Q. Thank you for your article, “The Nature of Post-Church Salvation”. Over the last several years I have also become convinced that the parable of the ten virgins (indeed all the parables in that section of scripture) pertain to the tribulation period, not the church age. The emphasis on works in the parables doesn’t fit well with the church; and I’ve always been offended at the intimation that Christ would do anything that would even suggest approval of polygamy.
Christ, of course is returning with one Bride, the Church, to a wedding party at which the “friends of the bridegroom” and the “virgins,” (akin to bridesmaids and friends of the bride) are invited guests. But this brings up a question I’ve been struggling with. Perhaps you have insight on it. If the guests are invited to the “wedding” then does this mean the wedding feast takes place on earth after Christ’s return with His bride or does Rev 19:9 indicate that it is to take place in Heaven?
A. In the parable of the 10 Virgins, the wedding banquet symbolizes the Millennial Kingdom and takes place on Earth. No mention is made of the actual wedding because the people to whom Jesus directed the parable (Tribulation Survivors) will not be present, but since the banquet follows the actual ceremony, it must have been earlier, and since the Lord is just returning, it must have happened in heaven.
In Rev. 19:6-9 the tenses of the verbs give us clues as to timing. The wedding “has come”, the bride “has made herself ready” and fine linen “was given her”. These are all past tense and hint that the wedding may have already taken place. But then verse 9 pronounces a blessing on those who “are invited” to the wedding supper. This verse is in the present tense and refers to Tribulation survivors who will soon be welcomed into the Millennial Kingdom. A bride does not receive an invitation to her own wedding banquet, and certainly would not consider it a blessing to be invited.
The two passages are in agreement. They imply that the wedding takes place in heaven, and the banquet (Kingdom) takes place afterward on Earth.