ONE: Neglect of Knowledge.
A genuine ignorance of something is understandable and a legitimate defense, but neglect of knowledge isn’t.
For example: You can't blame a person for NOT knowing what he never had a chance to know.
You CAN, however, blame a person for neglecting to know what was always open and before him to know.
If you sign a contract, without reading the “terms and conditions”, you have no right to complain afterward that you thought the “terms and conditions” were different.
People are responsible for failing to know what they should have known.
This is also why many parents have said the following phrase to their children: YOU SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER!
TWO: Willful Neglect of Knowledge.
Some people choose to shut off their brain to things they DON’T want to think about, or hear about.
Some people are totally aware that a bad habit, wrong friends, and a sinful way of life will end bad. However, they willfully refuse to acknowledge the facts and continue to go down the wrong path.
Remember, if you willfully neglect knowledge, you are responsible.
THREE: Ignorance of Lying.
God gave both lost and saved people a conscience. Those of us who are saved, have the powerful addition of the indwelt Holy Spirit.
With that said, people need to be careful of using phrases like: "I never knew it would turn out this way!"
Instead, just be honest and admit that you KNEW the truth, but chose to disobey.
In Romans 10, Paul drives home the PERSONAL responsibility of the Jews.
Romans 10:3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
They have been given every opportunity to know the truth of God's righteousness, however, they decided to choose their OWN way. They should have known better, but they didn't, because of willful ignorance.
May God help us to not make the same mistake.