Friday, September 24, 2010

Our Wonderful State of Bliss

Like me, you probably grew up hearing the adage, "ignorance is bliss."  People still use that saying today.  Some use it thinking the less they know, the less they have to do or be responsible for.  Others use it falsely believing what you don't know won't hurt you. A popular place for people seeking a home is the wonderful State of Bliss.  After all, God wants us to be happy, and where could we be happier than in the State of Bliss.  In the spiritual application of this wonderful place, we understand there are two roads that lead to the State of Bliss where ignorance is the standard of living. 
The first road is traveled by those who never really come to know God.  Paul spoke about these people as he makes reference to his Jewish kinsman.  Paul states they had a zeal for God but not in accordance with knowledge. (Ro. 10:2)  Paul is a little more pointed in the inspired account recorded by Luke in Acts 17.  As Paul stood on Mars Hill he had encountered an altar with the inscription, "To an unknown god." (vs. 23)  He told those gathered around him that what they worshiped in ignorance, he would proclaim to them in truth. The second road of travel closely parallels the first as this road is used by those who know God, or at least knew Him,  and yet do not practice the truth. Paul warned the Ephesian brethren about this as he exhorted them not walk as the Gentiles walk, for this walk was one of futility based on the ignorance within them. (Eph. 4:17,18)  Paul was speaking to those who were Gentile by birth but makes a distinction between those who had previously come to a knowledge of the truth, and those who have not. 
To be sure, no one likes to be looked upon as ignorant.  So let's also be sure to understand Paul is not speaking of academic intellect.  For there are many intelligent people who have never been given a formal education.  But this knowledge, like the world of academia, is worldly.  What Paul speaks of concerning ignorance is a lack of godly knowledge.  Though we may learn many things in life as we live in this world, we were all at one time ignorant of God's truth.  The psalmist speaks of a time when he was senseless and ignorant, as a beast before the Lord.  Only the Lord's counsel could remove that senselessness and ignorance, and the psalmist was continually with the Lord. (Ps. 73:22-24) 
So man has been given a choice.  We can stay on those roads of ignorance, or we can choose a different road.  As we give ourselves to the teachings of Jesus, we learn not to be ignorant of the devil's schemes.(2 Cor. 2:11)  If there is sinful conduct taking place, the devil is behind it, and we must be aware of his schemes at all times. This giving of ourselves to the truth of God's word will lead us to be wise in godliness, thus able to silence the ignorance of foolish men, by living according to the will of God in relation to worldly leaders. 
Bliss is defined as,"complete happiness; Paradise, or Heaven." (Mirriam-Webster Online Dictionary)  If people desire to live in ignorance, their state is not one of complete happiness but one of deception or delusion.   Those who truly know God long for Paradise, or Heaven, that "happy summerland of bliss."  As those who desire to be the mirror image of Christ, it is the latter place we should desire as our place of residence, that wonderful State of Bliss.  Rodger

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