In his novel ‘The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ (1979) Douglas Adams describes how an alien race programs a computer called Deep Thought to provide the ultimate answer to “Life, the Universe and Everything”. After a multi-million years’ calculation, back came the answer – 42.
What is the meaning of life and the universe? What is the ultimate cause and purpose of life? What is the purpose of my life?
This question has been pondered for thousands of years. Man knows that something outside of himself caused life to begin.
What are the answers to these ultimate questions?
Well, I am sorry to disappoint Mr. Adams, but the answer is not 42.
We can only find the answers to these questions if we are fortunate enough to have it explained to us by the one who created everything.
It has to be revealed to us by the one who existed when everything was created. Fortunately, this is the case.
The world and all that exists is not a cosmic accident. We are not products of chance.
The origin of the world came to pass through the intelligent design and decision of a supernatural being who has a purpose for everything He does. That intelligent supernatural being who created all things is Jehovah God.
And God indeed has revealed the answers to these question in His revelation to man – in the Bible.
The quick answer to the question of ultimate cause is that God created all things for His own glory and pleasure.
“For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever.” (Romans 11:36 NKJV)
“for in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28 NKJV)
“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Revelation 4:11 NKJV)
God has eternally existed in three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. God is not dependent upon anyone or any other thing.
The following quote from the Bible is the purposeful conversation of the triune God in the early portion of God’s revealed word – the Scriptures.
“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26-28 NKJV)
God has a purpose for everything He does.
If we deny God and His creation, we have no purpose. We are just cosmic accidents.
If God does not exist, then we have the question of Hamlet to face – “To be or not to be?” Should we live or die?
Another ultimate question is “What if there is something beyond death?” And also, “What if I am accountable to God?”
God created all things, the planet, the luminaries, the angels, the seas and land and their inhabitants. But none of these were created to be the image bearers of God and none were created in the likeness of God. The crowning creative act of God was to create man, male and female, to bear His image and to reflect His glory.
We are thinking and rational creatures. We reason and make decisions, just as God does. We bear His image with our minds. In that respect, we are different from the rest of creation.
So, is there a purpose for your existence or isn’t there?
If there is no God, there is no purpose. If there is no purpose, then there is no God.
Conversely, if there is a God, then there is a purpose and if there is indeed a purpose, then there must be a God.
The philosopher Aristotle understood and confessed this.
Immediately after the creation of man, God placed him in a garden and put him to the test of obedience which he failed. With his failure he lost his original righteousness, knowledge and holiness. His whole nature became corrupted and his penalty for his disobedience was incurring death, eternal and physical death. This was not just for the first man in woman created, but also for all of their descendants after them indefinitely.
God immediately provided a way for man to be redeemed from sin and death through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Our purpose in this life is to bring glory to the triune God. We do this by trusting in Jesus Christ, who came to redeem man from his fall into sin.
We also do this by obeying God’s commands and by thinking His thoughts after Him.
God’s redemptive purpose was to send His son to be the wrath-bearer for sinners, to die in their place to take on the wrath of God in their place. Those who receive Him as their Savior and Lord and King have their sins eternally forgiven and live for Him.
What is beyond this life after death? This is another ultimate question.
“He [God] has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man [Jesus] whom He has ordained.” (Acts 17:31 NKJV)
“And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many.” (Hebrews 9:27 NKJV)
For those who trust in Christ and serve Him will enjoy life immortal and eternal fellowship with God. These enjoy participating in God’s redemptive purpose of redeeming His creation from the fall of man into sin.
For those who do not participate in God’s purpose of redeeming His creation, judgment is in store. Eternal suffering and punishment in hell away from the fellowship with God is the judgment. Those who will spend eternity in hell will finally realize that the world was created with a purpose, but they have refused to acquiesce in the redemptive purpose of God for man in Jesus Christ.
God, in fact will redeem and restore all of creation (the non-rational part of creation as well) in the future when Jesus Christ returns a second time and raises the dead for acquittal and judgment.
“For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.” (Romans 8:19-23 NKJV)
“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” (2 Peter 3:10-13 NKJV)
Do you have a purpose in life? Does your purpose in life coincide with God’s redemptive purpose?