Notice the text again, 1 Timothy 1:13. "I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly." What had he been doing? He acted ignorantly. Oh, he says it in the first part of the verse. What had he done? He was hunting Christians. Ok, why does a man hunt Christians rather than become a Christian? Ignorance. That's what he is saying. Why would he not fall down before the Lord Jesus Christ, who is mighty to save, to be saved from his sins? Ignorance. Why would he not surrender to the Jewish Messiah? Look, he was a Jew. He was versed in the Jewish Scriptures. He knew about the Jewish Messiah. He knew that there was One that was coming. One who would be born in Bethlehem. One, the Ancient of Days. He knew, Unto us a child would be born. He read Isaiah 53, he knew those things. Why would he not embrace the Jewish Messiah when He came upon the scene? Ignorance.
Why would he not come to Christ that he might have life and have it more abundantly? Brethren, he is telling us, ignorance, ignorance, ignorance. It's like he is looking back at his former life and he says, "The appalling ignorance of it all."
Brethren, can I tell you this: Ignorance is the very explanation as to why all men in this world who are not Christians, are not Christians. That's the explanation. Brethren, these people out here, some of you in here. Why would some people come here, some of you young people, teenagers, why would you come here and you want to think about Social Media, and you want to think about your friends, and you want to think about getting home and watching a video, or you want to get home and watch a movie, or you want to get home and watch the game, you want to do this, you want to do that. And this is boring, this is boring. Why? why do you feel that way? Ignorance.
If I could take you right now and show you the paradise of God that was guaranteed to that thief on the cross, and I could give you a glimpse of it. If I could take you right now into the flames of the lake of fire and show you the horrors of it. If I could just show you the limited amount that I know about the goodness of Christ, and His beauty, and His grace. If I could show you just what I know, you would say, "What a fool I've been!" But why don't you do that? Ignorance. Ignorance.
Brethren, you young people, see, I know. I was where you are. And I know what some of you are thinking, and I know what the people out there are thinking. They are thinking it's their wisdom, it's their discernment, it's their knowledge, it's their intelligence that leads them to not become a Christian. Isn't that what they think? And many of you young people, you just say, "This is stupid." Why would you say that? When we are talking about how to escape the just wrath of God.
Look, if I could come up here and tell you about a way for you to be annihilated so that you would not have to endure the horrors of hell; brethren I can tell you this, if I could take every person in San Antonio into hell for 10 seconds, we could all come back here. And next Sunday, my message was going to be about how to become annihilated rather than endure that, this church would be full to the hilt. People would be pressing to get in here. Just to be annihilated. Just to avoid, just to go into an eternal sleep and have it to be like as if they were never born. Why? Because the terrors and the horrors are that bad. And some preacher stands up and tells you, and you think, "I got it figured out. I don't need that kind of crutch. I am wiser than this." Smugly you think you've got it all figured out. Ignorance. Ignorance. That's what Paul is telling us.
People imagine that it's precisely their learning that lifts them above the primitive superstitions. I've heard it called that. That is basically what Christians are accused of by this world. This very wise world out here with all of its intelligence and learning. Primitive superstitions.