The question as to why we are here? Has haunted mankind for millennia. In recent centuries the proposal has been made that man simply evolved and there was never a reason for his existence, it just happened by a rare act of chance.
However widely this view is popularised in modern facilities of higher learning it does not answer the gnawing question of why we are here and cannot remove the desire within the heart of mankind to have an answer to this burning eternal question. The question itself poses a dilemma, if there is a reason for our existence, then what happens if we don't achieve it. The question troubles our thinking and brings a level of fear into our lives.
An answer has been sought within religion, politics and every known form of government known to man. People seek enlightenment from as far away as the ancient teaching of the Far East to the much closer secular Western philosophy of our more modern age. Many answers have been given and many rejected as the discussion of our existence rages across eons. However the answer is readily available to anyone who is willing to look for it.
The bible tells us that the beginning of wisdom is the acknowledgement (fear) of God (Proverbs 9.10) as the creator and sustainer of all that exist (Psalm 104.) It is only from this starting point that we can hope to arrive at the answer to our question given the understanding that we were made with a purpose in mind.
The question now follows some simple paths starting with: If we were created by intelligence other than our own then what was that intelligence's reason in creating us?
The answer to that question is recorded within scripture in Genesis 1 we read "in the image of God made He them male and female". We, that is mankind, are created in God own image.
Why is this important in our understanding of the aforementioned question? Simply put we can quickly see that God only created each individual aspect of His creation to follow their own unique blueprint, Cows follow the cow kind, dogs follow the dog king even angels were created after their own kind. However, man is different he is created after the God kind.
In reality there is no mankind only the God kind.
Now that we know the kind we have been created to follow it isn't too hard to work out the different between mankind and the rest of the physical creation on the planet. Cows always behave as cows; dogs always behave like dogs etc. Only man is different we don't follow a set pattern of behaviours, rather we can follow any behaviours we are taught.
So the question is do we behave like God. Interesting enough over the thousands of years many peoples came to the knowledge that if all animals follow the nature of their kind then man ought to as well. The only explanation they could arrive at was that the gods were human like with their petty scruples and disagreements.
The problem was this was making gods like man and not man like God.
It was the Creator Himself who addressed the question by declaring what He was like as recorded within the pages of the Bible. God chose to reveal himself through one family and started by calling that one man from his homeland to come to a new land which was described as a land of milk and honey.
The call of Abram is recorded within the first book of the bible Genesis and even within the story itself we see God actively portraying his plan for salvation and the ultimate purpose for His image within the earth.
Through the family which descend from Abraham (his name was changed from Abram) God instructed the world as to His unfailing love and perfect righteousness by given them the perfect example of Law - Morale, Civil and Religious. However it quickly became apparent that man was unable to follow after the God Kind even when instructed in how he should behave. Something was missing, something which the Law (although holy) was unable to provide.
To understand what was missing we need to go back to the start when Man was first created. At the start of the Book of Genesis we are told the story of our first humans ancestors, Adam and Eve and the perfection in which they lived in total harmony with God. However we are quickly introduced to an adversary (one who opposes) who tricked our first parents into disobeying God making them suffer the penalty of death as a result. Death came to our first parents in two phases. First they died spiritually then over time they died physically as they bodies were unable to regenerate as they no longer were in direct contact with God who was their sustainer.
The spiritual death of Adam and Eve was also the problem with the obeying of the Law. The Law is designed to apply to spiritually alive beings but the entire human race died in Adam prior to their birth. As the scriptures explained Adam and Eve did not have children until they were cast out of the Garden of Eden.
This is the problem we inherit with each generation of human life. The spiritual death means that we are unable to see beyond our own wants and needs and we have become selfish and uncaring to the needs, emotions and feeling of others around us.
As indicated within scripture "the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life". It is that gift which was revealed through the family of Abraham appropriately 2000 years ago.
Throughout the scriptures the Spirit of God revealed the need for another Adam, and 2000 year ago a Jew was born who was not a paternal descendant of Adam as we all are but he was only a maternal descendant. His Father was God and His mother was a young Jewess called Mary.
The child was unique he was fully human but unlike any of his fellow human he was spiritually alive as Adam and Eve had been prior to their fall from grace. The scriptures reveal Him to be none other than the Creator God who had decreed that He should come in human flesh to take away the penalty of sin from the human race. Why did God need to come? Because He wishes to save all of humanity who has ever lived, repair the damage caused to our relationship with God by our first parents disobediences.
Do you understand that the original sin against God was not the action itself but rather the result of the action? God had told Adam and Eve to live but they subsequently died thus making the Word of God spoken to them void.
Scriptures stated that no word which passes from the mouth of God can return to him until it has completed all he has commended of it.
Through Jesus we are given life and redeemed from the curse of the Law which sentenced us to death. But how did it happen? On the Cross as Jesus was suffering the agony of crucifixion a problem existed. It was a problem only to Jesus and to no other human being who have ever lived. The problem was that without sin in one's life death cannot occur.
It is a strange concept to our rational minds that death is not a natural result to life but a penalty incurred when we reject God's truth and separate ourselves from Him. As scriptures state, "It is appointment until man once to die then comes the judgement." Jesus was born spiritually alive and during his life on this earth he did not sin at all. He was the prefect image of the Creator and in reality He was the Creator manifested in flesh. On the Cross he suffered the pain and ordeal of the crucifixion but without sin being in his life he could not be released from the ordeal he was experiencing. It shows the true extent of the Love and our God that He allowed the penalty of our transgressions to be a blessing to end our suffering as He knew that being separate from God would be the most heinous of all punishment if our life were to continue unabated as it does for the angels who are cut off from Him.
So why then did a Loving God allow His own begotten Son to be placed in a situation where he would have to endure unimaginable suffering with no reprieve avail to his through death? This is a question which horrifies most who considers it, but the answer is almost too wonderful to believe. The scripture tells us that on the Cross Jesus took upon himself our transgressions, how he would do this was signalled throughout the New Testament. He would take our defective dead spirit and give to us His Perfect Living Spirit. Once we agree to Jesus taking our sins upon himself this miracle occurs in each of our lives.
The moment Jesus calls to the Father, "unto You I commit my Spirit" Jesus is given the spirit of the fallen Adam and immediately dies. We on the other hand receive His living Spirit which our actions are unable to affect thus we remain alive in Christ even though we continue to sin in this life.
It was the death spirit of Adam (common to all human life) which resurrected in the body of Jesus and Paul highlights this in Ephesians when he explained that we sit in the risen Christ at the right hand of God in Heaven now. While Christ lives by His Spirit through our lives here on earth.
Sometime we find it hard to understand that we are all of one spirit, the Spirit of Adam was given to him from the one who later would walk this earth as Jesus Christ and when that spirit died in Adam, Jesus was able to come was offer us His living original spirit therefore taking the dead spirit from us so that it could be moved on to its next level which was to change the physical into the fullness of the spiritual which Jesus became at his resurrection.
As the Bible states,"He is the Author and Finisher of our souls" the First and the Last - the first born spiritual son of the Living God - the first fruits of the earth". We are to be like him as he is now when we are resurrected at his return as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
The scriptures state that when Jesus returns to this earth with the sounding of the last trumpet the righteous dead will rise first then we who remain alive who have his spirit will change as in the twinkling of an eye to become like him and will meet him at his coming in the air.
The problem started with disobedience - the adversary (Satan) stole our birth right from our first parents by causing them to die, but Jesus our redeemer paid for our transgressions and restored us into a living relation with our Heavenly Father thus restoring to us the stolen birth right which we inherit with Jesus as first born children to God.
The question we ask at the start of this article was - "Why are we here?" the answer is simplicity itself - we are here to learn. As created beings we are to discover the reason as to why sin (transgression against God) is unable to be allowed to remain within a perfect creation and therefore why an All Loving God will subsequently have to eradicate it completely. Now that we are alive in Christ we can fully understand the nature of the law of life which is God's own rules about living in harmony with Him. The total Law can be summed up in one word and that word reveal the totality of the nature of God - the Word is Love.
While the answer is simplistic it is not easy to understand until we learn who we are and where we come from, then all of the parts fall correctly into place and we see the big picture. We are God's own children and we are to be the perfect example of following in His kind for eternity which is outgoing Love towards all.
William Andrews is a regular Christian preacher/speaker within churches across Northern Ireland. He lives in one of the very few dry villages in Ireland called Seskinore, has been married to Caroline for 38 blissful years and has two daughters Charlene (37) and Rachel (23). The year 2008 proved to be an exciting year for the family as Charlene got married to Dominic in September 08 and they had their first child Phoebe Rose on 30th November 2009. A second grandchild, Ruby Caroline was born on 23rd April 2013.