Rev. Whitefield begins the sermon with a detailed perceptive that there will be a day when the world is judged: Hebrews 9:27 and that perhaps this day of judgment is what finally draws men who have lived all their life pursuing the lust of the flesh and pride of life to a place to consider their eternity.
Yet there are some who seek to live in the middle between being overtly sinful or righteous. Rev. Whitfield calls them Almost Christians and uses the verse Matthew 25:13 to emphasize his point. He breaks down the virgins into 5 wise true believers and 5 formal hypocrites.
What did the Virgins with no oil in their lamb not have: “no principle of grace, no living faith in their hearts, without which, though we should give all our goods to feed the poor and our bodies to be burnt, it would profit us nothing….They were denied the power of godliness in their hearts.” [pg 425]
Rev. Whitfield then explains a wise virgin: “But the the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. They kept up the form but did not rest in it. Their words in prayer were the language of their hearts and they were no strangers to inward feelings. They were not afraid of searching doctrines, nor affronted when ministers told them they deserved to be damned. They were not self-righteous but were willing that Jesus Christ should have all the glory of their salvation. They were convinced that the merit of Jesus Christ were to be apprehended only by faith. But yet were they as careful to maintain good works, as though they were to be justified by them. In short, their obedience flowed from love and gratitude and was cheerful, constant, uniform, universal, like that obedience which the holy angels pay our Father in heaven.” [pg 426].
Then Rev. Whitfield discusses the bridegroom’s return and the responses of the virgins: “For also! ‘our lamps are gone out’ we had only the form of godliness. We were whited sepulchres. We were heart hypocrites. We contented ourselves with desiring to be good. And though confident of our salvation whilst we lived, yet our hope is entirely gone, now God has taken away our souls. Give us there O! give us, though we once despised you, give us of your oil, for our lamps of an outward profession and transient convictions , are quite gone out.” [pg 429]
The wise virgins say to the foolish virgins when they ask for some of their oil: ‘Not so, lest there be not enough for us and you. But go ye rather to them that sell and buy for yourselves.’ [pg 429]
Rev. Whitefield, after a lengthy list of illustrations says on page 435, “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of Man may come”.
Once Rev. Whitfield quotes this text then he moves into his long, well illustrated monologue on watching and preparing for the arrival of the Lord.
Visit this site to learn more about the book: The Sermons of George Whitefield.