will be thrown down now
4:41think about that for a second where is the only place on planet Earth at that time where men can hear the Absolution
4:49that God has forgiven their sins the temple that’s the only place
4:56but the reality is this the temple that used to be in Jerusalem that was type
5:01and Shadow the reality is Jesus Jesus is the temple so when Jesus is starting to
5:07talk crazy like this about the temple being destroyed well the first thing that comes to mind to the disciples is
5:13it must be the end of the world in a sense it is and in another sense It
5:19Isn’t So the destruction of the temple Jesus uses typologically to then begin
5:25to discuss the ultimate end of the world so here’s what he says I tell you the truth not one stone here will be left on
5:32another everyone will be thrown down as Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives hence the name the Olivet discourse the
5:39disciples came to him privately tell us they said when will this happen What will be the sign of your coming and the
5:44End of the Age so Jesus said answered watch out that no one deceives you
5:53first thing you want to want to know about what the end times are going to be like the end times are marked with major
5:59deception major deception many will come in my
6:05name people are going to come in the name of Jesus claiming I’m the Christ
6:11whoa if you pay attention to the news the news is very diligent to cover the
6:18fact there’s all kinds of people running around the planet claiming to be the Messiah
6:23there’s a famous guy in Russia right now another one down in Australia I had a little bit of a conversation with one a
6:29couple of years ago and I told him to repent and his response to me was oh a Christian who still believes in
6:34Repentance but that’s another story anyway so don’t be deceived many will come in my
6:42name in the name of Jesus claiming to be to be the Christ and you know what they’re going to do they’re going to deceive many you will hear of Wars
6:49rumors of wars it sounds a lot like watching Fox News but see to it that you are not alarmed such things must happen
6:56but the end is still to come Nation will rise against Nation Kingdom against Kingdom there will be famines and
7:03earthquakes in various places all of these are the beginning of birth pains so as you’re watching the news and you
7:09see Wars rumors of wars pestilence disease Ebola right and you sit there and go it’s like the end of the world
7:16well kind of it’s those of you women here who’ve had babies it’s just like
7:21being in labor so as the world progresses and gets
7:26older the contractions get stronger and stronger and they come closer and closer together
7:33why well what’s giving birth to is the visible kingdom of God Christ is coming
7:41back this world as we know it is passing away and as we get closer to the day
7:46it’s going to get crazier and crazier again the major thing is deception though that’s the thing you got to watch
7:53out for then Jesus says then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death
7:59you will be hated by All Nations because of me can anyone say Isis
8:04right at that time many will turn away from the faith
8:10ouch many Christians will turn away from the faith and they will betray and they will
8:16hate each other and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people in
8:23other words just because somebody says the word of the Lord came to me and I’ve had a prophecy and here’s what’s
8:28happening in the year 2015 you need to prepare for this chances are that person’s really not a
8:34true prophet chances are they’re a false prophet Jesus here warns about the increase of
8:40false prophets in the last days and then he says this because the increase of wickedness the
8:47love of many or the love of most will grow cold but he who stands firm to the end will
8:52be saved so in this Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a
8:58testimony to All Nations and then the end will come so when you see standing in the Holy place the Abomination that
9:05causes desolation think of the man of lawlessness here this is what’s being spoken of here so when you see standing
9:10in the Holy place the Abomination that causes Desh lace and spoken by the through the Prophet
9:16Daniel let the reader understand and let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains let no one on the roof of his
9:21house go down to take anything out of the house let not the one in the field go back to get his cloak how Dreadful it
9:27will be in those days for pregnant women and for nursing mothers and pray that your flight will not take place in the winter on a Sabbath for then there will
9:33be great distress unequaled from the beginning of the world until now and never to be equaled again if those days
9:40had not been cut short no one would survive
9:46things are going to be so bad that if the days of tribulation are not
9:51cut short no one will survive this kind of goes into my theory and I
9:58have to kind of put it out like that Jesus says the devil was a liar and a murderer from the beginning he wanted to
10:03murder Humanity at right out of the shoot that’s what was he he was trying to do in Genesis right when he deceived
10:09them he wanted them he heard the day you eat of the fruit you will surely die he deceived them they ate the fruit he’s
10:16thinking they’re dead and God’s going to be the one to murder them I think Satan still has us as planned the murder of
10:21humanity so Jesus says in those the last days if
10:27those days had not been cut short no one would survive the trajectory that humanity is on is
10:35suicide that’s where we’re heading and if Christ doesn’t intervene
10:42there’s no one left that’s what Jesus said so don’t let the marsh marshmallow colored rainbow scenario of
10:50the end you know deceive you there are those who actually in the Christian Church believe that our job is to bring
10:57the kingdom of God here on Earth and make the world a better and better and better place and eventually we make it
11:02so great that everybody is all getting along and then Jesus shows up and gives us a big pat on the back and says good
11:08job now I’m King you know okay that’s not what Jesus said
11:15if those days had not been cut short no one would survive but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened
11:22at that time if anyone says to you look here’s the Messiah the Christ or there
11:28he is don’t believe it
11:33don’t believe it for false Christ you can even put into
11:38this into this text right here false Messiahs false anointed ones that’s what
11:43Christos mean somebody who claims to be have a special anointing false anointed ones false prophets will appear and get
11:50this they’re going to perform Great Signs and miracles
11:56do you think that Miracles prove whether or not somebody is a true Prophet or a false prophet they don’t
12:03the message is what proves whether they’re a true Prophet or false prophet Jesus here says that false Christ false
12:10anointed ones false prophets are going to appear and they are going to perform Great Signs and miracles to deceive even
12:18if the elect if that were possible and see Jesus says see I’ve told you ahead of time
12:24marshmallow covered rainbows I don’t think so so if anyone tells you there he
12:31is out in the desert don’t go out doesn’t this sound like the last days
12:37are extremely religiously treacherous it’s exactly false Christ false Messiahs
12:43people claiming Jesus is coming back and he’s gonna he’s gonna appear in the desert I’d like him to appear somewhere
12:49in North Dakota you know but if somebody says hey he’s appearing in Oslo next
12:55weekend it ain’t Jesus how do you know because it says in scripture when Jesus
13:00appears it’s going to be like a lightning flash across the scrot the sky everybody on the Earth is going to know
13:07it’s Jesus there’ll be no doubt so these rumors about Jesus appearing and people performing Miracles and stuff like that
13:14that’s all part of the last day’s deceptions and see Jesus says see I told
13:19you ahead of time this is a dying man’s wish for you to know what’s coming
13:25so if they tell you there he is out in the desert don’t go out here he is in the inner rooms don’t believe it for as
13:30lightning that comes from the East is visible even to the West so will be the coming of the son of man and wherever
13:35there is a carcass the vultures will gather immediately after the distress of those days the sun will be darkened the moon
13:43will not give its light the Stars will fall from the sky and the heavenly
13:49bodies will be shaken and at that time the sign of the son of
13:54man will appear in the sky or in the heavens and all the nations of the earth will mourn they will see the son of man
14:00coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory and he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call
14:06notice the loud trumpet call also appears in our epistle texts and they will gather his elect from the Four
14:13Winds from one end of the Heavens to the other now learn this lesson from the Fig Tree as soon as its Twigs are get tender
14:18and its leaves come out you know that summer is near well even so when you see all these things you know that it is
14:24near right at the door I tell you the truth this generation not the generation living in Jesus this time the generation
14:31that sees these things fulfilled they will not pass away until all these things have happened Heaven and Earth
14:37will pass away but my words will never pass away no one knows that day or hour not even
14:45the angels in Heaven nor the son but only the father so anyone who says oh I
14:51know Jesus is returning and it’s next month it happens to be next month on a Thursday at two in the afternoon
14:58yeah every single person who’s claimed that they’ve figured out and cracked the eschatological code has been wrong
15:04somehow we continue to endure a person you know continue to live on after these
15:09men have predicted that Jesus is going to return so if someone’s out there claiming they know when Jesus is coming back you know that they’re deceived and
15:18that those who are following them are also being deceived no one knows that day or the hour for in the days before
15:24the flood people were eating and drinking marrying giving in marriage up to the day that Noah entered the Ark
15:30they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away that is how it will be at
15:36the coming of the son of man two men will be in the field one will be taken the other left two women will be grinding with a handmade one will be
15:43taken the other left so therefore keep watch because you do not know on what day your Lord will come
15:50that’s the word watch you don’t know when he’s coming understand this if the owner of the
15:57house had known it what time of the night the thief was coming he would have kept watch and would not have let his
16:02house be broken into so you must be ready because the son of man will come on an hour when you do not expect him in
16:09other words if you don’t think Jesus is coming back today
16:16who you are foolish absolutely foolish Jesus could come back
16:23before I’m done with this sermon literally
16:29so then who is the faithful and wise servant whom the master has put in the charge of the servants in his household
16:34to give them their food at the proper time it will be good for that servant whose Master finds him doing when so when he
16:40returns I tell you the truth he will put him in charge of all of his possessions but suppose that that servant is wicked and says to himself ah my Master’s
16:47staying away a long time and then he begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards that
16:53Master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and in however when he is not aware and he will
16:58cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the Hypocrites by the way again when does the end of the world happen
17:05either when Jesus returns or when you die and you don’t know the day or the hour of your death now do you
17:15so he will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the Hypocrites where there will be weeping and gnashing of
17:21teeth yeah that’s talking about hell and yes Jesus actually taught it he actually
17:27believed in it so if you have a church leader who says oh hell doesn’t exist the god I believe in would never do send
17:32people to such a place well the god they believe in doesn’t exist the god they believe in is an idol of their own making
17:37Jesus believed in hell and he taught it now we get to our parable
17:44at that time the end which end the answer is either
17:50the end of your life or the end of the world pick one it doesn’t really matter which at that time the kingdom of heaven
17:57will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom five of them were foolish
18:02five were wise what does the fool say in his heart there’s no God
18:08the fool says in his heart there is no God now notice here all ten of them are virgins
18:14now this is kind of a fascinating little thing here we lutherans like to take
18:20stabs at the calvinist from time to time and the Calvinists have this Doctrine called the doctrine of limited atonement
18:26and they like to say that Jesus only died for the elect we say well John the
18:31Baptist said Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world
18:36right but here’s the thing just because Jesus bled and died for everyone doesn’t mean that everyone’s saved so here in
18:44this Parable all 10 are virgins even the foolish ones are virgins and they’re virgins by virtue of the fact that
18:50Christ bled and died for them this is most certainly true but the question is what does the oil
18:56represent in the story because when we look at these Parables keep in mind Parables the true meaning is kind of encoded in symbols so let’s tear this
19:04apart a little bit so at that time the kingdom of heaven will be like 10 virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom five of them
19:10were foolish five were wise the foolish one took their lamps but did not take any oil what’s the point of having a
19:16lamp if you’re not going to bring oil that’d be like bringing a flashlight but having no batteries in it doesn’t make
19:21any sense the wise however took oil in jars along
19:26with their lamps and by the way in the Greek here for wise it’s probably better translated as prudent
19:33it kind of gives you the right sense in which they’re wise they’re thinking ahead they’re being prudent sometimes
19:38you can think of wise as somebody who you know who you know really has kind of studied the Proverbs and is really kind
19:44of wise in that way or wise in the way Solomon was wise that’s not the wisdom that’s talked about here this is real
19:49true Prudence in thinking ahead so as in all of Jesus’s Parables we
19:55talked about that all of this is wrapped up in symbolic meaning and so we can say well Jesus is the bridegroom pretty
20:02straightforward right and um the the virgins well that’s kind of all of humanity some are saved some are
20:09not saved but the question comes down is what’s with this oil stuff what is the oil all about
20:15now I’ve heard some good sermons on this and I’ve heard some bad sermons on this the bad sermons on this go something
20:21like this well your the oil is your good works it’s your good works and if you
20:26don’t have enough oil in your lamp well you’re not you’re not ready for the Lord’s return well the problem with that
20:33way of reading it is this it makes salvation based upon what works
20:40well scripture interprets scripture and we know that scripture says no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by
20:46observing the law or by their good works it can’t be that well scripture does say what people are saved by Say by grace
20:52through faith period so it’s real simple when you understand what scripture says about this the oil
21:00is Faith and it makes sense right okay now let’s say faith without works is
21:05dead but what is Works without faith Works without faith is unbelief
21:11that’s what it is so we kind of got this going on and something also kind of keep in mind we
21:17don’t know a lot about first century Jewish wedding customs and what’s kind
21:24of being referred to here keep in mind wedding feast in this day we’re kind of like multi-day Affairs and they began
21:30with a light kind of a a lamp light procession of the bridegroom that’s how
21:37you know it’s like wait until the evening when it’s dark and you know to begin the wedding Feast there would be a
21:42Lamplight procession with the bridegroom coming in and you know announcing his arrival and then you know there was
21:48other things that go along with us so that’s what this is referring to so notice that the wise virgins they were
21:53thoughtful they used foresight they took a supply of oil with them in vessels
21:59that were provided for that purpose the foolish or the imprudent they refused to
22:05heed the necessity and they only took their lamps again this is like taking a flashlight with no batteries in it who
22:11does that well without faith it’s impossible to please God
22:18so you want to appear before Jesus without faith how do you well that’s that’s
22:23foolishness right Luther says on this text I think this Luther gets it right
22:29here’s what he says when the kingdom is preached and this is kind of the important part when the kingdom of Christ is preached these are the results
22:36some receive the word with and with all of their heart and they’re serious about
22:42it they believe the word and they bear fruit and they make the most strenuous
22:47efforts to practice good works why because they’re saved and they let their lamps shine before the world for they
22:53are well provided with lamps and oil that is with faith and love and these are represented by the wise virgins then
23:00the then there are some that also accept the gospel but they’re sleepy and they’re not serious about it they they
23:06think they can succeed with their works and they’re secure and believe that their salvation can be paid for with
23:13their Works those are indicated also by the foolish versions so in scripture those are called foolish that do not
23:20obey the word of God but follow only their own mind and they refuse to be taught and accept no opinion other than
23:27their own opinion but it will happen to them at the last as it is as it is here
23:33that the foolish virgins these two kinds of people are in this Kingdom namely where the gospel and the word of God is
23:38preached and there should be exercise there should be the exercise of Faith some follow some do not follow so
23:45remember then in this gospel that the lamps without oil signify a mere external thing and a bodily exercise
23:52without faith in the heart but the lamps with oil are the internal riches and the
23:59external works with true faith so that’s you kind of understand what’s going on
24:04now so let’s continue through the parable so the bridegroom was long time in coming and they all became drowsy and
24:11fell asleep what’s being referred to here are deaths right
24:17it’s real simple eventually you all are going to become drowsy if Christ continues to tarry and
24:23you’re going to fall asleep and you’ll die there’s no harm in this it’s just this is what happens so from the
24:29experience of the virgins they fall asleep and the next thing they hear is
24:34awake the bridegroom is here right so from their experience as soon as they fell asleep it was the next moment that
24:41the end appeared so it is with your death so this is the sleep of death now at
24:46midnight the cry rang out here’s the bridegroom come out to meet him and our epistle text shows us what this
24:53is referring to here again our epistle text Brothers we do not want you to be
24:58ignorant about those who fall asleep or grieve like the rest of men who have no hope we believe that Jesus died and rose
25:05again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep yeah Christians we it’s not that
25:12we don’t that our bodies don’t die but the reason why scripture refers to it as
25:18sleep is because we’re in Christ Christ has already died and rose again so because we’re in him the Christians
25:25experience of death Luther likes to say it’s just like falling asleep nothing to fear you’re in Christ but to be absent
25:32from the bodies to be present with the Lord so you’ve fallen asleep so we don’t grieve like those who have no hope for
25:38the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a loud command or a loud Shout with the voice of the Archangel
25:44and the trumpet call of God and the dead in Christ will rise first after that we who are still alive and are left will be
25:50caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so yeah we’ll be like a professional
25:56right because that’s notice that the parallels here are very very much right
26:01in line with each other and so we will be with the Lord forever so therefore encourage each other with these words
26:07encourage each other so now we’re back to our Parable so arise the bridegroom
26:13is here wake up so this is the day of the Resurrection then all the virgins woke up trimmed their lamps
26:20the foolish one said to the wise give us some of your oil our lamps are going out well duh you don’t have any oil I mean
26:28how long do you think that Wick is going to last right yeah you can’t burn a lamp without oil and of course the Prudence
26:35say no there may not be enough for both of us instead go to those who sell oil
26:41and buy some for yourselves now keep this in mind work with me here
26:47where today can people go to buy oil the
26:53oil we’re talking about is faith here that’s right
26:59the church in fact Christ is here today selling oil for free giving it away as a gift here
27:06in this church and every church around the world where Christ is proclaimed where the gospel is rightly preached
27:13where the sacraments are administered according to the gospel Christ is there giving Oil Away
27:20as a gift so on the last day when Jesus returns on the day of the Resurrection where are
27:27these virgins going to go to purchase oil well the merchants on that day are on
27:33holiday you know what I’m saying and rightfully so so there’s a there’s a little bit of a
27:40problem here foolish virgins trying to buy oil in the middle of the night is
27:46like trying to hear the gospel in churches on the day that Jesus returns the merchants are closed the embassies
27:53are done with their duties everyone’s heading home so on that day that Jesus returns all of
28:00the oil Merchants will be on permanent holiday and that’s it so in other words
28:06don’t fall asleep without oil for your lamp
28:11don’t fall asleep in unbelief don’t live for just today
28:18Christ is returning he’s coming back this is most certainly true
28:25but while the foolish ones were on their way to buy oil how silly is that in the middle of the night the bridegroom
28:32arrived The Virgins who were ready went in with him to The Wedding Banquet the door was shut
28:37later the others came sir sir open the door for us
28:43and he replied I tell you the truth I don’t know you that’s what Jesus said in The Sermon on
28:49the Mount isn’t it some will come to him saying Lord Lord did we not prophesy in your name do we do Mighty works and
28:55depart from me I never knew you these are words that no one wants to
29:01hear and there then he says therefore keep watch
29:07because you don’t know the day or the hour when’s the end of the world when Jesus returns her when you die and
29:14fall asleep you’re living in the last days right now with wars and rumors of wars and
29:20deception running around rampant throughout the church is this not a description of your life
29:26as it is right now but I have great news and here’s the good news
29:32you are in Christ you are in Christ you have been washed
29:38in the waters of baptism Jesus Christ has washed away your sins in your
29:43baptism you were buried with Christ you were raised with Christ and Jesus has
29:48given you faith in him for the Forgiveness of your sins your lamps are
29:53not empty your lamps are full your lamps are full you are watching how
30:00do I know because you’re here this morning and Jesus is filling up your lamps again with the oil of his
30:06forgiveness and faith so that you and your good works can
30:11shine brightly in the Darkness so you are watching you are ready
30:18you are prepared you are not foolish you are wise because
30:25Christ has made you wise and when he returns or when you die you will not
30:30hear from him away from me I never knew you you’re not going to be foolish you’re here while the merchants are open
30:37instead you’re going to hear from him come into the wedding feast and you’re also going to hear for him
30:44well done good and faithful servant that’s what you’re going to hear from
30:49him because all of this is a gift so we do not need to fear the last day
30:55or falling asleep because as our epistle text says encourage each other with
31:02these words so I’m not here to scare you I’m here to encourage you you are in Christ your
31:08lamps are full your sins are forgiven you will Feast with Jesus and you will
31:13see his face forever you will taste the wine of Heaven
31:19you will Feast on the great Foods at Jesus’s table the King has invited you there and he’s
31:26clothed you in his righteousness and you are truly blessed this is a great gift that God has given
31:33you so go and light your lamps let them shine in the darkness and tell your
31:39neighbors and your friends and let everybody know how great this Jesus is and let them know that they need not be
31:45foolish become and receive from Jesus the oil
31:51for their lamps so they’re prepared just like the wise virgins in the name of
31:56Jesus Amen
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