"I Would Not Have You Be Ignorant..."
Isaiah 5:13 
     The Bible may be a best seller, but it is not a best reader. More copies of the Bible were printed last year than in any previous year.  Although it is the most outstanding piece of literature ever produced, many, "enlightened" Americans seem to know little or nothing about it. 
     A few years ago, a test of Bible knowledge was given to five classes of high school seniors.  Most of them failed the exam completely!  Some were so con-fused that they thought Sodom and Gomorrah were lovers, or that the gospels were written by Matthew, Mark, Luther, and John.  Others said that Eve was cre-ated from an apple, and the stories Jesus used in teaching were called paro-dies. 
     A lawyer told an attorney friend that he had become a Sunday School teacher at his church.  His friend replied, "I bet you don't even know the Lord's Prayer."  "Why everybody knows that," the other answered.  "It's, Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, if I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take." Amazed, his friend said, "You win!  I didn't know you knew so much about the Bible." 
 č If ignorance is bliss, then many Christians are blizzards! 
· "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge..." (Hos. 4:6). The priests weren't doing their job. 
· Ignorance leads to bondage (text). Knowledge brings liberty– "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). 
· Ignorance leads people in doctrinal error (Mt. 22:29). 
· Ignorance of Jesus Christ and the Gospel sends people to hell. 
 The Apostle Paul wrote on five different occasions admonishing Christians not to be ignorant concerning certain things: 

I.     The PURPOSE of SOUL WINNING (Rom. 1:13). 
        A.  The fruit of a Christian is another Christian. 
        B.  You were ordained to bring forth fruit (John 15:1-4, 16). 
        C.  Is Paul's desire your desire? 

II.   The PROPHETIC SCHEDULE (Rom. 11:25). God has a program for Israel and the Gentiles. 
       A.  Today God is visiting the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name (Acts 15:14). 
       B.  The "fullness of the Gentiles" is the completion of God's purpose during this dispensation of the church. One day the last Gentile will be saved and complete the body of Christ (the church). At this point the church will be raptured out of this world. 
       C.  Until the "fullness of the Gentiles" comes, Israel is blinded. We must not be ignorant that Israel's blindness to the Gospel is only temporary. 
       D.  Ignorance of Israel's TEMPORARY blindness could lead to Gentile pride. 
            1.  As Hitler, Mussolini, Russia, Iraq 
            2.  As the Amplified Bible in 1 Thess. 2:16– "God's wrath has come upon them [Israel] at last–completely and forever!" 

III.  The PROVISION for SERVICE (1 Cor. 12:1). There is lots of ignorance regarding spiritual gifts today. 
       A.  Ignorance concerning the PURPOSE of the gifts. The gifts are tools, not toys. Tools to reach people and edify the saints. 
       B.  Ignorance concerning the PERMANENCE of the gifts. Some of these gifts were given as signs to Israel and were temporary. 
       C.  Ignorance concerning the PREFERENCE of the gifts. Some gifts are to be preferred over others (v. 31) 
       D.  Ignorance concerning the POSSESSION of the gifts. Do you KNOW what your spiritual gift is and how to use it? 

IV.  The PLOYS of SATAN  (2 Cor. 2:11). 
       A.  CONCEALS. One device of Satan is to keep people ignorant of the Gos-pel (2 Cor. 4:4). Blind people from the truth: Bible, church, etc. 
            č He steals the seed from a person's heart (Luke 8:12). 
       B.  COUNTERFEIT. Give people a substitute for the real thing (2 Cor. 11:13-15). Another Gospel; Another Jesus. Another Bible 
       C.  COMPROMISE– Pharaoh's (type of Satan) compromise offered to Moses. 
       D.  CONFUSION (1 Cor. 14:33). Offers a conflicting authority. 
       E.  CONTENTION (1 Cor. 1:11-12). Only by pride cometh contention (Prov. 13:10) 

V.   The PROMISE  of SOLACE  (1 Thess. 4:13). The promise of a reunion with departed saints at the rapture. 
       A.  Ignorance of the rapture will lead to despair (no hope). 
       B.  The rapture is called "the blessed hope" (Titus 2:13). 
       C.  Knowledge of the rapture brings comfort (v. 18). 
       D.  If you don't know Jesus, you have no hope. 

Sermon by Pastor Al Hughes, 
Port Orchard  WA