The big question is – WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE? What is the answer? From the point of view of modern science, there is no meaning; it just happened. They believe that it happened because of a series of accidents that brought life into being out of nothing.
Really! To start with nothing and get to this point in time with the universe and life as it exists today is awesome. It would be like one person winning the power ball lottery a hundred times in a row.
Those unbelieving scientists would consider someone crazy to believe that but they believe and accept something more ridiculous in what they profess to be the answer to our question.
Is there a more reasonable answer? Could it be that a creator planned and designed it and brought it all into being?
Whether it all happened by accident or if it was created by an all powerful creator, almost everyone is in agreement that this earth is not something that is permanent. Our sun and solar system is in the process of dieing and it will all be consumed in flaming fire some day. It may last one more year or fifty billion more years but the end will come.
If it was all created by an Almighty God as just a temporary creation, why bring it into being and create life that is only temporary? If there really was a creator and that creator brought it all into being, then He had a reason for His creation. If so, He would know what the meaning of life is.
If that is the case, then He surely would have told us why He created this universe and brought mankind into being and what the meaning of life really is. Would He not have also told us why it will come to an end?
Is it possible that He has told us and most of us have not been listening? The only in depth record of how this universe and life on this earth came into being is the Bible.
If the Bible is God’s word, as most Christians believe, then all that He wanted us to know can be found in that book. Let’s see what the Bible has to say about this creation and why we exist on this temporary earth. Maybe it can also tell us why God would allow pain and suffering to happen to some good people while blessing some very evil people with the good life.
If we spend much time reading the Bible we will hear the scriptures tell us that this world will pass away but God’s true promises were never for the things of this earth. God’s true promise is for eternal life in a new world that will come after this world has been consumed in flaming fire. That will happen when Christ returns on that last day.
Peter said we should be looking for the coming of that day, “- - because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.” (2 Peter 3:12-13)
True believers are looking beyond this earth to that new earth. That question still begs for an answer; “what is the meaning of life on this temporary earth?” Why must God’s people have to go through a painful life on this earth before they can receive that new world? Why not skip this temporary creation and have that eternal creation from the beginning.
Can the Bible give us the answer to that question? That book begins with the words, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” God then created living things on the earth, including all plant and animal life. The last living thing that He created was man. Scripture says, “Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness”(Genesis ).
God had completed a creation that was very good and His best work was His creation of man in His own image. Scripture says that male and female He created them (Genesis ).
God created Adam as his son (Luke ). God created Adam, in His likeness, but unlike God, man had no knowledge of good and evil.
In other words, Adam was like a little child who was not responsible for his mistakes. Adam was not accountable for sins but he made one mistake that did make him accountable. God told him not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or he would die on the day that he ate of it.
We know what happened after that. Satan deceived Eve and she ate of that tree and caused Adam to also eat of it and they both died spiritually on the very day that they disobeyed God and ate of that tree.
Man gained the knowledge of good and evil and, therefore, he became accountable for his sins. As a sinner he lost eternal life and he lost fellowship with God. Adam and Eve and their descendants after them would be condemned to live short and painful lives on this temporary earth and then die and return to dust.
With regard to man’s short life on this earth, the Psalmist says, “O LORD, what is man, that You take knowledge of him? Or the son of man, that You think of him? Man is like a mere breath; His days are like a passing shadow.” (Psalms 144:3-4)
James speaks of man’s future on this earth and says, “- you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” (James 4:14)
Man does not know what tomorrow holds for him but God knows. From what the Bible says, God is all knowing and all powerful and He is not limited in time or in space. If so, then He is in all time now and He was in all time from the beginning.
If He was in all time in the beginning then He foreknew how it would all happen. Did God have tomorrow planned for us based on what He foreknew?
David said of God’s foreknowledge of him, “Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.” (Psalms 139:16)
Every day of his life had been recorded in God’s book before he was born. David says that God even knew what he would say before he said it. He was speaking of God’s foreknowledge of him when he wrote, “Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all.” (Verse 4)
It is no wonder that he would then say, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it.”
Such knowledge was too wonderful for David to comprehend and it is beyond our understanding. If God could know David like that He can know all people like that.
Speaking of God’s awesome knowledge of what is happening on this earth Jesus told His disciples, “Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:29-31)
If God has knowledge of such trivial things that have no bearing on man’s eternal destiny then He surely can know the important things that apply to every person. Is He also directing our lives so as to make things happen?
If so, He is creating our life story for us. Paul appears to be saying that when he writes, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.” (Romans 8:28-30)
It appears that He foreknew the faithful and He is causing good things to happen for them. We hope that is the case, otherwise, He would not answer our prayers. He has promised to answer our prayers. When we pray for God to make good things happen for us and for our loved ones we believe that He will hear us and make it happen. That means He is causing our life story to happen as it does.
We have input into how things happen in our life when we pray. How could that be true if God had our whole life recorded from the beginning?
Remember, David said that God heard what he would say before he said it. If God heard his prayers the day before he prayed then He heard them in the beginning. It appears that God, who was in all time from the beginning, may have heard our prayers back then and He included them when He planned and recorded our life story in the beginning.
God is causing the things of this life to work out for good to those who love Him. He foreknew them and predestined them and He is calling them and making it happen like the Potter works with the clay.
It sounds like God is calling those whom He foreknew would choose to love Him and He has predestined them to become conformed to the image of His Son, meaning they are being created in the image of God.
Remember, the Father does all of His creation work through Christ. Paul spoke of Christ’s creation work and said that, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created through Him and for Him.” (Colossians 1:15-16)
Christ’s creation work includes the selection of every ruler since Adam. If so, then He not only selected all government authorities, He selected all of my company supervisors from bottom to top. If I choose to love Him, He foresaw it and He will make all things work together for my good. It will not work together so that I will have the good earthly things. The promise is for good spiritual things in God’s new creation.
If I am being created in the image of God’s Son in the new creation, that sounds a little like what happened in this first creation. God created this heavens and this earth and He created man in His image on this earth. He created Adam as His Son but Adam had no choice in the matter.
Did God plan it that way so that only those faithful ones among Adam’s descendants in this first creation would be given the right to become God’s children in a new creation?
In God’s new creation man has been given the right to choose to become a child of God. One must receive Jesus have that right. John said that Christ came to His own but they did not receive Him, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13)
We have the right to become a child of God if we receive Jesus but receiving Jesus requires us to believe in Him, therefore, only those who believe in Him have the right to become a child of God.
That is why Jesus told Nicodemus, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
We heard John tell us how those who receive Jesus will have the right to become children of God by having been born of God. God is Spirit therefore, they will have been born of the Spirit of God.
was speaking of
that being a new birth when He told Nicodemus that one must be born
truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he
Nicodemus thought Jesus was speaking of a fleshly birth but He was speaking of a spiritual birth. We were born of the flesh into this first creation but this is a dieing creation. We must become born again of the Spirit of God to become children of God if we want to receive His promise of eternal life in His new creation.
We heard Paul speak of God’s children and say that God foreknew them and He predestined them and He is calling them to become conformed to the image of His Son so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren. They will have become children of God, having been created in His image in the new creation.
It appears that God was speaking ahead of His children in that new creation when He spoke through Isaiah to say, “- -Bring My sons from afar And My daughters from the ends of the earth, Everyone who is called by My name, And whom I have created for My glory, Whom I have formed, even whom I have made." (Isaiah 43:6-7)
sons and daughters have been created for
His glory and they are called by His name.
Speaking of the name by which they are called, remember,
the disciples were first
called “Christians” in
Peter said of that name, “If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.” (1 Peter 4:14-16)
God’s children must suffer in this life but Paul says, “- I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” (Romans 8:18-21)
The question was, “What is the meaning of life?” It is not so that we can live for and have the things of this creation because our life in this creation will end in death. All things of this creation will have been lost.
We have been given life in this creation so that we can have the opportunity to choose to live for that new creation. Those who choose to receive Jesus and are willing to take up their cross and follow Him and suffer with Him will have become children of God and they will have eternal life in God’s new creation. We know that is true because the Bible says so.
In the meantime there are good people who are suffering awful things in this world and people keep asking that question, “How could a loving God allow that to happen to those good people?”
Satan is the one pushing that question. He wants us to fall for his lies and keep questioning what the scriptures have to say. He tells us that the Bible is no longer reliable because man has changed it and added to it.
said that heaven and earth will pass
away but His words will not pass away (Matthew 24:35). The
created the heavens and the earth said that.
The God who is not limited in time and who could foresee
the future said
I believe that the all powerful God who said those words had the power to keep His promise. I do not believe that man or Satan could silence Him. I believe that He has kept His promise and He has given us His word and it is recorded in the Bible.
We do not have those first inspired writings and there may be a few verses in question but nothing that changes God’s message to man. Our English translators were not perfect but anyone who is willing to study from several translations will hear God’s message if they are searching for it.
Satan is the god of this world and “the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:4)
Most people believe the god of this world because He speaks the message of this world. He says that God wants His children to prosper here and that we should live for what we can get out of this world while we are here. We should do whatever it takes to get ahead in this world.
He also tells us to enjoy our bodies that God gave us and do whatever gives us pleasure and makes us feel good.
He tells us that if God is truly a God of love, He would not want His children to suffer. He says that we should question any God who would allow pain and suffering to come upon good people.
Most people obviously believe Satan because they are living their lives on this earth just as Satan says we should. He keeps telling us the same thing and our bodies keep getting older and more wrinkled and ugly. We are slowly dieing in this creation but most people ignore that fact and keep trying to hang on to what little they can salvage in this world.
have their little “bucket list” of some things they want
to do before they die. God’s
people have a different kind of bucket
list. Their list
contains the things
they want to do for Jesus in this life so that they can have that
vacation of eternal life in
that we do will matter in the end
unless it has to do with obtaining that new
world. Even the most
successful and happiest lives on earth will end in tragedy at death if
all there is. What happens before our death will mean nothing
if we have
nothing to look forward to after that.
God will not take away all of the troubles of those who choose to love Him because those who choose to follow Christ must suffer with Him in this dieing world but He will make it possible for them to bear up under their burdens. He will put a limit to what Satan can do to them and help provide a way for them to be able to endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13).
We can understand how God can let bad things happen to good people when we see how we are being tested. Peter spoke of how the faithful are being distressed by various trials, “so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7).
Jesus was tested and we will be tested. Bad earthly things happened to Jesus in this world and bad things will happen to us. If, however, we really believe that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come for God’s children we will endure to the end.
suffered through His trials and overcame
this world and we must follow Him and suffer through our trials and
this world. If we endure the testing of our faith we will be
rewarded and God will be glorified.
will be persecuted because of Jesus
but He says, "Blessed
are you when people insult you and persecute you, and
falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of
Those who choose to follow Jesus will suffer because of Him but when we consider that our life on this earth is like a passing vapor, all of our sufferings are trivial by comparison to the eternal glory to come. It is all happening to see if we will believe Him and suffer with Christ and overcome this world.
He had to become a part of its sufferings, including suffering on the cross so that, “through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.” (Hebrews 2:14-15)
The people of this world have set their minds on worldly things. God’s children must not be like that. Paul tells us that if we have been raised up with Christ we are to, “- -keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.” (Colossians 3:1-4)
Have we set our minds on things above or on the things of this earth? Are we living as if we are only aliens passing through or have we settled down to a life of living for what we can get out of this world? We will only receive God’s promises if we live as though we are just passing through this world on our way home to that city built by God.
The writer spoke of those departed faithful ones who never received the promises and said how they confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth who were seeking a country of their own, “But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.” (Hebrews 11:16)
The meaning of life on this earth is to bring glory to God and we do that when we show our faith and love for Him by receiving Christ with obedience and becoming fruitful children of God. All fathers are glorified when their children are faithful and obedient.
Christians have their minds set on what is above, not the things of this world. They know that God requires that we work for a living but not for the purpose of gaining worldly riches. They also know that God will provide them with the things that they need in this world and they appreciate and are happy with the little things that they have been given and they gladly share what they have with others.
The people of this world will never be happy with what they have no matter how much they obtain. That is why Solomon, the man who had it all, could refer to what he had done and what he had gained and say that, “all was vanity and striving after wind” (Ecclesiastes ).
Striving for the things of this world is like striving after the wind. Those earthly things will not make it into eternity. We will go into eternity but we will take nothing with us. We will only have things out there if we lay up treasure in heaven.
We lay up treasure in heaven when we assist others in becoming children of God and when we give of what we have on this earth to those who are in need. We must give our worldly things away to have something out there.
We must especially love and do good deeds for God’s children. If we sow bountifully on this earth, we will reap bountifully out there; “Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting.” (Psalms 126:5)
Our faith will be tested to see if we will follow the LORD God or follow the god of this world. That god is telling us to follow him and he will give us the good life. He makes it sound like a fairy tale.
will not happen that way for those who live
for the things of this world. There will be no earthly
anyone will live, “happily ever after”. Only those
who follow the
LORD our God will live a happy life, forever. It will happen
in that new
world for those who believe God like Abraham believed God.
is speaking of His creation work
through the inspired scriptures but the crowds can only hear Him speak
passing earth. The
meaning of life is
not found in living for the things of this world because every man’s
this earth is a mere breath or a passing shadow.
This world is here to provide a proving ground to separate out the children of God from the foolish of this world. For those who choose to become children of God during our short lifetime on this earth our faith will be tested.
As we are being tested we hope not to have too many bad times but the greatest of the faithful had some very bad times. Some early Christians died on crosses. Some were fed to the lions. Some were put to the torch. Even worse, it has been said that some had to watch as their children were put to death.
It did not have to happen to them. They had a choice. They did not give in because they could see the big picture. They could see by faith that new world to come and they were willing to suffer for a short time on this earth in order to obtain it.
For those who continue to search the scriptures for the truth they will find it if they truly believe God. For those who are looking for something else, they will find something they were not looking for.
Some day they will find themselves looking back at a wasted life of chasing the wind. They will have spent a lifetime of chasing the wind and they will have inherited the wind. They will have missed out on what is real and everlasting.
Image of the cross is from FreeFoto.com
quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible®,
Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973,
1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org )