SAVED BY IGNORANCE?
Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.
Question: Will any be saved by their ignorance?
Answer: We believe not, for there is no power or anything else good in ignorance to save anyone. Instead of ignorance being a Scriptural ground of salvation, it is Scripturally set forth as a reason for alienation from God and for perdition (Ephesians 4: 18) (Hosea 4: 6) (Romans 2: 12). Furthermore, the Scriptures show that knowledge is essential to faith and salvation (Romans 10: 14-17) (Acts 4: 12). The Scriptures teach that obtaining salvation requires personal acts on one’s part, taking the steps of repentance, faith and consecration. It is for this reason that the Church was commanded to teach, that is, make others know, that those taught might by their knowledge gain salvation (Matthew 28: 18-20) (2 Peter 1: 2, 3; 2: 20, 21).
It is an absurd theory to suppose that anyone could be saved by their ignorance. Why are missionaries sent out to teach salvation, if the hearers are saved by ignorance? According to this theory, to teach them would cause most of them – those who do not believe – to be lost who otherwise would have been saved by their ignorance.
But someone might say that we must preach the Gospel message because God commands it. That is true, but evidently the reason for that is so they may gain salvation, something they would not gain without it. God desires that people may gain life (Ezekiel 18: 32), so are we to believe that He is so lacking in common sense and practicability as to institute the office of teaching the Word of God as the means of saving people, when leaving them in ignorance would have resulted in the salvation of all of them?
God has a better way of saving people than by ignorance, which cannot save, in fact, ignorance actually depraves character. His way of saving them now is “by the foolishness of preaching” (1 Corinthians 1: 21) – teaching, giving knowledge of things pertinent to salvation. And His way of saving the world in the Millennial Age will be by the power of teaching – causing them to know – and by such teaching enabling them to use the restitution processes whereby all may be saved, and whereby the willing and obedient, and no others, will be saved. Such knowledge now and in the Millennial Age will inure to develop people into the only condition of heart and mind in which eternal life would be a practical and beneficent provision – a character like God’s. Such a character from its very makeup translates its knowledge into suitable thoughts, words and acts to God’s glory and to the profit of self and of others.