Trying to Please God
“…even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. And yet I was shown mercy, because I acted ignorantly in unbelief.” 1Timothy 1:13
Paul said of those who crucified Christ, “None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”1 He again said, “The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now He commands all men everywhere to repent.”2
When a man stands before God and argues that he is innocent because of ignorance, he will face three hurdles he must jump: First, he must be ready to defend before God that he had a legitimate excuse why he did not know. Second, he has to defend what he did in light of the Golden Rule. Third, when under authority he is commanded to treat people different from how he wishes to be treated, he must evaluate whether the authority under which he finds himself is egregiously violating what God expects of him. For example, if you are a soldier under authority who is told to kill a traitor who has not been found guilty by an official trial, would you do it?
It may be that seeking the will of God results in doing wrong, simply because we cannot know the motives of others, as illustrated by soldiers drafted into the army to fight a battle started by the ruler. It is easy to use people in our endeavor to accomplish our objectives.
All of this is a minefield that is exceedingly difficult to cross without getting hurt. The conscientious follower of Christ begs God to help him avoid grieving Him, but can never know this side of Judgment the degree he has been successful.
1 1 Corinthians 2:8
2 Acts 17:30