“What I don’t know won’t hurt me.” “What [someone else] doesn’t know won’t hurt me.” “Ignorance is bliss.” Such statements are often made/heard, particularly in the context of someone trying to get away with something. While it is true that not knowing some things is a good thing, ignorance can be very damaging, even deadly, especially in the spiritual realm.
Long ago God’s inspired prophet noted the damage done to God’s people due to their ignorance of God’s word: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.” (Hosea 4:6). This statement was made to the northern kingdom of Israel in an attempt to turn them back from their idolatrous, wicked ways. Unfortunately, they chose to continue in their ignorance of God’s way and follow the wicked ways of their idols. As a result, God allowed the Assyrians to conquer and enslave them. It might be truly said that their ignorance resulted in a fate worse than death.
In modern society people are going in the same direction as that ancient northern kingdom of Israel. Many are intentionally calling evil good, putting darkness for light, and putting bitter for sweet (cf. Isaiah 5:20-23). There is truly a famine for the word of the Lord in the land (Amos 8:11-14). As a result people are perishing, both physically and spiritually, at an ever alarming rate. It is true that “where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint (Proverbs 29:18). But the fact is that there is a revelation. We have it in our hands. It is called by different names: the Holy Bible, the Word of God, the Scriptures, and other such names. But the fact is that God has revealed Himself and His will to us through the written word, penned by inspired apostles and prophets (2 Peter 1:19-21). The problem is that people either choose to ignore God’s word entirely or accept only the parts of it they like. When that happens people truly can and will be “hurt” by what they don’t know.
Ignorance of some things is understandable. No one can know everything about all things. I am ignorant of rocket science and brain surgery. However, there are some who have a great deal of knowledge in those areas. Hopefully, I will never need a knowledge of rocket science or brain surgery. But everyone needs a knowledge of God’s word. Why? Because your eternal destiny depends on it!
Sin is a destroyer. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). In order to live (eternally) we must be free from sin. What is it that can provide us with that freedom? The Truth. That is the only thing that God has provided that will make us free. “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Pilate, as he was putting Jesus through the mockery of a trial asked a very profound question: “What is truth?” (John 18:38). Unknown to Pilate, Jesus has already answered that question: “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” (John 17:17). God’s word is truth. Truth sets us free from sin. But we need a knowledge of God’s word in order to know how it does that. As a result we should never be ashamed of God’s word, the gospel of Christ, because it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” (Romans 1:16).
Study God’s word (2 Timothy 2:15). Know God’s word, for by it you will know God and His will and by that you can have eternal life.