Ignorance Is No Excuse
And it does not bring bliss either.
Reason for this post:
Many of us are praying for unsaved loved ones. Will they be saved, or stay saved, if there is a breakthrough?
We can plead on their behalf that they are really good people, but they are just ignorant.
They are not wicked. They are just stupid!
We want them to come to the knowledge of the truth.
We are concerned, so we ask for mercy and safety from any harsh judgments, as we hope for their salvation.
I was praying this way, and God answered me:
“Ignorance is no excuse.”
So He did not accept how I was praying.
Ignorance of Man’s Law
In civil and criminal law, this is a maxim:
Ignorance of law means want of knowledge of those laws which a person has a duty to know and which everyman is presumed to know.
Ignorance can be voluntary or involuntary.
It is voluntary when a person might by taking reasonable pains could have acquired the necessary knowledge.
For example every man can acquire knowledge of the laws which have been promulgated. Therefore neglect to become acquainted with them is voluntary ignorance.
On the other hand it is involuntary when the ignorance is not of choice and it cannot be overcome by the use of any means of knowledge known to him and within his power. For example ignorance of a law which has not yet been promulgated (published).
The rationale of this maxim is that if ignorance of law was an excuse then any person charged with a criminal offense or subject of a civil suit can claim that he or she was unaware of the law in question and avoid liability.
The law imputes knowledge of all laws to all persons within its jurisdiction.
The doctrine assumes that the law in question has been properly published and distributed, for example, by being printed in a government gazette, made available over the internet, or printed in volumes available for sale to the public at affordable prices.
Ignorance of God’s law
Much of the same rationale is used with God’s law. It has been in existence for 4000 years, and has been widely published, and announced.
So whether people accept it or not, they know about it.
God’s expectations go further than just “law.”
There are commandments to help the poor, and needy, to forgive, to preach the gospel, to visit the sick, to pray, to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and seek God, etc. We are to love God and love one another, and to “bear fruit.”
The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins – Matthew 25:
25 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
***Note: foolish here is “moros” : without education or learning (ignorant) impious, godless
3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them,
4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
5 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
6 “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming;[a] go out to meet him!’
7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps.
8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’
9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’
10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.
11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’
The penalty for being foolish is to miss heaven.
At first I thought the virgins were just stupid or ignorant in a mild way, but examination of scriptures gives deeper insight.
After all, they were virgins, so it seemed they were pure enough to be invited to the wedding feast, and they were invited.
They were waiting for the bridegroom, as if all was well, but they ran out of oil. This means they had oil to begin with.
So, why is this so wrong?
What is “foolish” according to scripture?
Proverbs 18:2 – A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.
Proverbs 10:23 – [It is] as sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding hath wisdom.
Psalms 14:1 – (To the chief Musician, [A Psalm] of David.) The fool hath said in his heart, [There is] no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, [there is] none that doeth good.
Matthew 7:26 – And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
Proverbs 10:18 – He that hides hatred [with] lying lips, and he that utters a slander, [is] a fool.
Ecclesiastes 10:11-15 – Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment; and a babbler is no better.
Proverbs 15:2 – The tongue of the wise uses knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools pours out foolishness.
Proverbs 21:20 – [There is] treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spends it up.
Proverbs 20:3 – [It is] an honor for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling.
Proverbs 19:13 – A foolish son [is] the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife [are] a continual dropping.
Proverbs 18:7 – A fool’s mouth [is] his destruction, and his lips [are] the snare of his soul.
Proverbs 18:6 – A fool’s lips enter into contention, and his mouth calls for strokes.
Proverbs 17:25 – A foolish son [is] a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him.
Proverbs 15:20 – A wise son makes a glad father: but a foolish man despises his mother.
Proverbs 14:16 – A wise [man] fears, and departs from evil: but the fool rages, and is confident.
Proverbs 10:10 – He that winks with the eye causes sorrow: but a prating fool shall fall.
Proverbs 10:8 – The wise in heart will receive commandments: but a prating fool shall fall.
Proverbs 10:1 – The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son makes a glad father: but a foolish son [is] the heaviness of his mother.
Proverbs 3:35 – The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.
Proverbs 1:22 – How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?
Summary of descriptions:
From the descriptions above, the foolish are “willfully ignorant.”
They enjoy ignorance and reject the law,
They scorn, hate knowledge, and understand nothing,
They despise their parents, and cause them grief,
They spend their oil and waste it.
They know nothing, even about their own heart or selves.
They meddle, they talk too much, saying things they should not.
They rage and create strife.
They do not depart from evil.
They even blaspheme God.
They are into mischief and slander.
They say there is no God.
So, if they are this bad, why are they called virgins, possessing oil, and why were they invited to the feast?
It seems these foolish ones are those who remind me of the sower and the seed parable.
They once received the Word of God, but then lost it, or allowed the things of this world to creep in, and destroy what they received.
So they were virgins to begin with.
Their oil did not last long, as they were “bad soil,” and not really deeply interested in salvation.
They ended up more wicked than they were to begin with, or at least, just as bad.
So, it is not how you start out, but how you end up, in your life.
Keeping what God gives us is important.
Wisdom is crucial, so we should ask for it.
The presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives has to be nurtured and respected.
If we ignore the Holy Spirit, He leaves.
Without Him we are in the flesh, and no flesh can stand before God.
We are no longer focused on the things of God, and we fall back into sin quickly.
We cannot claim “we did not know” before God, once knowledge has been offered us, or we have had knowledge and tossed it away.
If our oil lamps go out, it is our fault.
Scripture say it is worse for those who knew the truth, then rejected it, than for those who never knew the truth.
Hebrews 6: 4–6
4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit,
who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6 and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance.
To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.
For our loved ones…….
Just like for us, ignorance is no excuse, especially when knowledge of the truth is available to them and they voluntarily reject it.
If we are praying for God to overlook their stupidity and ignorance, He will not do it.
We must pray that God opens their eyes and hearts, and creates a repentant heart inside of them.
They must go through the same process we did.
There are no fools in heaven.
We must come against all evil forces in prayer that blind our loved ones, and constantly present the truth to them, and pray that God does whatever He knows is necessary to reach them in time.
This may be a crisis in their lives, or some other life changing event.
Ignorance is not bliss, but salvation is. And this is our goal: to see them accept salvation, and rejoice with them when it happens.