So far God has shown us through The Incredibles that there is no way to have a secret identity – there’s no way to escape and hide from God. God prefers we be open and transparent with Him.
And in review, to be a Super for God we must admit, repent, and share. And the more we do, the more we become the Super who “saves the day.”
But God has also shown us that even though we continue to mess up this world – to mess up with our lives – He continues to step in and save the day. We just have to be willing to grab hold of the Lifeline He has thrown us – the Lifeline Jesus.
Well, let’s take a look at what God wants us to share with us today.
Three times, let me say that again, three times Mr. Incredible had to make a decision that involved time: “Do I have enough time to be a hero before going to my wedding?” And three times he looked at his watch and said, “Yes.” And with each “Yes,” he felt the crunch of time. Yet, despite pushing time to the limit, he STILL was able to get married.
This story reminds me of (I hate to say it) of the many times I have been out hunting or fishing when it began to get dark.
I knew I needed to start home before darkness completely set in, BUT the woods began to come alive again, or fish would just begin to go on a feeding frenzy. “Oh, I can stay a little longer” I would always tell myself. Finally I would relinquish my will and go home only to find my parents or my wife not happy with my decision to stay later. And they had a right to be. After all, I knew I was okay. But they didn’t. For all they knew, I was hurt and in need of help.
Well, saying “I still got time” may be okay and even work out when I’m late in getting to my wedding (I wouldn’t suggest thisJ) or late coming home after trying to catch a big fish, but it’s NOT OKAY in getting me to Heaven.
Now, let’s put today’s scripture about another wedding (Matthew 25: 1-13) in modern English. But before I do, I need to share with you a little history of weddings during Jesus’ day.
First the groom and the bride were betrothed for about a year. This meant they were legally married and a divorce was necessary to annul the marriage. During this time the groom would be with his parents and the bride would be with hers getting ready for the wedding. Also during this time, the father of the groom was making preparations to build an addition onto his house so that the new couple could live in his household. The groom was not allowed to go fetch his bride until the father had finished the addition and had given him permission. At this time, there was no haste on the part of the groom – he had been waiting for a year or more. And the bride, along with her bridesmaids, had to be prepared for the unknown time the groom would come. Once he arrived there would be a celebration to commemorate the union of the husband and wife.
With that background, we have a better understanding of why Jesus told this story.
Here’s what this story would sound like today:
There were 10 bridesmaids: five foolish and five wise. The betrothal period was coming to a close so they knew the groom would be coming soon. The word had spread around town that the groom was coming to get his bride, so they began to get themselves ready for the celebration. It was nighttime so they took their flashlights with them to meet the groom. The problem was that the groom did not come right away, so they began to grow tired and their eyes became heavy. They were so tired that they fell asleep with their flashlights still on. At midnight the cry rang out that the groom was on his way. The bridesmaids woke up startled from their sleep and found that their flashlights were going dim. The foolish ones said to the wise, “Let us have some of your batteries since ours are beginning to die.” “No” they replied, “We don’t have enough batteries for both us and you. Instead, go to Walmart and buy some for yourselves.”
But while on their way to Walmart to get the batteries, the groom arrived. The bridesmaids, who were prepared by having extra batteries, met up with the groom and went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut to the Hall.
Later, after the foolish one’s returned from their shopping trip, they knocked on the door to the Hall. They could not get in because the door was locked. The groom answered the door. They said, “We were out buying batteries for our flashlights when you came. Can we come in now?” The groom said, “I’ve never met you ladies before so how do I know you’re not here to crash the party? Since I don’t know you, you must leave.”
That seems ridiculous to us today, since we’re all about sensitivity and second chances. Why would this groom shut the door in their faces without trying to understand their reason for being late? After all, that’s the only fair thing to do.
But as the door is being closed on them, if it were even opened, I can hear them banging against it and yelling out, “Hey, we were with the other 5 bridesmaids when you were coming. Just ask them! If you don’t believe them, then ask the bride to come here. She’ll verify who we are.”
The Big Idea Jesus wants us to take from this passage is: Be Ready – spiritually ready!
The foolish bridesmaids thought they had plenty of time – they thought they were prepared. So they assumed it would be no big deal if they went to get batteries and were a little late. You can hear them saying, “Oh, we still got time! They know us and they’ll certainly let us in when we get there.”
Yet, that is not the reception they received at all. This groom of grace was no longer a groom of 2nd chances. He said, “You knew I was coming – that was no surprise. You should have prepared yourself in advance so that you were ready when I did arrive.”
So why should we be ready? And ready for what? We should be ready for the groom, who is Christ, to return to this earth, maybe even today.
How do we get ready? By exposing our secret identities.
What Christ just taught us is that if you think you still have time, even though you’ve been invited by the Bride, Christ’s Church, to come to the wedding, you will be left outside. You will be left outside simply because you never took the time to be ready. You never took the time to be spiritually ready by exposing your secret identity – by admitting you have sinned against God, by repenting of these sins, and then by sharing God’s grace in your life with others.
Right now, Jesus is with His Father as His Father prepares many rooms (many mansions) for His Bride. And Jesus is waiting on the day when His Father says to Him, “Go get your Bride!” Yet even Jesus does not know the day or the hour that God will tell him this.
And it seems like a long time since Jesus left to go be with His Father.
There are many, maybe even some of you today, who wonder if He will ever return. It’s been that long. But He’s betrothed to His Bride and He’s not going to divorce her.
HE’S COMING BACK, but He can’t come of His own will – it must be the will of the Father.
So while He is away, He wants everyone to hear that they need to be ready (spiritually ready) for His return. And He also wants them to hear that any who are not prepared and ready to go to the celebration when He gets here will not be permitted to come into Heaven.
The biggest lie I have heard over the years from many is that they still have time to get right with the Lord. Those who have said this have meant they don’t want to be bothered now with this God-stuff – they’ll just wait until they’re older in life. Right now they rather like their life of sin and do not wish to fully submit their lives to Him.
The problem with this lie is that none of us are invincible – even Super’s die in this movie. And knowing this should help us to see that none of us are guaranteed today, let alone tomorrow. Just ask a grieving parent who has lost his/her child.
But even if we do get 70, 80, 90 or more years on this earth, none of us know when the groom is going to return. One thing we do know is that the time of betrothal is coming to an end because the signs tell us so. Another thing is that percentages say that the older a person, the less likely he/she will be in accepting Christ as Savior (set in their ways).
Mr. Incredible didn’t make it to his wedding on time. Yet Elastigirl forgave him and married him.
But Jesus on the other hand says “You better be ready when I return – you better not be at Walmart buying batteries for your flashlight. You better confess and repent of your sins to God. You better ask Me to come live in your heart. You better become a disciple and walk the straight and narrow road that leads to life. Otherwise, you won’t be prepared, when I do come.”
He will also say this as you knock at the door, “The reasons you had for not accepting me while I was away are of no benefit to you now. It’s too late. Depart from me, for I never knew you.”
Please be ready. These aren’t my words, but Christ’s. Start living in Him so that He is in you. For if He is in you, you will have no need to fear His return – YOU WILL BE READY!