Tuesday, November 13, 2012
What Is The Meaning Of Life
If life is all about been born, becoming an adult, having children, working hard to raise them, becoming old and dying; only for our children, grand children and great grand children to go through the same process as we did, until a time comes when the very earth on which we stand self-destruct and cease to exist.
If this is what life is all about then life is meaningless. I would go even further and agree with you if you said God did not exist, because why would a living God create the earth, its vegetation, animals and people only for the purpose of destroying everything he had created.
It doesn't make sense that a living God would destroy everything he had created without a grand plan for making something better from what is destroyed. This reasoning argues against the view that the earth created itself according to the Big Bang theory. It also argues against the view that God does not exist.
If the Big Bang created the earth, the animals and people who live on it, then it would follow logically that life has no meaning, that we are born simply to live and die like flowers of the field.
Conversely, to argue, as I do, that life has meaning requires that we look elsewhere, other than the Big Bang Theory, for the creator of life. In my search for the creator of life, I found the explanation given by the bible most persuasive; perhaps more so because I am a Christian.
From my research I found that in the beginning was the essence of God, which is love. By God's will his Word came into being, and from God's breathe came into being his Holy Spirit. Together the three became one in the God Head. The God Head expresses his will by his Word, and the Word is given physical form by his Holy Spirit.
In Genesis 1:11 we see the three persons in God at work,"And God said, let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seeds in it, according to their various kinds. And it was so." Here, God's will was made known by his Word, and the things commanded by his Word were instantaneously given physical form by his Holy Spirit.
Now that we know God is the creator of life the next question is, why do our bodies, healthy and beautiful during our prime years, slowly deteriorate in health and vigor, until at last, are destroyed in death? Is God any different from the Big Bang, since both eventually destroys life?
As I have said before, if we accept the Big Bang as the creator of life, we are compelled by logic to also accept that life has no meaning, because in the hands of the Big Bang life was created for no other reason than to be destroyed. On the other hand, if we agree that God has a higher purpose for life then we can also agree that physical life is a transitional state of existence to be replaced by spiritual life upon its end in death.
The transition from physical life to spiritual life is analogous to how a caterpillar is transformed into a butterfly. In the body of the caterpillar the butterfly has limited mobility, it is slow and clumsy, vulnerable, and constantly in fear. Upon the death of the caterpillar, comes into being a very mobile butterfly, evading birds of prey and expressing its freedom and beauty in flight.
Similarly, in our human form we are limited in what we can do by time, space and resources. We are vulnerable to temptations, we are beset with material needs and diseases, and in constant fear, regardless whether we are rich or poor. And please, do not buy the argument that our purpose on earth is to endure hardship in order to be purified for eternal happiness in heaven.
Jesus debunked that argument in Luke 12:29-31 when he said, "And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well."
My friends, Christians are not condemned to enduring perpetual hardship on this earth. If it were so, nothing could more effectively drive a wedge between God and man. The reality of human life is that people who are hungry, cold, constantly worried about keeping a roof over their heads, getting medical care, or finding jobs, would not for long believe in a God who is suppose to help them get these things.
Which is why Jesus tells us to seek first the kingdom of heaven; meaning seek first the indwelling and baptism of the Holy Spirit, and along will come God's wisdom and power to help us create the conditions in which the things we need for our comfort and happiness would become ours.
We know this to be true because it is not God's plan that people should be poor, that people should constantly worry about losing their jobs and livelihood, that people should work hard, and yet not earn enough money to meet the basic needs of their families, or that people should die from curable diseases for want of affordable health care.
But we live in a world governed by the laws of nature, and the relationships those laws create. Those born into rich families would become rich enjoying all the advancement and comfort of wealth, while those born into poor families would become poor, and suffer the emotional and physical pain of poverty.
This been said, if left alone, the laws of nature would produce increasing misery on the face of the earth, which is why God stepped in to empower everyone to meet the basic needs of life. He is a fair God. He will not sit by while billions of people struggle under the crushing weight of poverty and powerlessness.
Through out history, God has touched the hearts and minds of dedicated men and women who have worked to smooth out the sharp edges of the laws of nature, opening multiple paths for the poor and needy to rise into the middle-class. Yet there is more to be done. In fact, some would argue we are currently experiencing a retrogression in the upward mobility of the poor and needy, particularly in developing countries.
As individuals we have access to the means to change the course of our lives. And although God has made these means available to us, he will not force us to accept them. We are free to accept the opportunity God has given us, or reject it; keeping in mind that in both the physical and spiritual worlds everything has its opposite. Just as darkness opposes light, so too the evil one opposes the Holy Spirit.
This struggle between the Holy Spirit and the evil one is seen in our daily interact with each other. If you look carefully, you will notice that all the advancement humankind has made in science, technology and philosophy have done little than bend us toward the dictum: "each for him or herself"; or to put it bluntly: "the survival of the fittest." God is telling us to choose a different path. He is telling us to let love guide how we interact with each other; meaning to use human knowledge to bend us toward doing onto our neighbors as we would want done onto us.
Why is love, as defined by Paul in First Corinthians 13:4-7, relevant in the search for the meaning of life? When love is expressed by doing onto our neighbors as we would want done onto us, it purifies our hearts and opens our souls letting the Holy Spirit to dwell in us. Once the indwelling occurs, our minds are infused with divine wisdom to help us understand that the meaning of life is to have a spiritual relationship with God.
Evidence of this spiritual relationship with God would come to us in a vision. We will see God, as Jesus promised in Matthew 5:8, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." But, we will see God not as we would see a physical person. We will see him in spirit form, and the elevated consciousness given us by the indwelling Holy Spirit would enable us feel the presence of God as though we were seeing and talking with a physical person.
All this is happening because God is spirit, and as we grow in our understanding that death is not the end of life but the beginning of a spiritual life, we would see the relevance of God in our lives, and the reason we should love our neighbors as ourselves.
I know you cannot wait to ask, what would happen to those who do not have a spiritual relationship with God? In Luke 3:16 we read, "John answered them all, I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."
Everyone would be given the opportunity during our earthly lives to be baptized by the Holy Spirit. The requirement for this baptism is to do onto our neighbors as we would want done onto us. This baptism would not only connect us directly with God, but also give us God's wisdom and power to enable us meet all our needs here on earth.
Fast forward to the end of time, we would all be dead. We would have lost our physical bodies, and exist in spirit form. Those baptized by the Holy Spirit would become one with God in spirit. This spiritual life with God would not be limited by time, space and resources. Consequently, whatever we hope for would instantaneously become our reality. There would be no lapse in time between when we want something and when it becomes ours.
On the other hand, those with no spiritual relationship with God would be baptized with fire. Since they would not have human flesh that can be burned with fire, the current state of the human mind cannot fully comprehend the nature of baptism with fire. But we are certain it would be a purification process, which off course, would be more challenging, to say the least, and different from baptism by the Holy Spirit.
With so many moving parts, the meaning of life cannot be understood without first knowing the creator of life. I have argued in this article that God is the creator of life. But there are still unanswered questions like: why would God create and put us into a world where we must toil day and night to feed ourselves? What wrong did we do that made God to banish us from heaven? Certainly, our condition of life would have been better in heaven. Why are we here?
These questions have something to do with the "fallen angels" before the earth was created. After God banished them from heaven along with their leader Lucifer, overwhelmed by the terrible lost they had suffered, some of the fallen angels pleaded with God for forgiveness. Being infinitely good, God created Adam and Eve from the dust of the ground and put into them the spirits of the repentant fallen angels, with the condition that they would be allowed back into heaven only by baptism with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
My dear friends, as we write the content of our lives with what we say and do, we are moving toward God in two major streams. In one stream are those baptized by the Holy Spirit, and in the other stream are those to be baptized with fire. We will all arrive before God, but how we get there is what the meaning of life is all about.
If you have come this far, I know you have some questions. Send them to me for answers. Meanwhile read my articles on The Meaning and Application of Faith. Be blessed and be well.