The Forum

The Forum

This department is provided for the free and courteous discussion of biblical and spiritual problems which may be considered edifying to the people of God. Letters concerning such matters are requested.

Dear Brother in Christ:

The other night I attended a Gospel Service and the preacher spoke from the parable of the ten virgins. He said the foolish virgins were unsaved because they had no oil which speaks of the Holy Spirit. But in Matthew 25:8 it says their lamps had gone out. Doesn’t this infer that they had had oil and used it up? Can we have the Holy Spirit and then lose Him? Please explain this to me.

Your in Him,
M. J.

Dear M. J.

Broadly speaking, the parable is given to teach the following truths: The feast speaks of that felicity that awaits all who trust the Lord Jesus. The wise and foolish virgins contrast those who truly possess salvation to purity and those who merely profess but have no real possession of eternal life which is imparted to the believing soul as a gift from God. The oil is the grace of the Spirit producing that faith that worketh by love. The vessel is the heart of the Christian in which the oil resides. The lamp is the outward profession of that which is enjoyed within.

The preacher was quite right in using this parable to illustrate the difference between the saved and unsaved. The parable, however, does not teach, nor does it infer, that one can have the Spirit and then lose Him. It is true that the foolish virgins had oil. It was in their lamps, which speaks of profession, but not in their vessels, which is the heart and speaks of possession.

The unsaved are not entirely without the Holy Spirit. He deals with them in grace, convicting them of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment to come. Because of fickleness of character or lack of honesty towards God, this will sometimes lead to a profession in which there is no reality — the stoney ground hearer of another parable. Without oil in the vessel, or the Holy Spirit in the heart, this profession only lasts a little while. The coming of the Lord will test the reality of all profession.

Yours in Christ
R. McC.