What does this story of the ten virgins teach

This is called the parable of the ten virgins. It is only recorded here and is a continuation of Jesus' discourse in Mt 24 about the events that will take place on earth during the time of the Great Tribulation just prior to His second coming. We need to read at least part of that discourse to better understand what Christ is teaching here because this parable has been used down through the ages to teach many different things in the contemporary church (CP Mt 24:27-51). There are three parables included in those scriptures, all pertaining to the uncertainty of the time of Christ's return: the parable of the fig tree in V32-33, the parable of the goodman of the house in V43-44, and the parable of the faithful and wise servant in V45-51. The core teaching in all of them is faithfulness, preparedness and watchfulness in view of the second coming of Christ, and the same teaching applies to the parable of the ten virgins (CP also Mk 13:28-37; Lu 12:35-48). It needs to be restated here that the church is not in view in any of these teachings - it is raptured, or caught up to heaven before the emergence of Antichrist and the onset of the Great Tribulation (CP Ro 5:8-9; Eph 5:1-7; 1Th 4:13-18; 2Th 2:79; Rev 3:10). But by way of application the teachings in both Mt 24 and Mt 25 are relevant to all believers in any age until Jesus comes back, whether in the air to rapture the church, or on land to defeat Antichrist. The bridegroom's response to the foolish virgins' knocking on the door echoes what Jesus also teaches in Mt 7:21-27 (CP Mt 7:21 -27). Not everyone who calls Jesus Lord will enter into the eternal kingdom of heaven - only those who have prepared themselves for His return. The kingdom will not be open to those who profess to belong to Christ but have no divine resources within.

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