The Warning of the Shut Door
Matthew 25:10
And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

We need not push the meaning of our Lord's figure to extremes. The shut door properly belongs to the picture he is painting. It is just what actually did happen in such cases. Those not actually in the procession were excluded when the house was reached. "Those virgins had failed in that which could alone give them a claim to admission. Professing to be bridesmaids, they had not been in the bridal procession, and so, in truth and righteousness, he could only answer from within, "Verily I say unto you, I know you not." This, not only in punishment, but in the right order of things. We have a way of shirting everything away to the mysterious "day of judgment." But our Lord is not thinking of that; he was thinking of the opportunities that come to men in the course of Christian living. The warning is a general one. All things are in limitation. Nothing but comes to an ending. That ending is always uncertain. So we must be ready foreverything, and take full advantage of it while we have it. Van Lennep explains the shutting of the door in a way that suggests our present point: "While they went to purchase oil, the procession moved to the house of the bridegroom. The door was then shut, in order to avoid the danger arising from violent men, who might make an irruption, rob, and carry off costly garments, jewellery, and even the bride herself!"

I. THERE IS THE "SHUT DOOR" OF RELIGIOUS PRIVILEGE. Illustrate by special times of "mission" or "revival." It we do not respond while the mission is in progress, presently the door is shut, the mission is closed, and we are left out in the cold. Or take a valued and honoured ministry. If we fail to yield to gracious persuasions, presently the lips are sealed in death - the "door is shut."

II. THERE IS THE "SHUT DOOR" OF RELIGIOUS DISCIPLINE. This sets the truth in relation to Christian professors. Dispensations of providence bring Divine correctings and chastisings. If we do not respond, the affliction passes, the door of disciplinary opportunity is shut; and we are left outside, unsanctified.

III. THERE IS THE "SHUT DOOR" OF RELIGIOUS DUTIES. Christ carries on his work of grace in us, partly, by the duties he calls us to perform. They are duties belonging to his service, but they are also agencies used in carrying on his work. If we shrink from doing them, our opportunity is taken away, given to others, and, for us, the "door is shut." - R.T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

WEB: While they went away to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut.

The Shut Door
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