IGNORANCE IS BLISS

 


John 7:25-36

 

Ignorance is truly sad! A freshman at Eagle Rock Junior High won first prize at the greater Idaho Falls Science Fair. He was attempting to show how conditioned we have become to alarmist practicing junk science and spreading fear of everything in our environment. In his project he urged people to sign a petition demanding strict control or total elimination of the chemical “dihydrogen monoxide.”

 

It can cause excessive sweating and vomiting.

It is a major component in acid rain.

It can cause severe burns in its gaseous state.

Accidental inhalation can kill you.

It decreases effectiveness of automobile brakes.

It has been found in tumors of terminal cancer patients.

 

He went and asked 50 people if they supported a ban of the chemical. Forty-three said yes, six were undecided, and only one knew that the chemical was H20 (water). The title of his prize-winning project was, “How Gullible Are We?” He feels the conclusion is obvious.

 

“Ignorance is bliss!”

 

Do you realize what that statement is saying? 'Ignorance is bliss.' This saying is based on the idea that what you don't know cannot hurt you. This may be true in some situations. It means that if you don't know something, then it can't affect your view of the world and of others. Not knowing is better than knowing and worrying according to many people then and today. Carnal joy is temporary because it is based in self-centeredness. By the lifestyles of the average, unconverted person, we can easily see that they live their lives according to the saying, "Ignorance is bliss!" As one theologian said, “The truth that makes men free is for the most part the truth which men prefer not to hear.” Denying God’s existence is not going to change the fact that He is God; ignorance is not bliss, it is ignorance. It’s lack knowledge because of willful ignorance to their own spiritual state before a holy God.

 

But, God makes Himself known to us through His Word. He says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

 

Its this truth that we must make a conscious decision daily to invest in our spiritual health through learning about God through time in the Bible. God’s Word is what lights our path, we are armed with truth, so we can make informed decisions that will help us grow, not lead us into deception. Ignorance is not bliss as I came across by Ray Comfort, he said “Let me tell you a true but tragic story: A woman was once walking along a riverbank with her child. Suddenly the child slipped into the river. The mother screamed in terror. She couldn’t swim, and besides, she was in the latter stages of pregnancy. Finally, somebody heard her screaming and rushed down to the riverbank. The utter tragedy was, when they stepped into those murky waters to retrieve that now dead child, they found that the water was only waist deep! That mother could have easily saved her child but didn’t because of a lack of knowledge.” Today we live in a society that will go to great lengths to deny, or ignore, many things and truths, especially the Lordship and the deity of the Jesus. As one writer said “men’s memories are often sadly dependent on their will.” And what is the natural will of man? To sin

 

The Apostle Peter penned these words For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water,” 2 Peter 3:5

 

What is Peter saying? For this they are willingly ignorant of, or they do not care to know, or to consider the truth found in the almighty Word of God. We call this “spiritual disease or bankruptcy” which is to common in our culture today. We live in a culture that shuts their eyes against the plainest facts that are before them. We live in a culture that will deny even the simplest of doctrines found in the bible. We live in a culture that pretends to say that they do not understand and cannot therefore believe the things that we press on their attention when it comes to salvation and sin. This attitude can be summed up with this one statement by J C Ryle of the 1800’s they do not believe what they did not like to believe.” We live in a society of “know it all’s” a society filled with people who have no time or room in their lives to …….

 

Read

Listen carefully

Search for the facts

Engage in civil discourse with others who disagree

Inquire honestly about truth

 

Let’s go back some 2000 years ago and see the same kind of ignorance or disbelief as the crowd and the religious elite are face to face with TRUTH.

 

IGNORANCE IS NO EXCUSE FOR LAZINESS (v25-v27)

 

See “ignorance is bliss” to these people because they said we don’t know where the Messiah will come from. What the Jews of Jerusalem said in these verses reveals something very seriously wrong with them. They had placed their confidence in the wrong source for some vital information concerning the promised Messiah of Israel. The Messiah was the One that God would send to bring complete deliverance and prosperity to Israel and to turn them into a mighty nation. His coming had already been foretold in the OT. The Jews had been waiting expectantly for the Messiah for a long time, and all their greatest hopes and expectations were focused on His coming. In the English language the word 'Messiah' is translated as 'Christ'. And so the word 'Christ' in (v26 and v27) does not refer specifically to Jesus, but to the Messiah whom the Jews were expecting. They should of course have recognized Jesus to be that Messiah, as we do whenever we refer to Him as Jesus Christ. Christ is not the surname or family name of Jesus as some would think. It is a title for Him. So Jesus Christ really means “Jesus the Messiah”. The sad reality is that if they did some searching for themselves, they would have known where the Christ came from. Again, the Jewish Nation would have carefully kept important documents about genealogies and family history as seen in Matthew chapter one.

 

All they had to do was seek

the truth for themselves!

 

They would have found, "But you, Bethlehem…., Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting. Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has given birth; then the rest of his brothers shall return to the people of Israel. And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth. " Micah 5:2-4

 

We read in Matt 2:5 “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’” Matt 2:1-6

 

It’s sad that they found it inconvenient to remember this truth on this occasion as they celebrate the Messiah promises. But as the Scriptures reveal the heart of the natural man and woman, our memories are sadly dependent on our wills.” And because ignorance is lazy, they only see what we want to see; and what we believe goes in the same line of thinking. The lesson for the believer is this… With regard to all knowledge that matters in life, you must place your confidence firmly on the Scriptures alone. The Bible must always be your primary source of learning. It must be your final authority on every area of your life, whether it is your family life, your choice of a career or a life partner, your relationships, and even in the management of your finances.

 

Ignorance is destructive and leads the people incorrectly as we see here. Don't put any confidence in worldly wisdom that urges you to seek for personal fame and glory. Don't put any confidence in so-called experts who tell you that if you really want to become a success you must forget your Christian values and do things in a selfish and deceitful way. Don't put your confidence in methods and strategies that the world uses to solve its problems, as they are often based on wrong assumptions.

 

Thinking it’s too much work to

study this big book!

 

IGNORANCE RECEIVES HER RESPONSE (v28-v29)

 

Jesus rebukes their remarks by calling them out with their remarks! You know Me…You know where I came from! Jesus cuts to the heart issue! (v28) “I have come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know.” This is their problem and the world we live in today; they don’t truly Him, because they’re so ignorant they don’t really want to know Him. We are so pre-occupied with equal rights and protection gay marriage and so on we forget to search the truth.

We have a culture that speaks of tolerance, but are the most intolerant people on the planet. We have a culture that wants what they want, and will do whatever it takes without the concern, or care, of who gets hurt in the process. We have local and federal governments around the globe wanting to Lord their power over the people they are to protect and govern. Truth has fallen in the streets and the ignorance of this culture has thrown it underneath the bus. The gospel has gone forth and the world still continues to reject the gift of eternal life.

 

Just as they did here! Instead of listening to the warning they got what? They became raged with anger wanting to seize Him (v30)

 

So sad but speaks volumes about

our culture today, doesn’t it?

 

There are thousands today just as blind as the Jews were then. They close their eyes to the truth; they turn of their ears to the warning signs that have eternal implications This encounter reminds me a tragic story about an airliner that crashed into a mountain. “In 1984 an Avianca Airlines jet crashed in Spain. Accident investigators found the cockpit voice recorders and discovered that several minutes before impact a shrill, computer-generated voice from the plane's automatic warning system had told the crew repeatedly in English, "Pull up!  Pull up!" The pilot, evidently thinking the system was malfunctioning, snapped, "Shut up, Gringo!" and switched the system off. Minutes later the plane plowed into the side of a mountain. Everyone on board died.” That tragic story strikes me as a perfect parable of the way many people treat the warning messages of their consciences today as it relates to the gospel call upon their lives.

 

IGNORANCE RESULTS IN SEPARATION (v32-v36)

 

Are there some hard realities to swallow in the Bible? Absolutely . This led them to make an attempt to arrest Jesus. But they could not succeed because they cannot win against God. (v30) tells us that 'they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come.' Our Lord Jesus still had another six months to go before the hour when He would have to die on the cross. Until then, no one could stop to Him. Shortly after the failed attempt of the Jews of Jerusalem, the Pharisees and Chief priests made another attempt to arrest Jesus. This time, according to (v32), they sent armed officers to take Him. But (v45) tells us that these officers returned to their masters empty-handed.

 

Why did they keep on doing something

that was so futile?

 

It was because of their ignorance of who Jesus really is. Ignorance is often characterized by misdirected efforts. Because of ignorance people spend much time and effort on things that go completely against God's plans and purposes for them. But their misdirected efforts will eventually yield nothing to them. The same thing happened to Paul the apostle before he was saved. Listen to what he wrote to Timothy. “I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 1 Tim 1:12-14

 

Are there some things will never figure out

to why, this side of heaven?


Yes, absolutely! But that doesn’t excuse us from seeking Him all the more, despite not having all the answers. Ignorance does not excuse us from the reality that there is a holy God, who sent His holy Son, to pay our sin debt. And if anyone does not submit to this truth out of adoration and praise, they are destined to eternal judgement and fire according to the Scriptures. Sadly, many ignore the warning signs today and chose ignorance or truth. As Paul wrote “They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.” Eph 4:8. We see the hardness of the heart of the natural man, and woman, found in this portion of John’s letter. The ignorance of the religious leaders is overwhelming as they cannot see or understand the beauty that stands before them. Jesus said, "I shall be with you a little while longer, and then I go to Him who sent Me. You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come." John 7:33-34


What does Jesus’ mean?

 

Those who reject Jesus will never come to where He is going when He ascends in the His rightful position as Lord. As John wrote “So he said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” So the Jews said, “Will he kill himself, since he says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” He said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.” John 8:21-24


See instead of heeding the Lord’s warning, their unbelief turned them to contempt and mockery. Look how they responded! “Then the Jews said among themselves, "Where does He intend to go that we shall not find Him? Does He intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks? What is this thing that He said, 'You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come'?” John 7:35-36

Who does he think He is? This is no different today! Telling someone they need Christ and if they don’t, they will end up in Hell.

 

See, there are some things in this short life that I do not want to hear because I’m too late!

 

“You fool”

“Depart from Me”

“I do not know you”

“You will seek Me and not find Me”

 

Because of their own wilful ignorance, the Jews of Jerusalem will have a woeful end. They will be kept out of heaven, the place that Jesus would return to about 6 months later, after His death on the cross and resurrection from the dead. In (v34) Jesus was telling them that one day far in the distant future, they will seek Him desperately. Not to arrest or kill Him any more, but to beg Him for mercy and salvation. And they will not find Him but be left to languish forever in the outer darkness.

 

What an awful price to pay for ignorance, but a just and holy

one for the rebellious at heart

 

The Jews did not understand what Jesus had said here. Because of their persistent ignorance, they wrongly understood in the next verse that He was talking about going to some place outside Israel where they would never be able to find Him. How tragic is this line of Scripture? Absolutely devastating! Why? They have eternal implications. Sadly many, maybe people we love and hold dear to our hearts will hear these words proclaimed to them one day! And it’s all because of their ignorance to truth!


J C Ryle penned these words about this portion of scripture! Which I believe speaks volumes to a great majority of people today! He wrote “it is possible by continually resisting light and warnings…..to sin away our own souls. It sounds terrible but it is true.” Remember… Ignorance is no excuse and it will not help anyone enter the Kingdom of God. Our lack of understanding and knowledge of scripture is no excuse for our lifestyle and sin issue. We are to be Berean’s like the ones found in Berea. “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.” Acts 17:11

 

They listened attentively and respectfully to the gospel. They did not reject and reject it as unworthy of examination. Why? Any person with half a brain will search or study to see if these things are true. A lot of mistakes in life can be avoided if people today would only read the Bible. But sadly, ignorance usually finds the truth when it’s too late. Like the 5 virgins that went knocking on the door and said “let us in” but all they got in response was………and the Lord said “I don’t know you” As Jesus told the story, “And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” Matt 25:8-13

 

What can we do so that we are not like the

virgins who missed the boat?


Seek the truth with eagerness and study His word to see if these things are so. Don’t rely on your neighbor or the next best-selling book. Rely upon the words breathed out by God! The hope is found in the gracious words of Jesus in (v33) “I will be with you a little longer,” Do you see the grace in this verse? This means that the door had not been completely shut yet. The day of grace was not yet over for them. The same is true for those who do not know Him today; but time is fleeting and Christ is returning. Jesus was lovingly extending His grace to them to come out of their ignorance and to come into the saving knowledge of their Messiah. Tragically these scoffers missed Jesus’ point completely as Isaiah so boldly proclaimed. “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” Isaiah 55:6-7. Seek His truth without delay and His truth will set you free indeed.

 

“Behold now is the acceptable time” 2 Cor 6:2

 

“Today if you hear His voice, do not

harden your hearts.” Heb 4:7

 

So, heed the warning, ignorance is not bliss; it’s destructive 

and devastating for the soul.

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