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Why Are We Here?
Spiritual Questions with Scriptural Answers.
What is the purpose of life?
Some might say, “Eat, drink, and be merry.” Others may propose, “Work hard, pay your bills, spend time with family and friends, and live it up!”
While the world has its idea of the “purpose of life,” the Bible very clearly and succinctly answers the question for us: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all” (Eccl. 12:13).
We are here, in this world and in this time, to “fear God and keep His commandments.” It is our purpose, as God’s creation (Gen. 1:26-27; 2:7) to bring glory to Him (1 Cor. 10:31). When you examine your life, can you say that it has reflected the purpose God intends for you to carry out?
In this article, we want to challenge ourselves to ask and answer the question, “Why are we here?”
Solomon on the Meaning of Life.
Solomon, the inspired writer of Ecclesiastes, lived it up.
He had worldly pleasure, incredible wealth, and amazing wisdom; however, His mindset was extremely similar to those today as was described in the opening statement of this article.
As he examined his own life and reflected on many wasted years, he gave an honest assessment of living for himself instead of living for God:
“The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher; “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” (Eccl. 1:1-2)
The word “vanity” means empty, pointless, and/or useless. The Hebrew word carries the idea of something having no value or significance.
In light of eternity, what do worldly possessions and worldly pleasures even mean? You can’t take them with you!
Meaning in Wealth?
In the realm of wealth, Solomon was head and shoulders above the rest, yet, it was all vanity:
“Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done And on the labor in which I had toiled; And indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun.” (Eccl. 2:11)
If you gain all the money in the world but lose your soul, what have you gained? Consider Jesus’ view on the subject:
“For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matt. 16:26)
The solution is found in Paul’s first letter to Timothy in which he discussed the importance of trusting in God rather than “trusting in uncertain riches” (1 Tim. 6:6-12, 17).
Meaning in Pleasure?
In the realm of pleasure, Solomon had whatever his heart desired. As king, he could ask and receive, yet it was all vanity:
“I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with mirth; therefore enjoy pleasure”; but surely, this also was vanity. I said of laughter—“Madness!”; and of mirth, “What does it accomplish?” (Eccl. 2:1-2)
Moses took a different approach:
“By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin.” (Heb. 11:24-25)
Sin is pleasurable and appeals to the “lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of life” (1 John 2:15-17), but giving in will lead to death (Jas. 1:13-14; Rom. 6:23).
The purpose of life is not to “live it up,” but to be “sober, righteous, and godly” (Tit. 2:11-12).
Meaning in Knowledge and Wisdom?
Finally, in the realm of knowledge and wisdom, Solomon’s was unparalleled by anyone in the world, yet it was all vanity:
“And further, my son, be admonished by these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh.” (Eccl. 12:12)
So many pursue degrees and higher knowledge but never come unto the “knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7). True wisdom and knowledge come from God:
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Prov. 1:7)
We are here to “lay up treasures in Heaven” (Matt. 6:19-21).
We are here to seek first the Kingdom of God (Matt. 6:33).
We are here to reflect the light and love of Jesus to a dark and sinful world (Matt. 5:13-16).
We are here to help others (Matt. 25; Gal. 6:10).
We are here to serve (Luke 17:10).
We are here to be more like Jesus (Matt. 11:28-30; Phil. 2:5) and show the world what the “abundant life” is all about (John 10:10).
You are important to God. You are uniquely you. You have a soul that will exist forever; thus your soul is the most precious possession you own (Matt. 16:26).
Your life has meaning and you can have a positive impact on this world.
May we all know our “why” and live a life of purpose!
Drew Suttles is a minister for the Quitman church of Christ in Quitman, Georgia, and one of my best friends in this world. They live-stream all their Bible classes and sermons on their YouTube channel.
Drew also hosts the “Weathering the Storm” podcast on the Scattered Abroad Network. Drew talks about facing life’s challenges as a child of God. His podcast will be a blessing to your life.