Albert Einstein spent the last thirty years of his life on a quest for a way to combine gravity and electromagnetism into a single elegant theory. He was motivated by an intellectual need to unify the forces of nature. And he felt very strongly that all of nature must be described by a single theory – the theory of everything. He failed, and today Stephen Hawking agrees; Hawking says “there may not be a final theory to discover after all, link.
But when it comes to a “Theory of Life” or simply “The Purpose of Life”, we do have a satisfying and logical answer. All we need to do is read the Bible with an open mind – and then believe what it says. The Bible claims to speak absolute, transcendent truth and such truth explains the alpha and omega of life.
The Purpose of Life according to the Bible
A Timeline of God’s Plan for Mankind
In Isaiah 44 we read:
Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last, And there is no God besides Me’
Here the proactive God of Israel is saying that He is everything, from A to Z. There is no one else in charge! So the God of Israel is in control of all history, all world events, everything that is, and everything that will be! So He must be able to explain the purpose of life? In fact – He did. Jesus (God incarnate) summarized the purpose of life in one brief sentence in the gospel of John chapter 17:
This is eternal life: to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you sent
That is the real purpose of life. Easily said, but it takes a whole lifetime to work it out!
Let’s summarize some deep concepts about life as revealed in the Bible. There is a biblical timeline from A to Z and we will construct it using key words, phrases and concepts found in the Bible.
Alpha: Let’s Start with God
God’s attributes: Triune – yet One, always was and will be, is love and wants relationship, is sovereign, is glorious, is Spirit, is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent
A Proactive God
Proactive: creation of the heavens for beauty and glory, God’s dwelling place, God’s kingdom, creation of Earth for relationship and worship
God Creates Creatures
All forms of life, angelic host, worship of God, freewill, rebellion, concept of evil, satanic beings
Creation of Man
Man created to worship God, to love God, to know God, perfect relationship (Garden of Eden), freewill breaks relationship, man lost purpose
Restart the Earth
Man lost the plot, God lost His rag: Start over, renew Earth’s creatures, worldwide flood, total destruction, Noah survives, re-populate the Earth
A Restoration Plan
The Law: a way forward, Abraham, unconditional covenant, the Promised Land, Israel a chosen people, God’s witness to the world
It started well, Israel blessed in Canaan, Israel rebelled, the imperfect Law, imperfect plan, Israel’s judgement and scattering to nations (the diaspora)
The Perfect Plan
Christ’s sacrifice, God dies for man, man reconciled to God, the ultimate act of love, Jesus rose from dead, Jesus lives, just believe it
The Church Age
Gospel (good news) to all nations, reconciliation to God, salvation through belief in Christ, forgiveness, peace, hope, eternal life, Jews drawn back to Israel
A Near-perfect Age
Millennial age, peace, rejoicing, God’s kingdom on earth, restored relationships, near perfection, world focus on Israel, nations worship in Jerusalem
Omega: A Completed Plan
Utopia for believers, new heavens and new earth, perfection in everything, no more death or crying, God dwells with man on earth, for eternity
In Revelation 22 (the end of inspired scripture) we read some words of Jesus:
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city
Did you see it? Jesus is applying God’s title (the First and the Last, as given in Isaiah 44) to Himself. Jesus is the King and God of Israel.