By: Gary L. Hutchens
Many people don’t know facts that are vital to their personal well being. Since those facts are vital, not knowing them is a serious matter. Many people have potentially life threatening health problems that they don’t know about. They never noticed any symptoms, or they ignore symptoms that present themselves from time to time, discounting them as being no big deal. Countless individuals have died from illnesses and disorders they did not know they had, though they had them for a long time.
As stated, many people don’t know vital truths, but they don’t know that they don’t know. Many simply don’t want to know. Someone may experience an alarming health symptom, but they won’t go see a doctor because they’re afraid of what they might find out. To them, ignorance is bliss. If they don’t know anything is wrong, then everything is all right, nothing bad will happen. But not knowing the truth does not cancel it out.
In no aspect of life is this realization more serious than in our spiritual life. Many folks seldom, if ever, attend a worship service, read the Bible or allow anybody to talk to them about their soul’s salvation. They don’t want to know how their personal life might be in disharmony with God’s will. They don’t want to hear about the possibility of eternal condemnation in Hell. They don’t want to know the truth, because knowing could make them uncomfortable. They want to be able to bask in the supposed bliss of ignorance. They take security in their ignorance, and they don’t want to lose that sense of security, however empty it might be.
Having knowledge of truth carries a responsibility to respond to that truth. The thinking of many is that if they don’t know the truth, then they’re not responsible to it. Not knowing truth, in their mind, means that it simply does not exist. Therefore, they don’t have to deal with it. But that’s an irrational line of reasoning. Not knowing your house is on fire will not keep it from burning down.
The apostle Paul addressed the matter of ignorance of God’s will: “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent,” (Acts 17:30). However we’re to understand the first half of that verse of scripture, the second half clearly tells us that ignorance is no excuse today. That relates directly to what the final day of judgment will be like. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” (2 Cor. 5:10). The phrases “we must all” and “each one” are all-inclusive, they encompass everybody.
Ignorance is not bliss! Ignoring reality will not keep it from crashing down upon you. What you don’t know can not only hurt you, it can kill you. God has given us His word to guide us to salvation, a godly life here in this world, and eternal life with Him in Heaven (2 Tim. 3:15-17). He holds us responsible for studying His word that teaches us the truth of who we are- unique beings created in the image of our loving Father: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15 KJV).
Gary L. Hutchens