II Thessalonians 1-3: Ignorance is Bliss... or is it?

God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels.

He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus

They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.

With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.

I Thes. 1:6-11, NIV

 

One of the easiest things to do in our modern religious world is to not get too carried away with our Bible study. After all, we are busy people and ignorance, as the saying goes, is bliss... isn't it?

 

Of course the answer to that question is that there are hardly any areas of life that are made better through ignorance. I don't know anyone who would want a heart surgeon who had such a philosophy, nor can I conceive of anyone wanting their children's teachers to adopt such a belief. Just try to go before a traffic judge with the defense that you were ignorant of the law and see how far that will get you.

 

Why then should we think that God would accept such an excuse of ignorance? The One who gave His only begotten Son that we might live as well as the Christ who gave that life, are worthy of our efforts to find out all that we possibly can about the gospel of our Lord. In fact, according to the passage above, God will inflict the ultimate penalty upon those who do not believe or obey. That is why, as Paul writes to the church in the passage stated above, that He was praying that they would live lives that were worthy of their calling. God does not want us to be lost and knows that ignorance of His Word will place us in peril. The cure for such ignorance is knowledge, and that knowledge can only be found within the pages of His holy Word.

 

We have been given the same charge today. How will we respond to this responsibility?

 

The reading for the next few days is from II Thessalonians. It is filled with both promises of reward and of punishment, as well as the call to make the right choice.