What is the Meaning of Life?
If someone off the street were to randomly grab you by the collar and ask you, with an intense look in their eyes, “What is the Meaning of Life!?” Would you as a Christian know how to answer? This is thought by many to be too much of a deep and important question to simply rattle off some quick and loose answer. However, while it is a deep and important question, Christians should be able to answer this question clearly, firmly, and confidently.
The reason for this is that within the Christian perspective, the Bible comes to us as the inspired Word of God. It is a revelation of the God who knows all things and has seen fit to reveal to us the truth about reality and existence. Christians are not able to answer this profound question because they are smarter than everyone else. There are many unbelievers who are intellectually brilliant and philosophically deep. Rather, the Christian has at his disposal the Word of God that provides in essence the divine commentary on existence. Granted, the Bible does not answer all questions on existence but it does provide a God’s eye view with respect to the nature and purpose of mankind.
Perhaps the best summary answer to the question “What is the Meaning of Life?” Can be found in the Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question 1: What is the chief end of man? The answer that the shorter catechism provides is simple yet profound: Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and enjoy him forever.” We were created for worship (glorify God), and eternal relationship (enjoy him forever). We are to glorify God in all that we do (1 Corinthians 10:31) because we were created for that purpose. As the scripture says, “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be the glory forever. Amen.” And again the Bible says, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created” (Revelation 4:11).
While God is not in “need” of fellowship, he has created us to be in eternal fellowship with him. God is by nature a relational being because he is a trinity of Persons and invites man into relationship and fellowship. Consider the following, “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:3-4). God intended the above reality from before the foundation of the world. The eternal God will dwell with his people eternally in intimate and blissful relationship.
From an existential perspective, these truths are very comforting as they express the fact that our existence is not accidental but meaningful and purposeful. However, from an apologetic perspective, it is not enough to simply “believe” that Christianity is true and that this is in fact the purpose and meaning of man’s existence. We must go one step further and ask the question of whether all of this is in fact true. Is the hope and purpose expressed in Christianity nothing more than pie in the sky thinking, or does it reflect the actual state of affairs? Are we stranded on this floating rock we call planet earth, or are we here for an eternal purpose called to be in relationship with our Maker? To these questions I will leave for another time.