A Skeptic’s Prayer

Yesterday, while visiting Dayton Avenue Baptist Church in Xenia, Ohio, I heard a powerful observation regarding the prayer found in Revelation 6. The chapter begins with a description of God’s judgment of the earth. The chapter ends with those who’ve rejected Jesus praying to the mountains to fall in upon them to hide them from the wrath of God.

This is a picture of skeptics at the end of time when history comes to a grinding halt in the face of the coming King. It’s not an image that anyone should take lightly. Here’s the passage:

Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?” (Revelation 6:15-16).

Hearing Pastor Jon Young’s passionate description of this end times event moved me. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in theistic vs. atheistic debates that we lose sight of where all this is heading. It’s heading to a moment in time when every knee bows and every tongues confesses that Jesus is Lord. Some would rather have the mountains fall in on them then face this reality.

I’m not sure exactly who will read this: maybe a skeptic I’ve had a privilege of getting to know in recent years, maybe a Christian who is more excited about apologetics than they are about the eternal souls of the people with whom they argue. This makes me think of a time I drove a friend, who is an atheist, back to his apartment after an event we were both a part of. We pulled up out front and parked for a few minutes.

I had to tell him something that was weighing heavy on me. “I care about your soul,” I said. We weren’t the type to get angry in our debates. We didn’t yell. It was always friendly. Maybe that’s why I had to say it. I didn’t want our easy going relationship to hide a truth that was burning deeply in my heart. I believe we are more than dust and that there is a part of us (our soul) that transcends death.

I believe one day the great and the small will stand before God. And I believe the gospel story, so richly evidenced in history, that God came to earth, lived a perfect life, and died a death as our substitute, satisfying the wrath of God, to pay our sin debt. Jesus’ resurrection proved that God accepted this payment. And the resurrected Christ offers peace and forgiveness to all who repent and believe. He will give it freely to you. Right now.

And though it might not feel that important today, one day nothing will matter more. I guess everyone will pray at some point. Some will bend the knee and confess that Christ is Lord before it’s too late. Others will pray to the mountains hoping to avoid the wrath of God.

If you are a skeptic, It’s my great desire that you would seek him while he may be found. As the Apostle Paul said, he’s never far from any one of us. Call to him. He will answer. Run to him. He will accept you.