“The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out’" (Matt. 25:8, NASB).

We are in the last hour of the last days. I don’t think there’s a Christian (and a number of people who aren’t Christians) who doesn’t believe that.

Jesus told us that in order to get in the door at the wedding feast, you will need to be arrayed in white and have two things in your hands:

1. A lantern with a trimmed wick

2. Extra oil

Notice that in the parable of the 10 virgins, the five foolish virgins did have some oil. They had a little oil. They maintained a little relationship with God’s Holy Spirit.

Let’s look at the story as it’s written in the Bible in Matthew 25:1-13:

“Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour."

Let me say this plainly. It is crucial to hear the voice of God now before Jesus comes, or we won’t hear Him when He comes. Again, it is critical that we hear the voice of God now before Jesus comes, or we won’t hear Him when He comes. Where do I get that? My friend, even the dead will be required to hear the voice of God:

“Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live" (John 5:25).

We are told that the dead in Christ will rise first, and then we who are alive on the earth at the time of Christ’s return will be caught up next to meet the Lord in the air. If the dead are required to hear God, then what makes us think that God will just snatch us up out of here whether we’re walking with Him or not?

I am deeply concerned for Christians in this hour. Those foolish virgins had a lamp. They kept a Bible tucked under their arm. But they were low on oil. They maintained a Christian “status quo,” but that status quo Christianity just didn’t work when the bridegroom came. They were locked out—forever.

If you’ve read this far, then you’re hungry for God. You want the oil. You feel God’s Holy Spirit calling you right now to come to Him and buy His oil, to learn to hear His voice, to prepare now for the coming of Jesus. I hope that you are provoked to love and good works in these last days and that you yearn for the fire of God to touch all the consumable cares of this world that are trying to edge their way into your life this year.

Most of all, I hope that you are jealous for God and intentionally scheduling time to be still before Him on your 2014 calendar. Please, hear His voice now so you will hear His voice when the coming days grow dark and the world around us is shaking.

C. Hope Flinchbaugh is a novelist, editor and home-schooling mom from Pennsylvania. Her highest joys, achievements and assignments are found in the sweet hours of prayer at dawn. For more information, visit her blog at liftjesuscross.wordpress.com.

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