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FINDING A PURPOSE FOR HUMAN EXISTENCE
When God made man and woman, he told them to be fruitful and multiple, rule over the fish, the birds and every living creature (Genesis 1:28). “God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (Genesis 2:15). After Adam and Eve sinned, they were banished from the garden and the ground was cursed. “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, … for dust you are and to dust you will return” (Genesis 3:19).
So, what is our lot in life? Is it simply to live, work, populate, and die? In Ecclesiastes, King Solomon (the wisest man: 1 Kings 4:29-34) searches for meaning in life. He says in Ecclesiastes 3:12, 13: “I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil — this is the gift of God.” In Ecclesiastes 12:13 he says, “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of mankind.” I highly recommend reading and pondering all of Ecclesiastes.
Solomon was King David's son and a believer in God. His conclusion to revere and obey God is different from that of a non-believer. If we do not believe in God, certainly we do not believe in life after death. If we live for this life only, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die” (1 Corinthians 15:32). Without God, our purpose for existing changes dramatically. If our only happiness and fulfillment is in this brief span of time on Earth, why should we not get, consume, and do all we can for our immediate benefit and satisfaction? There really is no other meaning.
As the Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:17, 19: “And if Christ has not been raised [meaning no life after death], your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. … If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.” We believe God exists and he created us in his spiritual image (Genesis 1:26) with an eternal soul. He did this so that we will revere him and seek him (Ecclesiastes 3:11, 14; Jeremiah 29:11-13). We believe that the purpose for human existence is to seek God and be reconciled to him through his son, Jesus, and to live following his teachings and commands. We find joy, peace, love, and fulfillment in doing so, and we have the hope of eternity with God when our human existence ends (read 1 Corinthians 15). This belief fills our lives with purpose and hope.
— Cynthia Clayton
© Patty Gibson
Scripture links/references are from BibleGateway.com. Unhighlighted scriptures can be looked up at their website.