Answers to Life's Greatest QuestionsDiscovering God's truth as revealed in the Bible
1. What is the meaning of life and why am I here?
We are here to grow physically, mentally and spiritually. For those with religious beliefs, life means honoring God with your life, your work and through the enjoyment of God’s presence. To Christians, God’s presence comes through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Life’s greatest adventure, beyond what you could ever dream or imagine, is to discover God’s exciting plan for your life and to pursue it with a passion.
But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love. And don’t take yourself too seriously—take God seriously. Micah 6:8.
2. If God exists, why does life hurt so much?
When we draw on a source beyond ourselves for strength and courage, then we are not alone in our pain. Humans by nature are not perfect; instead, God gave men and women the freedom to make choices. As a result there is hurtfulness. The good news is that a loving God stands ready to give us comfort when we have the faith to ask.
God rescued us from dead-end alleys and dark dungeons. He’s set us up in the kingdom of the Son he loves so much, the Son who got us out of the pit we were in, got rid of the sins we were doomed to keep repeating. Colossians 1:13-14
3. What happens when I die?
Interestingly, the greatest mystery of life is about what happens when we die. What if there is nothing, as some believe? Yet for people of faith, death is the door that leads from one life to a far greater life. Christian’s believe 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.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4 (NIV)
4. Does God exist?
If the vastness of the universe, the beauty of the world and the innocent touch of a baby are creations, there must be a creator. The evidence of God is present everywhere around us. How could anything so perfectly engineered be mere happenstance? When we finally grasp an understanding of the incredible creation, we open ourselves to the possibility of faith in God; then all other things begin to make sense.Think about it; can billions of people over the history of the world all be wrong?
God, it seems you’ve been our home forever; long before the mountains were born, Long before you brought earth itself to birth, from “once upon a time” to “kingdom come”—you are God. Psalm 90:1-2
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 reactionary, regressive and overly righteous. In the Christian faith, the belief in Jesus being “the way, the truth, and the life in which no one comes to the Father but through me” is a distinctive promise that provides hope beyond what other religions profess. When we recognize that as the truth, all other pathways are dead ends.
Jesus said, “I am the Road, also the Truth, also the Life. No one gets to the Father apart from me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him. You’ve even seen him!” John 14
6. If I am good, do I go to heaven?
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. But in the Christian faith your assurance of eternal life is much easier. Because, no matter how good or bad you are or have been, getting into heaven only requires an acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. It is as simple as that!
As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” Romans 3:10-12 (NIV)
7. How can a loving God condemn anyone to hell?
The idea of a loving God taking pleasure in tormenting people in eternal hell is difficult to accept. The Bible teaches that God is love and yet it warns that those who reject God face everlasting punishment. Because humans are given free will, people choose for themselves whether they will follow Jesus or not and therefore where they will spend eternity. Make no mistake, 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.
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 (NIV)
8. If God is in control, why can’t he destroy Satan?
It’s a good question. God could eliminate Satan anytime and plans to do so 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 we no longer sin or are tempted. However, Satan is not the cause of all evil, pain and suffering. The absence of God’s presence in the hearts of humans or in society allows evil to manifest itself. The good news is that faith in Jesus Christ provides us with the strength to resist Satan.
I saw an Angel descending out of Heaven. He carried the key to the Abyss and a chain—a huge chain. He grabbed the Dragon, that old Snake—the very Devil, Satan himself!— chained him up for a thousand years, dumped him into the Abyss, slammed it shut and sealed it tight. No more trouble out of him, deceiving the nations—until the thousand years are up. After that he has to be let loose briefly. Revelation 20:1-3
9. Why would anyone want to follow Jesus?
Life is about choices. We can choose to continue with business as usual, enjoying success based on the standards defined by our culture. Or we can take an honest look at the Jesus of the Bible and dare to ask what the consequences might be if we really believed and obeyed him. Each and every day, for over two thousand years, people around the world choose to follow this itinerant rabbi who gave his life and was raised from the dead so that all who follow him can enjoy God’s Kingdom and everlasting life.
“God’s kingdom is like a treasure hidden in a field for years and then accidentally found by a trespasser. The finder is ecstatic—what a find!—and proceeds to sell everything he owns to raise money and buy that field.” Matthew 13:44
10. Did Jesus come back from the dead?
All belief systems require followers to make a leap of faith. There is a body of scholarly evidence that proves that a man named Jesus walked the earth, had many followers and was crucified. Christians believe that after being pronounced dead and buried for three days, Jesus arose from the dead. There is evidence he was witnessed by hundreds, including his disciples, over a forty-day period after arising before ascending to heaven. We humans are given the free will to make decisions. The choice is yours. You can either choose to follow Jesus or not. You decide.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16-17 (NIV)
11. How can I stop sinning?
All humans sin. God did not create us to be perfect. Even with our best intentions we still sin. Trying to stop on our own is impossible. Only God has the authority to forgive, which is the ultimate act of love. God loves us so much that he sent his only son Jesus to walk the earth to forgive us of our sin. Jesus had the power to overcome death and walk out of the grave. 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.
If we claim that we’re free of sin, we’re only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. On the other hand, if we admit our sins—make a clean breast of them—he won’t let us down; he’ll be true to himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. If we claim that we’ve never sinned, we out-and-out contradict God—make a liar out of him. A claim like that only shows off our ignorance of God. 1 John 1:8-10
12. How does one become a Christian?
There is only one way to become a Christian. We must sincerely invite Jesus into our lives to be Lord and Savior, repent of our old ways and allow ourselves to be born anew. When we do, we find new life in Jesus Christ and are transformed as a child of God. Through this transformation we find the peace, joy and courage to live a victorious life. 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.
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. Romans 10:9-10 (NIV)
Remember, God loves you and wants you to experience an abundant life for now and all eternity.