Sins of Ignorance

Read through the Bible in 2 years: Levititus 4:1-5:13

The Lord here provides specific directions for how to atone for unintentional sins, sins of ignorance.

This reminded me of so many other passages, like Paul’s beautiful testimony from 1 Timothy 1:12-16

“I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.”

Listen to Jesus’s words when He was being crucified,

“Father, forgive them,
for they know not what they do.”

Luke 23:34

But what about when you continue willfully in sin? How about those who have heard the gospel again and again and yet they choose to turn their back on God?

“For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.

Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?

For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

Hebrews 10:26-31

Rather than questioning what God will do with those who have never heard the gospel, we ought to ask ourselves these two questions:

  • Am I prepared to meet God?
  • Have I been faithful to share the good news with the people that I know?”

Let’s pray.

Heavenly Father, I, for one, am not ignorant. I once was lost, but now I’m found. Even when I was darkness, running away from You, You had written Your law on my heart. I knew that it was wrong to lie. I knew that it was wrong to say hateful things about other people. I knew that it was wrong to slander and gossip. I knew it, but I did it anyway. Thank You for saving me while I was yet a sinner. Thank You for sending Jesus to die in my place, to be the sacrificial lamb who died outside the camp, who bore my sin and shame. Now let me take this knowledge and share it with others, so that they will not meet You in ignorance. I pray also for those who have heard the truth and have willfully rejected it, who are intentionally running away from You today. Please, Lord, save them! Draw them to Yourself. Send Your Word, Your angels, and Your children into their path. May Your courts be filled with people from every tribe and tongue from around the globe. In the Name of Jesus Christ, the only Name that saves, Amen.

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