The Meaning of Life? Where Are We Going?
What is the meaning of life? We conclude our investigation with the fifth great question: Where are we going?
History Has an End
Unlike some eastern religions, in Christianity time is linear, not circular. History had a beginning and will have an end. Genesis 1:1 declares: “God created the heavens and the earth.” This agrees with science which tells us that all time, space, and matter began at a single moment with the Big Bang. Everything that exists—including time—began long ago. And history is marching from a beginning toward an end.
God has a plan for history. History has purpose and meaning, and it’s this: God is creating a people for himself from those who will believe in the Son he sent—a people he will love, who will love him, and among whom he will dwell.
What will happen to this physical realm where we live? The earth itself is doomed, as is the universe. In its place God will create an entirely new reality.
Where are we humans going? We are given a choice. We can join God’s people and live in his heaven. Or we can reject God and his plan for humanity. How do we join? We believe in Jesus as God’s Son, through whom we can receive eternal life.
The following vision that God gave to the Apostle John say it all. From Revelation 21:1–8 (NLT):
1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. 2 And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
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!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” 6 And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. 7 All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.
8 “But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
Where Are We Going?
Where are we going? Either to heaven or to hell. Either to live with God for all eternity, or to a place of the damned that God has abandoned, a place of torment and agony.
The choice couldn’t be clearer. Either we believe in and follow Christ and live forever with the source of all goodness, justice, mercy, and love. Or we spend eternity in suffering in a place without God.
But is this fair, you ask? Well, let me ask this: If you were God, would you want your heaven filled with people who didn’t believe in you and who rejected your Son and his teachings? I think not. None of us would do any differently. God gives us every chance, a lifetime of chances, to turn to him. He offers his grace—the free gift of eternal life to all who believe. All we have to do is believe, accept, and obey. So that is our destiny, and we are given the ability to choose it.
The Meaning of Life: The Five Great Questions
We’ve now answered the five great questions that answer the meaning of life:
- Where did we come from?
• God created the universe, the earth, and men and women from nothing. Everything that exists is an intentional creation of God for a purpose.
- Who are we?
• We are created in the image of God, with some qualities of our divine Creator. One of the attributes God gave us was free choice.
- Why are we here?
• We are here to love and honor God and to love others as ourselves. We are here to expand the church, which is God’s kingdom on earth.
- How should we live?
• We should live according to the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles, loving others, honoring God, and expanding his kingdom through the church.
- Where are we going?
• If we believe in Jesus as God’s Son, we will live for all eternity as members of God’s people in heaven. But if we reject God’s Son, we’ll experience eternal death in a place of torment.
• It’s our free choice to make. God wants us to choose him.
Look no further, intrepid seeker. This is the meaning of life.
Next week (or the week thereafter) I will begin a new direction with this blog. As befits an author trying to gain potential future readers, the focus will change to: “Christian Fantasy and Historical Fiction.”