Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles I was led to 2 Corinthians, chapter 1, verses 6-10. I didn't start with this text this week, but this is eventually the place where I felt like the Lord wanted us to spend a little time. Second Corinthians, chapter 1, verse 6, the apostle Paul writing: "If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation…" Everything I go through serves a purpose. "…and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort. For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers [and sisters], of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that…" Even when it got so hard I felt helpless and hopeless. "That was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God…" I found my foundation when I went through a shaking so that I would trust him who raises the dead. "He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us." Why? He's still God. "On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again." I want you to give your neighbor my sermon title, but I want you to have a little conversation with them to set the context for it. Tell them, "Neighbor, it's kind of crazy in the world these days. There's a lot going on. The stakes are high." Now I want you to answer what they just said to you. Look at them and give them my title. Tell them, "I know, but I'm not nervous." Try your other neighbor out. Tell them, "I know. I watch the news. I saw what your cousin Jimmy said on Facebook about a conspiracy theory." Tell them, "But I'm not nervous." I am not nervous. I refuse to be, not gonna be, not about to be. God is too great, and he has been too good for me to be nervous. Paul would like to set the record straight. There are too many rumors circulating. There's too much noise and not enough signal. Come on, somebody. We are drowning in opinions, and we don't have a drop of truth. Such was the case in Corinth. They're talking about poor Paul. All he ever did was preach Jesus Christ and help them and minister to them. These other preachers are seizing a political opportunity to run a smear campaign against poor Paul that the NRA would have been envious of, that the Democratic Party couldn't even come up with. Neither one on the right or the left could do any better than these opponents of Paul were doing to discredit him. He wants to talk to the church he loves from his heart and set the record straight. In other words, he wants them to hear it straight from the source. It does make a difference where you get your information. It really does. It's a strange thing that we live in an age where all information is deemed equal because it takes up the same amount of space on our timeline. We don't know whether we're listening to somebody who knows what they're talking about or whether there is a commercialized interest that is manipulating the information. It is safe to assume that most of what we are hearing is diluted (watered down) or polluted (added to). It's really hard to even trust what you hear these days. Paul was frustrated about that. In much civil turmoil, under oppression, not only political oppression but religious oppression, he writes back home to the church, and he wants to tell them not what others say about his situation but to allow them to see the situation and to hear it straight from the source. He says in verse 8 (this could be a whole sermon in and of itself), "We do not want you to be ignorant." He's setting us up here a little bit. His assumption is that there are some things we think we know that we don't really know and some things we need to know. He uses here a Greek word, agnoeo. It's translated in my Bible ignorant. On the screen, it's translated in a more updated version unaware. It's translated different ways because it's a difficult concept to pin down. Paul is speaking to a group of people who have heard a lot, but in spite of all the information they have received, they still know very little about the facts. In spite of all the access they have, in spite of all the blogs they've read, in spite of all the 24/7 news stations, what they're hearing isn't very true to reality, because they're not getting it from the source. He explains the situation, sourcing it with the reality, because he doesn't want them to be ignorant. However, agnoeo doesn't necessarily mean uninformed. Rather, it means, more likely, given the Greek shade of meaning, misinformed. Could I teach a little bit today? I figured that you would be excited to hear the Word of God, because you have to hear everybody else talk all the time. So let's take a little time and talk about the Word of God. He said, "It's not that you haven't heard things or that you have not been exposed to statistics that concerns me. It's just that I'm afraid that what you're hearing and seeing is so far removed from the source that it is not pure in its essence. I don't want you to be ignorant." All ignorance is not created equal. There are different levels of dumb. Am I right? There's an innocent ignorance. Some things you haven't had the opportunity to learn yet. I hate when somebody tries to correct my 5-year-old Abbey from the way she says certain phrases that I think are adorable. She has the rest of her life to get it right. Would you shut up and let my daughter call it a "vancuum" cleaner? I prefer "vancuum" cleaner. She can call it a vacuum cleaner the rest of her life. She only has a few years to call it a "vancuum." Get off my girl's speech and let her say it how she wants to say it. It's cute. It's beautiful. It's adorable to me. I like it. That's fine. There is another type of ignorance, agnoeo. This would be when you have an indifference that leads to ignorance. You don't care enough to find out. Personally, this is the way I feel about all of the people who eat super healthy. They come to me and want to tell me all of the chemicals that are in my food. I know I probably shouldn't address this. There's enough controversy in the world today as it is without me adding to it. I know somebody is going to email me or send me a book about the 17 foods that cure cancer and the foods that are rotting my brain, but I need to let you know if the steroids will make the chicken bigger before Holly fries it, I am for the steroids. That might make me a horrible person. I might burn in hell for saying this in church, but I just don't care. Touch somebody and say, "I just don't care." There are some things I just don't care about. I just want to eat. I do not care. Some things, I just have to be honest with you, I just don't care. I am amazed at some of you men with your Fantasy Football. I am amazed how much you know about another man's ankle and whether or not he's going to play and how that is going to affect the $100 you might win. Twelve hours a week studying it, and you've been to church once in the last six weeks. Crazy stuff. Ignorant about the things of God, but you can tell me statistics on somebody in some tight pants. That's what Paul is talking about. He said, "I don't want you to be ignorant. I don't want you to be those kinds of Christians who just don't care, who don't even take time to find out." When they talk about climate change, you won't even look into it, "Because Jesus is coming back on a horse anyway, and he's gonna nuke this whole place, and there ain't nothing we can do." You know you sound crazy when you talk like that. You sound so ignorant. Paul says, "I don't want you to have that kind of hope. I don't want you to have this cotton-candy Christianity, where you are ignorant of the afflictions. No, I want you to know some things." The most dangerous kind of ignorance is not innocent ignorance or indifferent ignorance. Who I'm really scared of are the people who have that confident ignorance. Not uninformed…misinformed. They think they know everything about something they know nothing about. Perhaps half of maturity is coming to the place where you know that you don't know what you don't know. Am I preaching all right? I love my children, but when Elijah said to me yesterday… I've heard a lot about the teenage years, and Elijah is 11. A lot of people have tried to create a sense of fear and dread in me regarding the teenage years. I'll say, "I really enjoy being a dad," and they laugh. "Get back to me on that when they're 14, and we'll see how much you love it, big boy." I get it, and I'm not planning on preaching my parenting series until I'm about 75. I got a taste of what this rebellion may look like when we were pulling into the garage the other day and this boy looks at me confidently and says, "Daddy, I need you to know," as one of the greatest albums from the 1990s plays on my car stereo, Counting Crows, August and Everything After, with the soothing, soulful lyrics of Adam Duritz blaring on the speakers.