“The danger of not knowing”

The Bible tells us, that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Proverbs. 1:7). In another passage, it says that the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding (Proverbs 9:10). Question: How can one fear (respect) God, if he does not know who God is? By looking at creation we can know His magnificent glory (Psa. 19:1). By looking at His Word, we learn that He is eternal, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, and worthy of praise. The more we learn about God as the Bible reveals Him, the more we have a better understanding of how we should approach Him. Therefore when a person realizes that God is sovereign and understands God’s desire of man, the fear of Him produces, and true knowledge begins. The wise king Solomon realized this truth after his quest for satisfaction: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13 NKJV)

To truly know God is to have the knowledge of Him and His will as stated in the Bible, carried out in our lives. James the half-brother of Jesus said it this way: “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (James 1:22 NKJV) I want to emphasize that James said that first of all, one needs to hear before doing (Listen, Know, Learn, Study, Be taught). If we do not hear first the Word, then there is no faith (Romans 10:17). Many people who skip the hearing the Word of God part, and with much zeal are already trying to do. The question for them is, “What is their guideline for acting in the name of God, if they did not first hear His Word?” The answer is scary: they could be self-guided, emotionally guided, or listenning to man’s wisdom instead of God’s wisdom. The proverb speaks against this type of spiritual guidance: “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” (Proverbs 14:12 NKJV). Jeremiah preached to a people who were guided by self, false prophets, and sin: “O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.” (Jeremiah 10:23 NKJV) The danger of not knowing God and His Will is that we could deceive ourselves thinking we are right, assuming God accepts our approach, and it does not matter how we do it. Jesus has words for those kinds of people:

““Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matthew 7:21–23 NKJV)

It is vital to salvation for all to know the Will of God. Paul encouraged the Ephesians: “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:17 NKJV). This task requires dedication to study and learn the Bible, and anyone can do it!

Have you noticed that many of the spiritual problems recorded in scripture have to do with a lack of knowing and doing God’s will? There are many occasions but here are a few scriptures:

  • “When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel.” (Judges 2:10 NKJV)
  • “Therefore I said, “Surely these are poor. They are foolish; For they do not know the way of the Lord, The judgment of their God.” (Jeremiah 5:4 NKJV)
  • “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.” (Hosea 4:6 NKJV)
  • “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.” (Romans 10:1–3 NKJV)

There are many other occasions such as Jesus’  ministry where the lack of knowledge of God was the problem. Jesus would ask “have you not read?” or “what do the scriptures say?” or “Do you not know?” All questions related to knowledge. He would tell the Jews: “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.” (John 5:39 NKJV) The Jews thought because they possess the writings they were saved. But Jesus says to read the writings, know the writings because they testify about Him being Messiah. Therefore we find in the New Testament the apostles and early Christians encouraged one another to have the knowledge of God because it was vital to their service to Him and their eternal destiny. Notice a few passages:

  • “who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4 NKJV)
  • “as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,” (1 Peter 2:2 NKJV)
  • “but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.” (2 Peter 3:18 NKJV)
  • “as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,” (2 Peter 1:3 NKJV)
  • “and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,” (Colossians 3:10 NKJV)
  • “For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.” (2 Peter 2:20 NKJV)

Friends before we get worked up in emotion, before we get to the doing part, we need to be sure we have the correct knowledge of God and His Will. Today there is much confusion and division in the world of “Christendom”  because of the lack of knowing the will of God. So many have the zeal for God, but it is not according to knowledge which amounts to vanity (Rom. 10:1-3). Jesus condemned that kind of zeal that is without knowledge when he said: “And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:9 NKJV). Avoid the dangers of not knowing, by putting forth the effort to know.

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”” (John 8:32 NKJV)

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