by Shawn Brasseaux
Six times, the Apostle Paul wrote, “I would not have you to be ignorant brethren.” The Lord wants us Christians to have an intelligent understanding of His Word. The greater your understanding of God’s Word rightly divided, the less likely you will be misled by false teachers, and the more you can teach others so they will not be misled either.
The sad reality is that so many professing Christians cannot discern truth from error, men’s ideas from God’s Word, so they are trapped in religion. False teaching and apostasy have been growing more and more widespread, and very few people are skilled in God’s Word to realize how often they are being deceived. As one brother put it, “Most Christians do not know enough Scripture to take a stand against anything.” In this Bible study, we will look at those six verses of which God does not want us to be “ignorant.” He wants us to clearly understand these six critical doctrines.
1. ROMANS 1:13 KJV
“Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.”
We can clearly see that Paul was hindered from visiting the believers in Rome, just like in 1 Thessalonians 2:18. Do not be ignorant of the fact that Satan wants to keep God’s Word from spreading, so he will hinder us Christians. Paul knew what it was to feel lonely for Christian fellowship, according to Romans 1:12. We should be longing for fellowship with other believers; after all, they are our spiritual family. When confronted with the option of going out in the lost world or assembling with fellow believers, you will almost automatically choose to meet with the believers.
2. ROMANS 11:25 KJV
“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.”
Now, this verse is important because it shows us that God is not completely through with the nation Israel. He has set them aside nationally as He deals with Gentiles and the Body of Christ; however, after the rapture, when “the fulness of the Gentiles be come in,” God will once again deal with His covenant the nation Israel. According to this verse, the Body of Christ has not replaced Israel.
3. 1 CORINTHIANS 10:1-5 KJV
“1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.”
To make application here, we actually have to continue reading until verse 11 (which is the key verse to the passage): “Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” God does not want us to be ignorant of the outcome of those who were of faith, but He also does not want us to be ignorant of the end of those who had no faith. It is a warning to all those who want to remain in unbelief. Hence the instructions not to be like those ungrateful Israelites who started out right, but were guilty of idolatry and fornication, and thus, died in the wilderness (cf. Numbers chapter 14; Hebrews 3:7-19). For us Christians, it is an admonition and exhortation to continue serving the Lord, and not to fall prey to pagan idolatry. For the unbelieving, it is a warning that God hates unbelief.
4. 1 CORINTHIANS 12:1 KJV
“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.”
Here, we learn that one of the greatest areas of ignorance (lack of teaching and understanding) in spiritual matters regards spiritual gifts. The Corinthians were carnal and worldly. They sought fun-filled experiences and emotional highs rather than behaving themselves in an orderly fashion and properly representing the Lord. The Corinthians were too focused on themselves, and not on the edification (building up) of the brethren. Because of this, chapters 12, 13, and 14 address the believers in Corinth in love, instructing them to do everything “decently and in order.” Almost all of Christendom needs to study these three chapters, for they are so totally ignorant regarding spiritual gifts (especially tongues!).
5. 2 CORINTHIANS 1:8-11 KJV
“8 For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:
9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:
10 Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;
11 Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.”
Again, this is to warn us and comfort us that we will be persecuted for serving the Lord. Contrary to most modern-day preaching of “peace, good health, and wealth,” the Christian life is oftentimes not trouble-free and peaceful. Our fellow humans lost and blinded by the god of this world (Satan) will hate us, criticize us, and maybe even torture or kill us for the Gospel’s sake. This “trouble in Asia [modern-day Turkey]” to which Paul is referring is accounted in Acts 19:22–20:1 (in Ephesus). The pagan Gentiles were angry that Paul was preaching against their idols, particularly the goddess Diana. Whatever we face as Christians, our brethren endured it, so we will be able to get through it too (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). The Lord will see us through whatever we suffer—we need to rely on God’s strength and resources, not our own, to endure those tough times!!
6. 1 THESSALONIANS 4:13 KJV
“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep [that is, believers who have died physically], that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.”
What happens to the saints who have died? Will we see our deceased Christian brethren again? This verse is the first in the passage dealing with the rapture of the Church, the out-calling of the Body of Christ. Every believer in the Gospel of Grace will be resurrected bodily one day, and we will see them again if we are also believers. The pagan people outside of Christianity will never see their loved ones again. We have assurance in Christ that we will see our loved ones again (provided that we and they are believers). Sadly, the rapture is oftentimes ignored or refuted by today’s Christendom. The Apostle Paul tells us not to be ignorant of the rapture, Christendom!!!