by Chuck Northrop
The Bible because it is inspired of God (2 Timothy 3:16), answers questions about life. Peter wrote,
“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue” (2 Peter 1:3). Because God has said He has “given us all that pertain unto life and godliness,” we can expect to find the answers to life within His revelation to man—the Bible. The questions of life are threefold:
Where did we come from?
Why are we here?
Where are we going?
The Bible answers the question:
“Where did we come from?”
The world says that man evolved from monkeys. However, there are many consequences of such thinking. The first and foremost consequence is that it takes away the meaning of life. With such thinking, man has no purpose. Man has no reason. Man is nothing more than a freak accident of nature. Such thinking leads to depression and hopelessness. A second consequence of evolution is that it gives credibility to no law. If humanity is a freak accident of nature, then life has no value. The logical end of such thinking is to extinguish the weak of humanity so the strong of humanity can be even stronger. Thus, with such thinking, if you are strong, there would be nothing wrong with killing the weak. No matter the consequence of evolutionary thinking, the fact is evolution is impossible! You cannot put two rocks into a box and shake it for a billion years and expect to find two watches that reproduce. Such thinking is absurd.
The Bible answers the question concerning the origin of life by stating that it is from God. In Genesis 1:27 Moses wrote, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Unlike evolutionary thinking, this gives value to life and leads to hope and promise. Further, it gives credence and credibility to law and morals. Since God is, we must live according to His standard of law. If we live according to His standard, we are rewarded with promise and hope.
The Bible answers the question:
“Why are we here?”
Another way to ask this question is “What is the purpose of life?” In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon considers life from two perspectives. First, he looks at life from the perspective of humanity without God. Ecclesiastes 1:4-7 says,
“(4) One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever. (5) The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose. (6) The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits. (7) All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.”
In this passage, Solomon views man’s labor “under the sun” (that is life from a physical viewpoint without the spiritual and without God). Thus, life is seen as one generation after another and like the sun, the wind, and the rivers laboring to get no where. The conclusion of such a view of life is, “Vanity of vanities; all is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 1:2). In other words, life has no meaning without God!
Second, Solomon views humanity from the perspective of life with God. When you put God back into your view of life, life takes meaning and the elements of life take on new meaning. For example, a part of life is death and, now, death has value (Ecclesiastes 7:1-4). Death seen from the perspective of life without God is hopelessness but death seen in view of God has tremendous hope. Death is the great deliberator for it causes us to soberly consider what is really important in life. Death is the great equalizer for we bring nothing into this world and it is certain that we take nothing out. And death is the great separator for by death, we are separated from this present world.
After examining life from both perspectives, Solomon concludes his analysis. In Ecclesiastes 12:13 Solomon wrote, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” The very essence of the purpose of mankind is briefly but explicitly stated—”fear God and keep His commandments.” This is the purpose of life. This is why we are here. It is a terrible tragedy to spend one’s life like the sun, the wind, and the rivers in seemingly endless labors in this physical world. We must look beyond this physical realm to realms above wherein is God. In the in next verse, Solomon states the reason for our purpose in life. He wrote, “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14). Thus, the fear of God and the keeping of His commandments should be done in expectation of one day standing before God in judgment.
The Bible answers the question:
“Where are we going?”
The Holy Spirit revealed the universal appointment of all men in Hebrews 9:27, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Every person must face the cold reality of death and of judgment. Contrary to what the reincarnationist teach, death must be faced only once. The reincarnationist teach misery and hopelessness by teaching that after this life is over, a person comes back to this world of pain and sorrow as an animal.
Concerning judgment, Paul taught, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10). What happens at the judgment is determined by how we fulfilled our purpose in life. If we have feared God and kept His commandment we will be separated with the sheep on God’s right hand and God’s Son will declare, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34). But if we live our own life in service to ourself, we will be numbered with the goats on God’s left hand and God’s Son will declare, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41). Therefore, we must prepare ourselves for the day of our death and the day we will stand before God in judgment.
We can know the answers to the questions of life for the Bible reveals them to us. The answers to these questions center around God and our responsibility to Him. God has given us a beginning, a purpose, and a destination. Consequently, each person is responsible to fulfill the very reason and purpose for our existence—”fear God and keep His commandments.”
Can We Know… The Answers To the Questions of Life? by Chuck Northrop © 1993