The Meaning of Life
The problem of the meaning of life, and the purpose of us being on earth, has been the dominant existential question which every human being will have to answer at some stage of his existence in this world. It concerns not only grownup people, but also affects young people regarding their place in the complex society we live in. The great thinkers of history tried to discover the purpose of man on earth, but the answer was beyond the ability of the human mind.
It is the True and only God, the Creator of the whole Universe and Humankind, Who made Himself known to humanity through the Jewish race, Who reveals to us the meaning of life and our purpose on earth. The first people were Adam and Eve. They were meant to be immortal and incorruptible if they had obeyed God’s instructions. In their life they were to:
❖ glorify God, and stay in fellowship with Him
❖ have peaceful relations with others
❖ work in the Garden of Eden, and keep it in order
❖ improve their spiritual and mental powers, and
❖ have dominion over the earth (and all other living creatures).
The only restriction God placed upon the original couple was that they should not eat of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the Garden, otherwise they would die spiritually and become separated from God for ever. In this way God revealed to man the boundaries of life, since there is no life away from Him. Unfortunately, they ate of the forbidden fruit and fell into sin, with the consequential curse upon the earth (Genesis 3).
Some people ask, “why were we created in the first place?” The Holy Trinity – Father, Son & Holy Spirit – are joined permanently with pure and overflowing love. Love means that you are not shut into yourself, but open yourself and share what you have with other beings. God the Father, created logical beings, so they could be also objects of divine love – these being Angels and Humans – and would be recipients of His love. The atheist, and the indifferent, may well ask, “is not spiritual death a severe punishment when it is caused by one error of our ancestors?”
Saint John Chrysostom believed that if Adam and Eve repented there and then for their error, God would have forgiven the sin of both. This did not occur because the devil altered their mindset by instilling in them hostility towards God, and resistance to repentance. But God did not abandon us at the mercy of sin. He made a way to not only make eternal bliss possible (Luke 23:43), but also for life on earth to be satisfying and meaningful. This restoration is possible through Jesus Christ, who reconciled us to God (Romans 5:10).
Salvation and eternal life are gained by restoring fellowship with God, through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, in whom the purpose of life is rediscovered. Our purpose in life is to glorify God, by fearing Him and obeying His wishes, keeping our eyes on the future home in heaven, and getting as close to Him as possible. We enjoy God by following His purpose for our lives, which enables us to experience true and lasting joy, and the abundant life that He desires for us.
Source: Lychnos February/March 2020