Do you snore? Do you live with someone who does? To a person having trouble falling asleep at night a snoring spouse can really irritate us. Do I sound like an anti-snoring commercial? Of course I do. Anti-snoring commercials are on TV all the time.
I snore . . . or so I've been told. It's hard for me to tell for sure because . . . well, I'm sleeping.
I went on a mission trip to Mississippi several years back. Before we went to bed after a hard days work, I apologized in advance for my snoring to the bunch guys I was bunking with. That was a mistake. My words planted a seed in the head of one of the high school boys in the top bunk next to mine. During the middle of the night, I rolled over and was just about to resume my sleep when I heard the guy in the bunk below me . . . snoring.
Ha! And I thought my snoring might be loud? I'm sure there was dust falling off the rafters for sure with this guy. Then, suddenly, without warning, BAM!!!! Somebody hit me in the face with a pillow. I had no idea it was coming. The room was totally dark. I whispered back at the assailant, "Dude! That's not me!" A reply came from the darkness. "Sorry." Snoring can get us guys into trouble. Ladies too.
My wife snores. (Why do I think I just made a mistake in telling you that?) Although, if anyone tells my wife that she snores, she'll deny it. After all, it's not lady-like to snore. Well, then how come you . . . . maybe I'd just better stop right there.
Let's face it. When we snore, our snoring disturbs others. It causes others in our lives, loved ones, to lose sleep. And in SOME cases, when our loved ones encounter our snoring, they will attack! Snoring can be hazardous to your health!!
Although, when you think about it, we snorers are doing just what comes naturally. If left to our own devices we'd make it through the night just fine. Some of the most restful sleep I have ever had has been on the nights in which I have found myself on the couch (probably because I told my wife that she snored).
It's hard for me to feel guilty about doing something when I am not even aware I am doing it. Hmm . . . Hey, here's a more theologically-based question: How do we know we are sinning if we don't know that what we are doing is a sin? Good question!
There is an Old Testament story of exactly that happening. The Book of Law had been lost for many years. The people were living as they chose. One day Hilkiah the priest found the book. It found its way to the King and when the King of Judah heard all of the laws it contained and realized he and his people were breaking many of them, he tore his clothes and wept. In short, he repented.
All those who had not repented felt the wrath of God but those who DID repent were spared. Hmm. Where have I heard THAT before? The Gospel?
There was a lot of that, "not knowing" what was a sin and what wasn't, going on in Corinth 2000 years ago. Paul had started a church there and even after ministering to them for a year and a half, many in the church kept right on sinning. He wrote them a rather harsh letter of rebuke, what we call 1st Corinthians. But he followed his tough talk in chapter six with a gentle reminder of God's grace.
"9 ... Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." - 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
So I still haven't answered the question. How do we know we are sinning? Well, we are blessed to have the Bible. Sixty-six books of God speaking to us. The Corinthians didn't have that. Just a letter or two from Paul. Verse 11 though is where we find our answer. "And such were some of you."
Repentance. Sanctified and justified by Jesus and God's Holy Spirit. The Corinthians had heard the Gospel. So the answer to the question, ANY question, has got to be . . . Jesus. It is Jesus and the Holy Scriptures. Our repentance and faith in Jesus gives us a hunger for His Word. God's Word and His Holy Spirit convict us. They convict us to repent for ALL of our sins, not just the ones we were aware of. We are ALL without excuse. We need to repent of our sins and place our faith in Jesus - the ONLY name by which we are saved.
"20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they (we humans, whether we know we are sinning or not) are without excuse." - Romans 1:20
What happens to those who never hear the Gospel? - David Platt