Why does God punish the ignorant
Why does God punish the ignorant knowing that their lack of knowledge is not necessarily their fault
Someone once said, "It is not what you don't know that gets you into trouble." But nothing could be further from the truth regarding spiritual matters.
Too often we equate ignorance with being simple-minded, retarded or uneducated. Yet, it's a fact that some of the greatest experts in science are spiritually ignorant; and biblically speaking that's a greater deficiency than one who's intellectually slow.
According to the Bible, when you are ignorant of something, it doesn't mean that you are not aware of it, or you don't see it. Rather, you choose not to pay attention to it.
As ELOHIM has revealed Himself to mankind through His Word to make His Will known to us, the ignorant person has deliberately chosen not to give any importance to it, in other words he has intentionally chosen to remain unaware. Now the Bible states that intentional ignorance is the result of unbelief and hardening of the heart against ELOHIM.
Ephesians 4:18 "They are darkened in their understanding and alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardness of their hearts."
1 Timothy 1:13 "I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a violent man; yet because I had acted in ignorance and unbelief, I was shown mercy."
Indeed, YAHWEH has intentionally planted the basic understanding of good and evil in the heart of man. One cannot know God without becoming aware of Good and Evil, simultaneously one cannot know Good and Evil without mentioning the Divine Laws.
Romans 2:15 "So they show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts either accusing or defending them"
The ignorant is aware that knowing the Word of God involves the abnegation of indulging in sin and a great responsibility to renounce illicit pleasures. Although the ignorant knows very well that he must die, he's neither willing nor ready to sincerely examine himself, so he intentionally avoids focusing on acquiring scriptural knowledge. Intentional ignorance in a believer will manifest in a reluctance to read the Scriptures and a stunted Christian life in its growth.
The devil, however, knows very well that there's no condemnation when the Law or Truth is completely obliterated. Thus, in order to bring about our own condemnation he never hides the whole Truth, but rather wraps it in lies. Knowing very well that knowledge is to be acquired, and with knowledge comes discernment, the devil uses distraction as a weapon that causes us to ignore the Word and hinders our ability to gain knowledge.
Romans 4:15 "because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression."
Although ignorance in itself is not a sin, its outcome carries a heavy price, for the one who is intentionally ignorant of God's Word has made the choice to be spiritually deprived and without knowledge.
Just as our constitutional laws do not regard ignorance of the Law as a defense or an excuse, so too ELOHIM does not condone ignorance of the Scriptures.
Proverbs 19:2 "Also it is not good for a soul to be without knowledge, And he sins who hastens with his feet."
Isaiah 5:13 "Therefore My people go into exile for their lack of knowledge; And their nobles are famished, And their multitude is parched with thirst."
Hosea 4:6 "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you as My priests. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children."
May the Holy Spirit guide you in understanding this message.