What is the meaning of life?
What happens when I die?
Don’t all religions offer a pathway to God?
Through every age, mankind has sought the true meaning and purpose of life. We believe that the Bible holds the answers to all of LIFE’S BASIC QUESTIONS, including man’s meaning and purpose. We hope you will agree and that you will share with us your thoughts and experiences in this search on our “NEXT STEPS” page.
You have questions — God has answers.
Great New Questions Blog
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Last week we took an overview approach to answer this question focusing on God’s love. This week we have taken an in-depth search of Scriptures to see what else we can discover about whether or not mankind has a noble purpose ordained by its creator, God. First, what...
1. Why am I here and what is the meaning of life?
Our purpose in life is to honor God and to willingly have fellowship with Him. This is the only way that we will ever truly discover “why we are here”. This purpose can only be realized by accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. God expects each of us to grow physically, mentally and spiritually but most of all, God desires that we choose to honor Him with our lives. Honoring God in all we do gives us true meaning in life. God has a plan for the life of every individual. Life’s greatest adventure is to discover that plan and then to pursue it with all your heart.
2. Does God exist?
The short answer is, “Yes, God exists”. The follow up question is then, “Can you prove it?” First, allow me to point out that there is nowhere in the Bible where God tries to prove His own existence. Part of believing in God’s existence is found in faith and part is found in the obvious demonstrations of His existence that are right in front of us each day. The evidence of God’s existence is all around us. Random chance, no matter the time period over which it was supposed to occur, could not have resulted in the complex universe in which we live. When we see the intricate way in which every part of this universe is designed, we are led to the conclusion that there must be a creator. Once we open ourselves to the existence of a creator, we are open to the existence of God.
The other part of this is faith. Some refuse to believe in God because He cannot be seen. However, everyday we believe in and trust in things we can neither see nor explain. In John 3, Jesus used the wind to explain the movement of God’s Spirit. He pointed out that, while we can’t see the wind, we see and accept its effects as it blows through the trees touches our faces. Every time we enter a dark room and flip a light switch, we expect the lights to come on. We may not understand all there is to know about electricity and how it works at the sub-atomic level but we accept that it is there. When you compare these examples to the existence of the unseen God, they pale in comparison.
3. If God exists, why does life hurt so much?
Life is not fair and sometimes this brings pain and suffering to people who deserve better. God gave men and women the freedom to make choices. When those around us make choices out of selfishness, pride, anger, fear or negativity they cause others pain. This is all a result of Adam and Eve and their choice to defy God. By defying God, sin entered the world and, with it, pain and suffering. Everyone will make a similar choice. We can choose to do good things or do bad, to bring peace or strife, to bring hurt or healing. While we may not have a choice when it comes to some of the pain that comes our way in this life, we do have a choice in how we will face it. We can choose to stand and face the world alone or we can realize that a loving God stands ready to give us comfort when we have the faith to ask.
4. Why would anyone want to follow Jesus?
Life is full of choices. We can choose to continue with business as usual, enjoying success based on the standards defined by our culture or we can look past the glitter and see the emptiness that results from this world’s ideas of success . When we take an honest look at the Jesus of the Bible and His teachings about true fulfillment in life then we can understand why billions of people have put their faith in Him. Also, when we see that history offers more proof for His existence, His miracles and His resurrection than exists for anyone of or before His time on earth, then we must ask ourselves, “Why isn’t everyone following Jesus?” This man, this itinerant rabbi from two thousand years ago became the very dividing point in time for western civilization, brought to us a new way to live, a life where we never have to bear the load of guilt, shame, the pressures of this life or the disappointments of this world in our own strength ever again. And for those who wonder what lies beyond this life, Jesus offers eternal life in heaven with Him. Billions have followed Him and He offers that opportunity to all who will come to Him.
5. Don’t all religions offer a pathway to God?
In today’s pluralistic culture it is popular to say every religion provides a pathway to the Divine. The insistence that a single tradition is “right” seems regressive and intolerant. In the Christian faith, the belief that Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life” and that there is no pathway to God except through Him, is a distinctive promise that provides hope beyond what other religions profess. While other religions offer a philosophy, Jesus offers a relationship with Him and through Him a relationship with God. When we recognize that as the truth, all other pathways are dead ends.
6. Did Jesus really come back from the dead?
All belief systems require followers to exhibit some sort of faith. While accepting Jesus as savior requires faith, there is also a body of scholarly evidence that proves that a man named Jesus walked the earth, had many followers and was crucified. Historical record states that Jesus was pronounced dead and that he was buried for three days, after which, Jesus arose from the dead. There is evidence he was witnessed by hundreds over a forty-day period after arising before ascending to heaven.
7. What happens when I die?
Interestingly, the greatest mystery of life is about what happens when we die. Some believe that upon death we suffer personal complete annihilation, we simply cease to exist as a person. Yet for people of faith, death is the door that leads from one life to a far greater life. Christians believe that we were created with a soul, a spiritual consciousness that will continue to self-aware after this body has ceased to operate. when our physical body dies our soul lives on. This is only possible through the belief in the resurrection of his son, Jesus Christ, that God assures us we will have everlasting life.
8. If I am good, do I go to heaven?
Some believe that It would be nice to think that God looks at our lives and is keeping score between our good acts and those that are not. Do more good than bad and you get an automatic “get into heaven free” card. Many might be surprised where they actually stood when the final tally was made. However, in the Christian faith your assurance of eternal life is much easier. Because, regardless of your past or even your current life, getting into heaven only requires an acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. It is as simple as that! Paul said in his letter to the Roman church, “If you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord”, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”. (Romans 10:9 NIV) Most of the time when something sounds too good to be true, it is. This time it isn’t. God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to pay the penalty for our sins so that we could come back into fellowship with Him through simple faith. No balances, no scales — just faith.
9. How can a loving God condemn anyone to hell?
The idea of a loving God taking pleasure in tormenting people in an eternal hell is difficult to accept. Thankfully, this is not what the Bible teaches. The Bible teaches that God is love and it warns that those who reject God face everlasting punishment. Because humans are given free will, people choose for themselves whether or not they will follow Jesus. Therefore, we all decide for ourselves where we will spend eternity. Don’t be deceived, God wants us to love him. When we choose to accept Christ as Savior, our lives are transformed and we are accepted into the Kingdom of God. This assures us of eternal life with Jesus in Heaven. Staying out of hell is simple — just accept Jesus as your savior.
10. If God is in control, why doesn’t he destroy Satan?
This is a good question and it merits an honest answer. God could eliminate Satan anytime He wishes and, according to the Bible, He plans to do so, but only on his timetable. Until then, we will all struggle and endure Satan’s schemes. As humans, it is our desire to have the one who leads us to temptation removed so that we are no longer tempted to sin. However, God desires that each person come to Him willingly, in spite of the temptations that Satan places in our pathway. In what we call “The Lord’s Prayer” we are told to pray, “lead us not into temptation but deliver us from (the) evil (one)” (NIV). Satan;s temptations are strong but God’s Spirit, who lives in us, is stronger. He can give us power over sin so that we are no longer slaves to temptation. And, when we do give in to temptation and commit sin, the Bible tells us that, “if we confess our sin He (God) is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins…” (1 John 1: 9 NIV). If we simply trust in God and His Word, we cannot lose and it is just as if Satan has already been put away.
11. How does a person become a Christian?
There is only one way to become a Christian. We must confess our sins to Jesus and sincerely invite Him into our lives to be Lord and Savior. When we do, we find new life in Jesus Christ and are transformed into a child of God. Through this transformation we find peace, joy and courage to live a victorious Christian life. God has made us this offer through his word but, the choice is ours. God has given every person the free will to accept or reject his offer of grace. It is not something we earn but is freely given. Jesus already paid for it through his death on the cross.
12. How can I stop sinning?
All humans sin. In fact, the Bible tells us that “if we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1: 8 NIV) . The good news is that God frees us from being “slaves to sin”. We may struggle with sin but we will no longer feel about those sins the way we did before we accepted Jesus. We will find ourselves being led by God into a life that has less sin every day. However, even with our best intentions we will still sin. So, God, knowing of our sinful human nature, committed the ultimate act of love when He gave His Only Son, Jesus Christ, to be the perfect payment for our sins. That means He paid for all our sins even those that we commit today. Please don’t take this the wrong way, God still wants us to be free from sin. When we desire in our hearts to live for Christ and live a life without sin, God’s power can help us to no longer be slaves to sin. That same power can defeat the sins that keep defeating us. By giving our lives to Jesus, and granting him all power over us, we are freed of our sin.