Towards the Kingdom of Heaven

Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. (Matthew 24:2)
The kingdom of heaven, Jesus tells us, is like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. (Matthew 25:1-12) This parable challenges many believers who wonder if there will be but a few who are saved. The parable shows how all the waiting virgins got drowsy and began to sleep while waiting for the bridegroom.
But at midnight there was a shout: Behold the bridegroom! Come out to meet him. They woke up and trimmed their lamps. However, only five virgins were ready and went with burning lamps into the wedding feast. The five others had lamps that were going out because of lack of oil and they sought the way in darkness. The search for more oil took so long that these foolish virgins stood in front of a locked door as they returned.
Collecting oil is a race against the clock, a time of grace. It is given to us so that we may learn to walk in Christ's footsteps and live according to his teaching. Oil collecting for the lamps at the right time, is self-denial on the narrow path leading to life. Jesus Christ was anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellow-brothers because he hated lawlessness and loved righteousness. (Hebrews 1:9) To hate lawlessness, love and righteousness is the mark of the disciples of Jesus Christ. Like their master, they learn in the daily temptations and trials to say to the heavenly Father,
Yet not as I will, but as you will. (Matthew 26:39)
It is only by faithfully overcoming our daily trials that we gather the precious light-producing oil, so that we become more and more like Jesus, and receive gladness and wisdom. To the extent that everything human, terrestrial and stubborn dies - a picture of the crushed oil-bearing olives - we manifest Christ's life. And then this promise belongs to us:
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake, he is the one who will save it. (Luke 9:24)
Many believers hope to go to heaven because they go to church, believe in God, worship him, sing to him, beg him to help them, and say with their lips, Lord! Lord! But God's fear is not measured by words, but by the way of life, by the manner in which we heed God's exhortations. The daily life reveals clearly whether we take this invitation of Christ to heart:
If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me. (Luke 9:23)
Self-will dominates most people as long as they live. They even demand that their “last will” be respected after they are dead. This self-will becomes evident very early in the case of toddlers when they begin to scream: “I will! I will!” Self-will engenders tensions and conflicts. If children no longer learn to obey (which is rarely the case today), family and social life become nightmares.
Already in the days of Noah the wickedness of men was great on earth, and the thoughts of their heart were only evil continually. (Genesis 6:5-8) Noah's fellows were so wicked and attached to the things on earth, that they could not enter the ark and were lost. Only Noah found grace because he did all that the Lord had asked of him.
Then the lord said to Noah, “Enter the ark, you and your entire household, for you alone I have seen to be righteous before me in this time”. (Genesis 7:1)
We are also saved by grace, inasmuch as we like Noah, lead a pious life and keep God's commandments. Not what we say is decisive, but what we do. Our works show how much we love the Lord. That is why the words I know your deeds are repeated in the letters to the seven churches. (Revelation 2-3)
In all the churches there were some praiseworthy deeds which are also a blessing for men today. Deeds such as: work, patience, poverty, firmness, love, faith, faithfulness, purity, service, suffering persecution, keeping God's word, doing good, etc. However, in some churches there were also reprehensible deeds. Such as: blindness, nudity, misery, false teachings, idolatry, adultery, lamentations, lukewarmness, death, etc. Deeds that brought such shame and misery over the churches, that they would be rejected if they did not repent and convert. In other words, they remain, like these foolish virgins, so imperfect that they will not enter the kingdom of Heaven.
God willingly helps men to salvation, but he can not help those who persist in their sins and despise the path that leads to perfection.
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? (Romans 6:1)
May it never be! Let us love Jesus so that we can say like Joseph
How then could I do this great evil and sin? (Genesis 39:9)
Sin shall not have power over us; it only leads to misfortune. Jesus exhorts us to love one another, as he has loved us, so that we too can come to a happy life. If we follow his footsteps and suffer with him, we shall also be glorified with him.
The elect, on Mount Zion, sing a hymn that they have learned during their earthly life. It is the song of the conquerors; of those who are redeemed from the earth. Let us use the time of grace to learn in our circumstances to sing to God, with grateful hearts, psalms, songs and spiritual hymns. (Colossians 3:16)
Many beautiful songs have been written by saints and faithful in their trials and tribulations. Let us sing these songs when we meet and exhort ourselves to await the return of Jesus.
Then, when the trumpet sounds, and if we are still on earth at that time, we will be taken away and be with him forever.