The Meaning of Life: With Free Will We Can Be Redeemed in Jesus
We are investigating the meaning of life and the question: Who are we? We have determined that free choice is the explanation for why evil exists in the world. And as we look at the world around us, everywhere we turn we see one evil after another. What are we to make of it?
C.S. Lewis once contemplated the world’s fallen state. Here is the response he said he’d have given when he was still an atheist: “If you ask me to believe that this is the work of a benevolent and omnipresent spirit, I reply that all the evidence points in the opposite direction. Either there is no spirit behind the universe, or else a spirit indifferent to good and evil, or else an evil spirit.”
So is this the best possible world? The answer has to be a resounding no! But it is the best possible way to the best possible world. What is the best of all worlds? It’s what we call heaven, described in Revelation 21:3–5 (NLT):
3 I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” 5 And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!”
That is the best possible world. And how do we get there? By living in this world and by believing in and following God’s only Son, Jesus.
As Jesus says in John 14:6 (NLT): “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”
Belief in Jesus is an act of the will. And as Jesus also says in John 6:29 (NLT), it is a work: “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.” Once that choice, that act, that work is made, the Holy Spirit, the third part of the Trinity, comes to live within us. And then he helps us discern and follow and live the Christian life in this world while we wait to enter the next.
So free will leads to evil, yes. And following evil leads to eternal death. But free will can also lead us to eternal life. Man has a choice. The Holy Spirit can guide and nudge us toward the right course, but in the end, the choice is man’s alone to make.
Next time we’ll look at another aspect of who we are: members of God’s holy household.