The Purpose of Life
For thousands of years, man has struggled with the question of why he exists. The answer is found in only one place—the Bible. You have an important purpose in life, and you need to learn of it!
If man is here only to live a few years and then die, what is the purpose of life? Are we only a little better off than dogs and other animals whose lives are even shorter than ours? Even if our lives could be extended by a thousand years or more, we would still need to know why we were living. We would still be wasting our lives, dying without even knowing there was a reason for our existence.
Many people lament that there is no answer to this question. They do not even bother wondering about it. Many others have various, erroneous ideas that have grown out of superstition and religious tradition. But do any of these notions make any sense? Do people in general really know what the Bible reveals? Perhaps an even greater concern is not why we are alive, but why must we die? If we could understand why we are here, perhaps we could understand what death is.
Science Holds No Answers
What is the purpose of life? Are there any known truths, other than the fact that we all die? Has anyone ever discovered why he or she is alive? We cannot discover the purpose for mankind's existence unless we are willing to extract ourselves from the notion of a coincidental or accidental beginning, such as that espoused by so-called "logical, scientific thinkers" and evolutionists.
As long as we fall in with such thinking, we are in the trap: We are caught with them who say, "We cannot know the answer—we cannot know why."
Science can know what we are chemically; it can explore our bodies and even our minds. But science cannot tell us why we are here.
There is a need here for sound reasoning. Let us apply some unprejudiced logic. If we do, we will come to the conclusion that life does not create itself. We will realize that the existence of life forms (among which is humankind) demands the presence of a life Creator.
A child, with little knowledge, can build a sand castle. But only a man with much greater knowledge and ability can build a real castle. How much greater knowledge and ability was required to create man, the earth, its inhabitants and the universe?
We have presented many questions. Deductive reasoning provides answers to this pivotal question. The existence of something manufactured proves the existence of a manufacturer.
The existence of something created proves the existence of a Creator. Obviously, then, if we want to know why we exist, we can find out from the One Who caused us to exist. We might also like to know more about Him. Much can be ascertained by observing all that He has created. To go deeper, we will need to look to the Book wherein He speaks.
Only One Source Has the Truth about Life
Although many people do not like what they read in the Bible, this is where the answer to life is found. Most avoid reading and searching the Bible. If they read it at all, it is not with a determined desire to find truth and the meaning of life. Are they afraid of what they will find when they truly begin searching? Are they afraid they will be forced to trade in some old notions for some new facts?
In the Book that is called simply the “Bible,” or the “Holy Bible,” we come to know the One Who created us. As we learn of Him, we come into a greater understanding of many things, including why He created us.
In one place He plainly states what it is all about:
See, I have set before you this day life and good, and death and evil; in that I command you this day to love Yahweh your Elohim, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply: and Yahweh your Elohim shall bless you in the land whither you go to possess it (Deuteronomy 30:15-16).
"Yahweh" is the original true name of the Creator of the universe (see top of page 2). "Elohim" is a Hebrew title, meaning mighty one. In reference to Yahweh, it means the true Mighty One.
Following Yahweh's way of life leads to blessings and happiness. It is a law just as immutable as His law of gravity. If we do His will, we will be rewarded with a fulfilling life. This is a direct promise from the Creator of the universe.
Yahweh continues speaking to us through Moses, giving us a choice:
But, if your heart turns away, so that you will not hear, but shall be drawn away and worship other deities and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that you shall surely perish, and that you shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither you pass over Jordan to possess it (Deuteronomy 30:17-18).
The opposite is just as sure. Live your life your own way, indulging in corruption and sin, and punishment will be inevitable. These are the alternatives in a nutshell:
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live: that you may love Yahweh your Elohim, and that you may obey His voice, and that you may cleave unto Him, for He is your life, and the length of your days: that you may dwell in the land which Yahweh swore unto your fathers, to Abraham to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them (Deuteronomy 30:19-20).
How wonderful it is to know that we are here for that purpose: to choose life. It is not merely a temporary life that is involved in that choosing.
We know that Yahweh is not willing that anyone should ever perish. Whosoever believes in Him [the Son of Yahweh] should not perish, but have eternal life. For Yahweh so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:15-16). He also said, I am come that you might have life, and that you might have it abundantly (John 10:10).
Enjoyment and appreciation of life are such important aspects of our existence on earth that it is sad to learn that so many are unhappy—as a result of their own choices.
Yahweh commands us to choose life because that is what He wants for us. He wants us to truly desire to live—not just have a casual desire to eat and gain some random pleasure, but a deep desire to live life to the fullest, abundantly, the way He originally prescribed. This is the kind of life He has promised to those who will someday inherit a place in His everlasting Kingdom.
The prospect of eternity is the key element in understanding what this life is all about. This life is, in fact, a time of preparation for eternal life.
You Can Rule in the Eternal Kingdom
For many, what happens in the hereafter is a mystery. They conjure up notions of wispy clouds, winged nymphs, and harp music. Yet, the Bible gives us insight into exactly what will take place in the Kingdom of Yahweh.
Man was first created in the image of Elohim and placed in the Garden of Eden to care for it. Not only had the Creator given man life, but He also had made preparations for man to continue that life, as long as man did not go beyond established bounds.
When Eve and Adam followed that which looked good to them and ate of the forbidden fruit, they were expelled from the garden. In that day, he essentially began to die because his life thereafter was given limits. Physical life would continue, but the earth would only stubbornly yield its fruit by the sweat of man's brow.
In time, a Savior, a Deliverer, was sent to earth to make way for the abundant life. Man would have a purpose in his physical life with the promise of living forever in a “new heaven and a new earth.” The first step was belief in Yahweh's word and acceptance of the conditions Yahweh set forth.
Yahweh is an ambitious Being. He created the heavens and earth "not in vain," as we read in Isaiah 45:18. Sitting around plucking on little harps for eternity is not what He had in mind for His people.
The faithful have a definite, dynamic role promised in the future. Yahshua said, He that overcomes and keeps My words unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations (Revelation 2:26). What a fantastic prospect--Kingdom ruler ship on earth under Yahshua the Messiah! It is yours if you repent and overcome the temptation of sin. Yahshua said further, You are they which have continued [literally, have remained through] with Me in My temptations. And I appoint unto you a Kingdom, as My Father has appointed unto Me; that you may eat and drink at My table in My Kingdom, and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Luke 22:28-30).
Judging does not mean simply passing sentence. It means instructing and explaining the objectives of a program and then allowing those instructed to show their abilities in following through with what they were taught. Clearly, this refers to the Kingdom age when all who have not learned of the ways of Yahweh will be taught and then be given the opportunity to live in obedience to what they have learned. They will be judged by what they have learned in overcoming sin.
Sin is defined in 1 John 3:4, Whosoever commits sin transgresses also the law; for sin is the transgression of the law.
No good, righteous ruler comes to power unprepared and unworthy. Our lives are to be a time of preparation and training to judge at the right hand of the Savior. Such a position requires the highest qualifications. Each day, every hour, each minute should be lived with that goal continually in mind! That is an awesome calling—an awesome purpose for life!!!
We are required to pursue fervently what has been set forth by the Creator of life. Although it is not His desire that any should perish, He has purposefully given us free will so that we may choose. No one will enter eternity who has not made a deliberate choice to live the way of life the Creator expects.
The Finality of Death
In this present temporary state of life, we are given an opportunity to know what life is—what it is like to be alive—and to know what death is. Many people, however, are deceived regarding the meaning of life and they do not know what death is.
The Bible states that eternal death is not an everlasting punishment—the second death. It means to be burned up in a lake of fire (Revelation 20:14). The word "everlasting" simply means that the results of death are eternal and final. It does not mean an ongoing punishment. Medieval writers and painters have popularized the erroneous notion that death means eternal torment in hellfire. It ought to be obvious that when the body of a man perishes, it is dead and can feel no more pain, nor can it be tormented in any way. Death means the opposite of life—the end of life. Scripture tells us that the dead know nothing (Ecclesiastes 9:5). The brain ceases to function at the moment of death and the spirit returns to the One Who gave it. Exactly what the spirit is that Yahweh gives to man and what happens to that spirit as it returns to Yahweh would be a topic for another booklet.
One of the great treasures of life is knowledge. But in death, none of the treasures of life can be experienced. The only hope we have for the dead, and for ourselves, is the resurrection and the life of the world to come.
Salvation by the Resurrection
To the assembly at Corinth, the Apostle Paul wrote: "Now is the Messiah risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them who slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in the Messiah shall all be made alive. But, every man in his own order: the Messiah the firstfruits; afterward they who are the Messiah's at His coming "(1 Corinthians 15:20-23).
Everlasting life is conditional. We each can choose our way of life. It has been made easier for us because the Eternal Father has given His own Son to save us from the evil way.
The life promised us in the resurrection is immortality. It is an endless, everlasting life on a higher plane, a higher realm. Peter prophesied that we would be partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4).
Paul said that we would bear the image of the heavenly (1 Corinthians 15:49). John wrote that, even now, we are accounted as sons of Yahweh, and when Yahshua returns to this earth, we will be given a body like His (1 John 3:1-2). It will be a spirit body unaffected by physical limitations.
Paul said that our behavior is already as if we were in the Kingdom, obeying the laws of Yahweh now, and our vile body will be changed to a glorious body like our Savior (Philippians 3:20-21). Isaiah likened the people of Yahweh to clay in the hands of the Master Potter. He is molding us into the image of His Son (Isaiah 64:8). This same thought is confirmed by Paul in Romans 8:29.
Yahshua the Messiah is the way, the truth and the life—in Him we have the resurrection. And through Him, Yahweh says, "I have set before you … life and good" (in Yahshua) but "death and evil" remain. The choice is still there. We still need to choose to love Yahweh "...to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments."
Jeremiah 31:31 and Hebrews 8:10 show that the Commandments are the foundation of both the Old and New Covenants. The greatest difference that exists between the Old and New Covenants is that, as Moses taught, we are to put Yahweh’s law into our hearts and minds (Deuteronomy 5:28-29, 6:6-8), which people have a very difficult time doing. Now, today, by the gift of the Spirit, He (Yahweh) writes His laws on our hearts and minds so that we have a strong desire to obey them (Hebrews 10:15-18).
Yahshua has made the New Covenant better because His blood has sealed this covenant, giving us better promises; to prepare us for the Kingdom of Yahweh, which is the promise of salvation (Romans 8:18-27).
Even after we make the right choice to follow Yahweh, the question is not settled. We must choose to continue obeying Him and show, by how we live, whether we love Him and delight in His law. 1 John 5:3 teaches us the victory that overcomes the world is our love for Yahweh’s commandments.
The Ten Commandments are the building blocks and foundation of Yahweh's law. They reflect both the Savior and the Father's goodness and integrity. They reflect their unchangeableness and stability.
The commandments reflect the character and the standards by which the Father and Son live. Yahshua said He kept His Father's commandments, John 15:10. None of the commandments have been done away with or set aside. In Exodus 34:28, Yahweh refers to the Ten Commandments as being the same as His covenant.
At the end of the Book of Ecclesiastes, it is written: Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear Yahweh and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For Yahweh shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
“There Is a Way That Seems Right”
There are some who say there is difficulty and many differences of opinion regarding what is good and what is evil. And that is, in fact, where Adam and Eve went astray. There, in the beginning, they turned to themselves to determine their fate by "partaking of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." They fell prey to the deception, which is widespread today, that man is capable of making his own laws of righteousness, deciding for himself what is good and what is evil. That is not, however, the choice that Yahweh has given to us.
Had Eve (and later Adam) partaken of the Tree of Life (symbolizing the Holy Spirit), they could have lived forever. This Holy Spirit is what Yahweh is now offering to those who willingly follow His way of life. Yahweh is not forcing anyone to follow His commandments or laws. He is looking for volunteers. He wants you and others to examine His Book, the Bible, and visualize the promises He extends to all who will willingly obey the precepts in His Book. Choose His way of life and keep His laws. He says that, in your wildest dreams and expectations, you will never fully comprehend the glorious future that awaits those who accept His offer (1 Corinthians 2:9, Isaiah 64:4).
In varying degrees, man has stubbornly dictated which of Yahweh's commandments ought to be obeyed and which need not be followed. All we need, according to this deception, is our own minds--our own consciences--and we can have the knowledge of what is good and what is evil. This is the way that seems right to man, but the end thereof is the way of death (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25).
Does He ask too much of us? In Micah 6:8 we read, He has shown you, O man, what is good. What does Yahweh require of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your Elohim?
Is this too much to ask? He could have created robot-like beings with no free will, no ability to choose and no power to deviate. He could have created a sterile environment in which there would be no other way but His way.
Yahweh could have created reflectors and mirrors to reflect and magnify His glory. But He does not want passive obedience or a mere reflection of His goodness. He has elected to call certain people to be partakers of the highest calling on earth. He wants you to voluntarily become a part of His New Covenant.
His promise is sure. He is offering you a place in the family or household of the redeemed to live and rule with the Messiah forever, in an earth made new, where troubles and tribulations, pain and anguish, heartaches and sickness, will be no more. His will be a perfect paradise where even death will vanish.
Yahweh wants rulers in His Kingdom who have developed character and righteousness by overcoming the pulls of sin. He wants those who, of their own free will, volunteer to put their hand to the plow and not look back. He is not forcing anyone. Each person can accept the promise or reject it.
Free will is like dynamite--it can work for you or against you, depending on what you choose. More often than not, man's free will has worked against him. All the pain and suffering, all the grief, anguish and death, is in the world because man has chosen not to obey Yahweh. Precious few have chosen the way that leads to life. In his free will, man did not value the Tree of Life highly enough. Thus death comes upon all of us.
Most people do not comprehend why Yahweh has allowed so much pain and suffering to fall upon those He has created. Especially difficult is why so many young ones should die. They have not had equal time to make their choice. In general, Yahweh does not interfere with the course of this world (with a few exceptions). Satan is in charge of this society (2 Corinthians 4:4) and Yahweh allows man to pursue his choice.
He has called a few from time to time, as we see in the life of Shem, Noah, Abraham, David and others. Since the death and resurrection of His Son, He is now calling a people for His name (Acts 15:14-17; 28:28).
The purpose of life is to become a part of the family of Yahweh (Ephesians 3:14-19). He is calling you to humbly learn of His Son Yahshua, and become like Him, growing in the stature and fullness of the Messiah (Ephesians 4:13).
Space does not permit our presenting other Scriptures to assure that there is hope in the resurrection for all who have not had sufficient opportunity to discern the goodness of Yahweh and His sovereignty, nor to know His way of life and blessings. He is asking you to volunteer to take part in this restoration work, both in this life and, even more, as a ruler in the life to come.
In the Kingdom, we will finally see the dominion that man was promised in the Garden of Eden. Man was born to rule, enforcing Yahweh's laws (Genesis 1:28). So as Peter admonished, "Be diligent to make your calling and election sure."