There are a lot of people that claim ignorance when confronted with something they have done. They think their reply, “I don’t know,” will get them off the hook. Paul could sense that when he was speaking to the intellectuals in Athens. You can’t claim ignorance about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That time is done.
“Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”
A Sense of Urgency
When Paul stood on Mars Hill in Athens addressing the philosophers, he told them the time of ignorance is done. They no longer could claim that they didn’t know about Jesus because he had preached the Gospel to them, and their only recourse was to repent of their sins. Paul also put a sense of urgency in his message because he tells them one day, the Man appointed by God will judge the world, and they will have to answer for their lives if they have rejected the Gospel. That Man has earned that position by dying on the cross and being raised from the dead.
You can non longer claim ignorance when it comes to your external destination. Jesus has come and redeemed the sins of the world, and only those who put their faith in Him will get into heaven. Most of the world rejects this exclusive path. They will claim that many roads lead to heaven, but Paul is very clear that the final judge will be Jesus, who was resurrected from the dead. If you reject Him, you are sealing your fate for eternity.
In Colossians, Paul proclaims that you have been made alive and that your sins were nailed to the cross and your debt was paid. You are no longer that old person condemned but a new creation in Christ. When you stand before Jesus, you will hear those words, “Well done, thou good and faithful.” To those who didn’t follow Jesus, they will hear, “Depart from me, I never knew you.” They won’t be able to claim ignorance at that point.