What did Einstein think about the Purpose of Life?
Albert Einstein was curious about nature around him. He 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.
So much for science. There seems to be no scientific theory to explain why we are here. Science cannot answer the question “What is the purpose of life?” When asked directly about the meaning of life, Einstein said:
What is the meaning of human life, or, for that matter, of the life of any creature? To know the answer to this question means to be religious. You ask: Does it make any sense, then, to pose this question? I answer: The man who regards his fellow creatures as meaningless is not merely unhappy but hardly fit for life, link
So Einstein admitted that there must be a purpose of life, but he didn’t seem to know what it was. In fact, we do have a “Theory of Everything” if we look in the right place. All we need to do is read the Bible with an open mind, test it, and then believe what it says. The Bible claims to speak absolute, transcendent truth and such truth explains the alpha and omega of life. It explains the true purpose 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 pro-active God of Israel is saying that He is everything, everything from A to Z. There is no other god, 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 surely He must be able to explain the purpose of life? In fact – God already has! 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 lifetime to work it out!
Let’s summarize some deep concepts about life as revealed in the Bible. There is a biblical timeline, a sequence of biblical milestones and we will construct it using key words, phrases and concepts found in the Bible.
ALPHA: Let’s Start with the Attributes of the God of Israel
Unique (no other God), Triune, yet One in purpose, is Spirit and immortal, is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is eternal (always was and always will be), is not created, is love, is glorious, is holy, is sovereign (a King with a Kingdom), has a throne in heaven, yet is omnipresent, is omniscient, is omnipotent, has purpose, wants relationship, knows good and evil
A Proactive God – Plans and Controls Events
Foresees all events in time, prepares plans, created the heavens for beauty, to declare His glory, for His dwelling place, created Earth as dwelling place for His creatures, chose to reveal Himself to man through the nation Israel
God made Creatures for His Pleasure
God created of all forms of life: from the heavenly angelic host (including Lucifer) to the smallest living thing that moves, all created perfect, all held together by Him
Creation of Man – for a Relationship
Man created perfect, had perfect relationship with God, created to worship God, to love God, to know God, given body, soul and spirit, given freewill, succumbed to satanic deception, experienced rebellion, experienced evil, lost perfect relationship with God, lost position in the created order (he fell), lost eternal life, lost purpose in life, experienced death
Restart the Earth
Man lost the plot, God regretted creation, start over, worldwide flood, total destruction, Earth’s creatures saved via Noah and family, Earth repopulated, rainbow covenant between God and creation, no more universal flood
A Restoration Plan
A way forward, Abraham, unconditional covenant, the Promised Land, Israel a chosen people, Israel God’s chosen witness in the world, Mosaic Law (God’s basic rules for life)
Plan Foiled – Man’s heart Revealed
Plan started well, Israel blessed in Canaan, Israel promised to obey the Law, Israel victorious over pagan peoples, good kings, bad kings, Israel rebelled, Israel judged, twelve tribes scattered amongst nations (the diaspora), Law showed man incapable of following God’s rules, exposed the sinful heart
The Perfect Plan – Emmanuel, God with Us
Christ pre-existent with God as God, Christ not created, Christ there before creation, Christ is God incarnate, Christ reveals the nature of God, Christ’s sacrifice and death showed man God’s love, God dies for man, ultimate act of love, believers reconciled to God, Christ rose from the dead, lives, fills all creation
The Church Age
God’s witness (Israel) lost in the nations, embryo church takes the reigns, prays for Israel, spreads gospel of Christ (good news) to all nations, church preaches reconciliation to God, salvation through belief in Christ, preaches forgiveness, peace, hope, eternal life, Jews drawn back to Israel in unbelief (aliyah)
A Near-perfect Age on Earth – the Millennial Age
Believers in Christ resurrected, immortal bodies, taken to be with Christ, always with Christ, Christ returns as King, destroys godless world government, destroys armies attacking Israel, the Millennial age starts, global peace, rejoicing, God’s kingdom on earth, restored relationships, near perfect world (but not ideal), nations need firm rule, Christ rules with a ‘rod of iron’ from Jerusalem, world focus on Israel, nations worship Christ in Jerusalem
OMEGA: A Completed Plan
Old creation removed, old earth burnt up, new heavens and new earth created, New Jerusalem that heavenly city descends to new earth, utopia for believers in Christ, perfection in everything (as at creation), no more death or crying, God dwells with man on new earth (as at creation), for eternity
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.