The High Cost of Ignorance

Have you considered the high cost of ignorance?  Contrary to the opinion of some, ignorance is not bliss.

Ignorance was a fundamental cause of the Jews crucifying Jesus:  “Which none of the rulers of this world hath known:  for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Corinthians 2:8).  And that ignorance was in spite of them hearing voices of the Old Testament: “For they that dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor the voices of the prophets which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled them in condemning Him” (Acts 13:27).  They “heard” but were still ignorant.  Overcoming ignorance then requires “ears to hear” (Matthew 11:15) – an open heart to receive what is heard.

Saul’s ignorance led him to be a blasphemer before his conversion:  “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief” (1 Timothy 1:12-13).

Ignorance was a fundamental fault with the Sadducees not believing in the resurrection of the dead.  When they tried to stump Jesus with a resurrection question, “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God’” (Matthew 22:28-29).  Jesus told them that the Scriptures necessarily implied the truth of the resurrection (v.31-32; c.f. Exodus 3:6), so their problem was “not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.”

Gentiles’ ignorance was behind their life of un-holiness and thus alienation from God: “…having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart” (Ephesians 4:18).

Because of ignorance many scoff and walk after their own lusts:  “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.’  For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water….” (2 Peter 3:3-5).  The consequence of ignorance is severe – being found unprepared on the day of the Lord.

And many follow false teachers out of ignorance.   In the case of the Pharisees, religious leaders of Jesus’ day, Jesus says, “Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch” (Matthew 15:14).

Paul says there is no excuse for ignorance:  “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31).

Ignorance is an enemy of all men – no person excepted. 

What’s the answer to ignorance?  The answer to ignorance, the weapon to slay it, is the sword of the Spirit, the word of God (Ephesians 6:17).  “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).  The word of God is the sword by which arguments that are against the knowledge of God are cast down.  Ignorance of the word of God is dispelled by the teaching of the word of God.

So what is it that Satan does not want us and others to hear and to give effort to understand?  The gospel.  While the gospel will fall on some deaf ears, the honest and good heart will hear it and respond. 

So for the sake of all men, both the lost and the saved, “Preach the word” (2 Timothy 4:2)!

                -Larry Jones