(Proverbs 22:17 KJV) Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge.
I have heard people discuss the difference between the words “hear” (8085) and “listen”. One is considered the physical ability, in other words, your ears work. The other involves having your mind actively engaged to bring your conscious awareness into the process. This difference points out you can hear a sound without listening to it. In looking at this word I find that the NASB translates it frequently either way. The KJV only uses “listen” once but uses “hearken” frequently.
The point is that the Bible expects us to do more than acknowledge the existence of wisdom. We are to engage our minds with it and apply it. If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there does it make a sound? If wisdom is spoken and no one listens, is it wisdom?
So? God holds us accountable for what is available. People may claim that they never had a chance to respond to the gospel. I would say that their hearts were already made up because they would not listen to the words that would draw them in. We need to make sure that we do not turn off our conscious listening to the direction of the Holy Spirit in our walk of faith.