Over the years I’ve noticed that atheists, from time to time express a more accurate understanding of Creator God than do many Christians. For example, asking the question, “How can a loving God allow suffering in the world,” is not just a question, it’s one of the most important questions ever. This morning it just dawned on me that atheists have got it right again. As it turns out, atheists also draw attention to the correct amount of horror, fear and dread regarding Creator God.
I used to think that the term “fear of the Lord” meant respect; like having respect for fire. At the very least that’s what it means. I’m not so sure anymore that's all that it means. In fact that kind of attitude might just be another example of the human condition. Our pride keeps us from experiencing a sense of awe when contemplating our Creator, and we’re too arrogant to experience the terror that is appropriate in the presence of a Being who is capable of sending us to eternal death.
Atheists at least get the latter issue. They are shocked that any God could, and worse, would keep them from entering heaven. Yet we can’t deny the fact that if the Bible is a revelation from God, to us, about Himself, fear is one of the emotions that He wishes to evoke in us. And, if what the Bible teaches about heaven and hell is correct, then fear is an appropriate response for those who choose to remain enemies of their Creator.
Now, here is where Christians part ways with the atheist. For Christians we will never experience the wrath of God; the wrath that we are told to fear. For atheists on the other hand, the future looks grim. The horror and the terror they attribute to this “monster” will be fully realised at the end of the atheist's short, short time on earth.