People have been debating the meaning of life for thousands of years. The ancient Greek Philosophers sought to answer these questions. Their impact on Western culture was so great we are still influenced by them over two thousand years later! Most people have heard of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. The word stoic comes directly from the Greek Philosophical school of thought of Stoicism, while the word cynic comes from the Greek Philosophical school of thought of Cynicism. Yet despite their influence, these philosophies and philosophers were never able to answer the most important questions of life.
The Bible also addresses the most important questions of life. It answers questions such as: “Is there a God”, “What is the meaning of life?”, and “Where do I go when I die?”. Since the Bible is God’s word (written by human men, through God’s direction) it has answers to the questions which eluded the ancient Greeks and even modern philosophers. So, what does the Bible teach when it comes to these questions?
There is a God who holds us accountable for our actions (Eccl. 12:13-14)
The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.
All of us have tried to hide things from the powers that be, whether it be our parents, the government, our supervisor at work, or any other authority in our life. We often get away with quite a bit! However, unlike our human authorities, God knows and sees all! There is nothing hidden from God – He even knows our thoughts and motives (Psalm 139:1-2)!
All of humanity has fallen short of God’s standard (Rom. 3:23)
…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
The word for “sin” literally means “to miss the mark” or “to fail to make a particular standard.” Dunk tanks have a target that must be hit. Sometimes people hit the target and sometimes they don’t. If we were asked to throw a ball from 50 yards, it would be very rare to hit the target. At 100 yards perhaps only a few professional ball players could hit the target. But if we to set up the line from 200 yards there is no one in the world who could hit the target – not even with luck! God’s standard is like trying to hit a dunk tank from 200 yards. It can’t be done! God demands perfection (Lev. 11:44; Matt. 5:48). That’s a standard that no one, no matter how hard they try, can achieve.
The consequence for our sins is eternal separation from God (Rom. 6:23)
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
It is commonly said that two things are unavoidable: Death and taxes. It’s likely that some people have been able to cheat the tax man, but this verse reminds us that no one can cheat death because that is the consequence of sin. Those who commit crimes earn time in prison. Time spent in prison is what is deserved. Likewise, God tells us that we deserve death because of our sin! Physical death is scary, but spiritual death is worse. Whereas physical death is separation of our Spirit from our body, spiritual death is separation of our Spirit from God for eternity (Isa. 59:2)!
Jesus paid the penalty for sin by dying in our place on the cross (Isa. 53:4-5)
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.
This passage of scripture written hundreds of years before Jesus’ life prophesied that God would send a savior who would die for us, that is, die in our place. This verse describes not just the horrific death of crucifixion, but later goes on to describe God as putting the weight of our sin on Jesus: “and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all… it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt,” Jesus died specifically on our behalf.
Jesus demonstrated His power over sin and death when he rose from the grave (I Cor. 15:3-4).
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures
Let’s say I claimed to be able to run a mile in four minutes, and people questioned that claim. It would be easy to verify this by simply timing me run! In this case, everyone would discover that, no, I can’t run a mile in anything close to four minutes. Jesus claimed to be God. Jesus claimed to be the savior who was able to forgive sins by dying in our place! How can we verify such claims? In Deuteronomy, Moses told God’s people that a prophet could be trusted if their claims came true (Duet. 18:21-22). Jesus not only claimed that He would raise from the dead after 3 days, but He rose again and was witnessed by 500 people (I Cor. 15:6).
Faith alone that Jesus has died in your place will save you from the consequence of your sins. (Eph. 2:8-9)
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
The Bible is clear that doing good things can’t save us. Remember, we miss that mark of perfection that God demands. We are morally bankrupt in God’s eyes. Rather, God saves people through faith, by accepting the free gift of salvation. Say you were financially bankrupt, and a billionaire handed you a check to cover all your debts. What would be required to accept that check? You’d simply need to have the faith to take the check and deposit it into your bank. Likewise, God’s salvation is free to anyone who responds by believing that Jesus has paid the penalty for all your sins and given you eternal life (Rom. 10:9). Will you respond to God’s free gift of salvation by placing your faith in the death and resurrection of Christ?
If you still have some unanswered questions, we’d love to answer them for you! Please feel free to reach out to us. We can meet to address your questions at the church, over a cup of coffee, over a phone call or wherever you feel comfortable.
If you’ve placed your faith in the saving work of Jesus, we’re happy to welcome you as a brother or sister in Christ! If this is the case, it’s vital that you attend a good, Bible believing church, whether it be ours or another good church. Finally, it’s important that you find someone who can disciple you. Jesus spent several years with his twelve disciples. He spent quality, one on one time with these men to help them grow in their faith. Jesus later called His disciples to make disciples of their own (Matt. 28:17). If you’ve just come to faith in Christ, it’s important that a mature believer is able to disciple you moving forward. We’d be happy to find someone within our congregation to disciple you, or recommend someone outside if you prefer.