It never ceases to amaze how popular culture portrays the God of the Bible. Watching television shows on Netflix, Amazon Prime, or other media streaming outlets, one will hear numerous idioms presented about God and salvation that cannot be backed up with Scripture! Characters will say things like, “God works in mysterious ways.” “God is unclear on purpose, so we can find our own beliefs.” “God is all about mind games and loopholes.” Too many times the truth of God gets twisted by worldly opinions. Popular media teaches salvation and judgment is based on people’s own conscious convictions, even subconsciously, if a person sees himself as being guilty, then he condemns himself. The implication being the world doesn’t need God, people can judge themselves, as it should be. People who live with such convictions live in ignorance. God is not the author of confusion, nor do people get to decide their own judgment (1 Cor. 14:33; 2 Cor. 5:10). Through the years of human existence, the Almighty has been so helpful that no person should be able to honestly say that he/she could not have known better!
God has never left mankind without access to His will and without an escape from the corruption of the world through the knowledge of the truth. Paul told those in the church at Rome of the Gentiles, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (Rom. 1:20). The evidence of God’s existence continually revolves around every living person; it is “clearly seen.” Not one person can look around and fail to see the proof of God’s power in this world (Ps. 14:1). As a result, there is no creditable reason an individual can give for not seeking the source of the power that created the world. God does not accept ignorance as an excuse for not knowing right from wrong because every person has the ability to know the truth.
God reveals by inspiration, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Cor. 10:13). God will not allow any person to be corrupted by Satan and then not give said person the help and escape needed to be saved from the corruption of evil. No person can claim that God didn’t give him/her a fair chance to be saved, that God didn’t give enough time, that God didn’t provide enough opportunities to figure out the truth (James 1:13; 2 Tim. 4:8). God promises that with every temptation there is “a way to escape,” but each person in this world is responsible for seeking the escape, finding the escape, and taking the escape. How many people have been given the knowledge of the truth, have been told the plan of redemption, and failed heed to God’s escape and refuge (Rom. 10:16)?
Christ warns and reveals what would happen to those that failed to open their eyes, ears, and hearts to His teachings. Christ states, “For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them” (Matt. 13:15). When people close their eyes and ears to the teachings of Christ, to those that preach the gospel of Christ, then these people cannot be converted and cannot be healed from the corruption of the world. All must appear before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor. 10:5). What will people say to God when they have lived in a dreamland and worshipped an idol image of a God that will allow them into heaven after living in sin their whole lives? Such people will not be excused because they did not know the plan of salvation, because they did not know their actions were sinful, because they did not know they were worshipping the wrong way, because they did know they were teaching false doctrine. Paul preached on Mars Hill in Athens, “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent” (Acts 17:30). Ignorance is not an excuse for living in sin. Ignorance of the law is not exemption from the law!
God has given to mankind all the inspired information and providential opportunities to know the truth of the law (2 Peter 1:3). None will be able to use the I-didn’t-know excuse on Judgment Day!