Complete Gospel Tract Titles

Gospel Tract List
1. How I Received the Holy Ghost
2. Jesus Is Coming Again
3. You Must Be Born Again
4. Stir Up the Gift of God
5. The World's Most Dreaded Hour
6. What is Salvation?
7. Stand Still in Jordan
8. The Returned Father
9. Grieved Hearts
10. The Second Death
11. The Father and the Son
12. Suffering and the Saints
13. Cancer Conquered
14. The Church?
15. How Shall They Preach, Except They Be Sent?
16. Have You Received the Holy Ghost Since You Believed?
17. Patience
18. Alone With God
19. Tithes and Offerings
20. Prayer
21. The True Sabbath
22. The Besetting Sin
23. Saving Strength
24. What Will the Harvest Be?
25. Marriage and Divorce
26. Taking the Name of the Lord
27. Keys to the Kingdom
28. Works
29. Politics and Believers
30. Unequally Yoked in Marriage
31. Unequally Yoked in Worship
32. The Forgiven Woman
33. The New Earth
34. The Sin of Silence
35. Freedom
36. Gods of the Gentiles
37. Why Some Are Not Healed
38. The Seven Pillars
39. Life, More Abundantly
40. Fear
41. The Comforter’s Testimony
42. This is My Friend
43. Conversion
44. The Time Is Drawing Near?
45. Songs in the Night
46. The Master's Net
47. Trials are Opportunities
48. Receiving the Messenger
49. Seven Messages to the Seven Pastors
50. Keep Yourself Pure
51. Jezreel
52. The New Birth
53. Denying Jesus
54. Bruised Reeds
56. The Wise and the Foolish
57. Holiness
58. Is Jesus God?
59. Christ or Christianity
60. Have Faith In God
63. Four Kinds of Soil
64. Communion
66. Baptism
69. Crucified With Christ
70. Homosexuality and the Bible
71. The Kingdom of God
72. The Gospel of Christ
77. Sanctification
78. New Commandments
79. The Sacrifice of Christ
81. Speaking in Tongues
87. Antichrist
88. The Way of Grace
90. Relationships
93. Subdued
94. The Spirit of Christ
95. The Blood of Christ
96. Spirit of a Serpent, Spirit of a Dove
97. Gluttony
En español
El Nuevo Nacimiento
¿Cristo o Cristianismo?
¿Que Es Salvación?
El Sacrificio de Cristo

Gospel Tract #56

The Wise and the Foolish

by John D. Clark, Sr.

"At that time, the kingdom of heaven will be likened to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were wise, and the other five foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps but did not take oil with them. But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. But in the middle of the night, a loud cry was made, 'Look! The bridegroom is coming! Go out to meet him!' At that, all those virgins woke up, and trimmed their lamps. Then, the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil because our lamps are going out.' But the wise answered, 'No, there might not be enough for us and you. Go instead to those who sell and buy some for yourselves.' And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came. And those who were ready went in with them to the wedding feast and the door was shut.

Afterward, the remaining virgins also came, saying, 'Lord! Lord! Open up for us.' And he answered and said, 'I tell you truly, I do not know you. Watch therefore, because you do not know the day or the hour.'"

The only difference between the Wise and the Foolish was that the five Wise Virgins took with them an extra vessel filled with oil. If you had been looking on at this scene, you would not have seen two groups; you would only have seen one group of ten virgins, and you might not even have noticed that some carried an extra vessel while others did not.

Consider how similar the Wise and Foolish were. They all knew (1) the bridegroom was coming, (2) when he would arrive, (3) where to meet him (4) lamps would be needed, and finally, as a fifth similarity, they all grew tired and fell asleep.

The fact that the Wise Virgins took an extra vessel filled with oil along with their lamps shows that they were thinking something that the Foolish were not thinking – and their thinking had to do with the bridegroom.

The truth which the Wise recognized about the bridegroom was his absolute freedom to do whatever he pleased to do, in every situation. The Wise acknowledged the bridegroom's liberty to do whatever he pleased to do, even to do other than what he had said he would do, if that pleased him. They spent money on extra oil which the Foolish did not spend, and they made the extra effort, which the Foolish did not make, to carry the additional load of oil to the place where the bridegroom told them to meet him because they knew him. The extra vessels were an expression of submission to him; by taking those vessels on their journey to meet the bridegroom, they were saying to him, "We are your slaves, and you are our master. We do only what pleases you; and you do only what pleases you, too."

The Foolish Virgins acknowledged the bridegroom's authority to give them commandments. They submitted completely to his command to meet him at that certain time and place. They did exactly what he told them to do – but they did nothing else because they did not see him as sovereign and free to do only what pleased him but as obligated to do as he said he would do. If he said it, they thought, then he had to do it. Both the Foolish and the Wise were obedient. They all came to the place where the bridegroom had commanded them to meet him, at the time he commanded them to be there. But the Foolish did not acknowledge the bridegroom's liberty to alter his plans; had they acknowledged that, they would have brought some extra oil.

The Foolish Virgins would have described the bridegroom as faithful to them. The Wise would have described him as being faithful to himself. The Foolish pinned all their hope on what he had said. The Wise pinned all their hope on him. The Foolish trusted his words completely. They would have claimed, as a popular phrase goes, that they were "standing on the word". But the Wise trusted him completely. They were standing on knowledge of the Word himself. The Foolish knew what he had said, but the Wise knew him who said it. The Foolish knew his words, trusted his words, and staked their lives on his words, but the Wise knew him, trusted him, and staked their lives on him. The Foolish trusted the bridegroom to do whatever he said he would do. The Wise trusted him to do whatever he wanted to do.

The Foolish knew and trusted the what, and the Wise knew and trusted the who. In reality, then, the Wise Virgins were going out to meet a different master from the one the Foolish were going out to meet. The Foolish were going out to meet a master of their own imagination. The Wise were going out to meet the master who really was.

With one exception, everything that the Foolish did, the Wise did also. But Jesus called them Foolish because of what they did not do. They did not bring extra oil. And they did not bring extra oil because they did not know the bridegroom. In John 17:3, Jesus prayed, "This is eternal life, to know you, the only true God, and the one you sent, Jesus Christ." May God grant us all the grace to truly know Him and His Son, and to live with them forever in peace.