–Answers to Many of Life’s most Meaningful Questions!
“WHAT IS LIFE ALL ABOUT?–WHAT AM I HERE FOR? IS THERE A PURPOSE, A PLAN FOR ME?–AND IF SO, WHAT IS IT?”
Questions such as these have stirred the soul and imagination of Man throughout the ages. Regardless of our country, colour or creed, our hearts all hunger for the same things–for lasting love, genuine happiness and peace of mind, truth and beauty, meaning and purpose.
ALL men, from the most primitive tribes in the jungles to members of the most modern and technologically-advanced societies, seem to instinctively sense that life is more than an evolutionary coincidence or accident. Although increasing numbers of people today look to modern SCIENCE and its continually changing and often contradictory theories to try to understand our origins and the true nature of life, for thousands of years the main source of solace Man has turned to has been his various FAITHS.–Faiths in which he gives recognition or worship to the unseen supernatural forces he feels must exist.
In his quest for Truth, enlightenment and inner peace, for the Ultimate Reality, Man’s many religions have offered him a wide variety of beliefs and practices. By means of those religions, Man reaches out for supernatural assistance, hoping to obtain the favour and blessing of the unseen Power or powers he worships.
BUT HOW CAN I BE BOTHERED WITH SOMETHING AS OLD-FASHIONED AS RELIGION WHEN I’M SO BUSY TRYING TO “GET AHEAD”?
In today’s ever-changing and increasingly complex and computerised World, more and more people find themselves so caught up in the frenzied rush to become successful financially, they often have little time to ponder such seemingly “abstract” matters as the meaning of life, peace of mind, love for their fellowman, or even the eternal welfare of their own souls!–After all, such concerns could be quite distracting or actually detrimental to their pursuit of the most POPULAR “god” of this World; a god that commands most of the World’s worship and devotion–MONEY and material wealth!
From the time they are very young children, many people have it ingrained in them that the only way to attain happiness in life is to:
- Get a good education, preferably with a degree from a prestigious university.
- Land a “promising” job with a successful company or corporation.
- Make enough money to purchase a new automobile, a nice house or two, and furnish and equip it with all of the various luxury items and hi-tech electronic gadgets that are equated with “success”. Although this route to riches usually requires a lifetime of blood, sweat, tears and toil, most of the folks who follow it do so without serious doubts or reservations, for they are convinced that once they attain the wealth they desire, they will at last find true happiness and contentment.
But sad to say, such people usually discover that despite their arduous efforts to attain happiness, it somehow eludes them. As the years pass they often find that company or social pressures have filled them with stress and anxiety, not peace or satisfaction. Their private lives frequently suffer as a result, as they’re unable to even find time to spend with their own families and loved ones.
Then, to their dismay, they eventually and ultimately reach a very sad realisation: This World and all of its treasures and pleasures can never truly satisfy the HEART of Man! Material things may temporarily satisfy the BODY, but they can never satisfy the SOUL or the SPIRIT of Man which longs for a joy, peace and lasting fulfillment that can never be met or fulfilled by mere material gain.
This is why the rich and powerful are often the most miserable of all men.–They ALREADY possess everything that most people think can satisfy and make them happy. They’ve already attained all of the material things their hearts could desire, and to their sorrow they discover that things cannot satisfy or fulfill their empty hearts and starving souls!–Thus they no longer even have HOPE of happiness in riches! The famous English poet, Lord Byron, realised this and lamented, “I have drunk every cup of pleasure, and I have quaffed every cup of fame, and yet alas, I die of THIRST!”
Although many people today take little time to ponder the prospect of a Creator, of a God, when a personal crisis or tragedy suddenly strikes–an unexpected accident or critical illness, a death in the family, a great personal loss of any kind–to whom do they turn for help? A fat bank account–regardless of the wealth it holds–can do nothing to bring back a loved one who has passed through death’s door. Houses, lands and a stockpile of luxury items can do nothing to rekindle a love that has grown cold or heal a heart that’s been broken. It is during such times of crisis that people frequently realise that the TRUE values of life are far more important than mere material wealth.
WHERE THEN DOES ONE START, IF HE SINCERELY SEEKS TO FIND THE TRUTH?
If you are not sure if a Supreme Being, an all-powerful God, exists, then the first step to take is to ascertain that He IS. The most obvious proof we have that a Divine Creator exists is the World and Universe around us, the visible, natural CREATION.
The following true incident is a fitting illustration: Doctor Robert A. Millikan was the renowned American nuclear physicist who won the Nobel Prize for his work in pioneering the splitting of the atom. One evening, at a banquet held in his honour, a young journalist approached him and said, “Dr. Millikan, although you are undoubtedly a brilliant scientist, a great physicist, I’ve heard rumour that you still cling to the old-fashioned concept of a Creator, that you actually believe in GOD!–Is this true?”
Millikan paused for a moment as he thoughtfully studied the young reporter’s face. He then produced an elaborate gold pocket-watch from his vest and said, “Just as behind this WATCH there had to be an intelligent designer and watchmaker, so behind the intricate precision and timing of this great Universe, there HAD to be a great CREATOR!”
The Holy Book of three Faiths, the Bible, tells us, “Since the creation of the World, the INVISIBLE things of God–His eternal power and divine nature–are clearly SEEN, being understood by the visible things that He has MADE.”–Romans 1:20*. In other words, the existence of an invisible Creator is MANIFEST or made EVIDENT by the wonderful World which He has created, His Creation, the things which we can SEE.–The greatest credentials of the Creator are the marvelous things He has made!
The sea, the sky, the mountains, the valleys, the trees, the flowers, they’re all TELLING us something! When you gaze into the heavens on a clear night, beholding the stars, planets and wonders of the Cosmos, haven’t you ever felt that there must be a REASON, a PURPOSE behind it all?–As if it all MEANS something, SAYS something?–Well, it IS saying something!–It’s all crying out, “LOOK!–There IS a GOD! Look at the wonders He has MADE!” The Bible says:
“The heavens DECLARE the glory of God and the firmament SHOWS His handiwork! Day after day utters SPEECH, and night after night shows KNOWLEDGE! There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard!”–Psalm 19:1-3. God’s entire Creation is a constant testimony of not only His existence, power and majesty, but also of His Love, concern and care for us in giving us such a beautiful World to live in!
BUT ISN’T THE BIBLE THE TRADITIONAL HOLY BOOK OF THE WEST, AND ISN’T CHRISTIANITY THE RELIGION OF THE WESTERN WORLD?
Although it’s true that the Bible has been embraced mostly by Western cultures, its revelation of Truth is for EVERYONE! Actually, its origins are not “Western” at all! Most of the Bible was written by prophets and seers from the Middle Eastern land of PALESTINE, a unique land bridge that links the three great continents of Asia, Africa and Europe.
The great Creator, God, from the pages of the Bible, lovingly calls out to ALL men of ALL nationalities, saying,
“Look unto Me and be saved, all the ends of the Earth: for I am God, the God of all flesh, and besides Me there is none else!”–Isaiah 45:22.
The Bible’s appeal is universal: “WHOSOEVER shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved, for the Lord would have ALL men to be saved, to come unto the knowledge of the Truth. For God shows no partiality and is no respecter of persons, but in EVERY nation, ALL who love Him are accepted by Him!.”–Rom.10:13; 1Timothy 2:4; Acts 10:34,35.–In other words, God freely offers His Love, peace, blessings and salvation to ALL of us, regardless of our race, colour, nationality or social status!
BUT CHRISTIANITY AS PRACTICED BY MANY CHURCHES TODAY SEEMS TO BE A RATHER SELFISH AND CLOSED RELIGION, AMASSING GREAT WEALTH, LANDS, PROPERTIES, BUILDINGS, ETC.
Sad to say, this is often the case. Much of what the World views as “Christianity” today, has strayed so far away from what simple, lowly JESUS, originally taught to His followers, that very few similarities can be found when you look at the way most Christians live today, & compare their lives with those of Jesus & His Disciples.
Jesus never preached any complicated ceremonies, rituals or impossible-to-keep rules and regulations. Nor did He ever say to build elaborate religious buildings or cathedrals at the expense of the poor! He simply said that our most important religious obligation was to “LOVE GOD and to LOVE our NEIGHBOURS as ourselves.”–Matthew 22:37-39. He Himself showed His followers how to do this by His Own example of living a life of LOVE and COMPASSION, “sharing with the poor, healing the broken hearted, offering deliverance to the captives, restoring of sight to the blind, and liberty to them that are bound!”–Luke 4:18.
IF THE GOD THAT THE BIBLE TELLS US OF IS NOT LIKE THE CHURCHES WHO CLAIM TO REPRESENT HIM, THEN WHAT IS HE LIKE?
The TRUE God is a GOOD God Who is KIND and LOVING and CONCERNED about ALL of His children in EVERY nation! The Bible tells us that He is a loving Heavenly FATHER Who LOVES YOU as His Own dear child, Who created this beautiful World as a home for you to live in and enjoy.
Unfortunately, many people picture God as some kind of a great all-seeing Eye Who follows them around with a big stick over their heads, Who is always ready to clobber them and punish them for all their sins, mistakes and weaknesses. However, the Bible tells us that this is NOT the case at all, but that God is loving and gentle, merciful and forgiving, and that the only reason He follows anyone around is because He’s hoping they’ll turn around and MEET Him, for He’s waiting for them with open arms!
In fact, the Bible tells us, “God is LOVE!”–1John 4:8.–He’s not some kind of a cruel monster Who enjoys seeing His creations suffer, Who wants to deny us all pleasure and happiness and make us miserable! He’s not a heartless tyrant Who is trying to frighten everyone into Hell.–He is a God of LOVE Who is trying to LOVE everyone into HEAVEN!
WHERE IS THIS GOD?
Jesus said, “God is a SPIRIT: And those who worship Him must worship Him in SPIRIT and in TRUTH!”–John 4:24. He is not a mere person in the sense that you and I are, for He and His Spirit surpass the entire UNIVERSE!
God is omnipresent–EVERYWHERE; omnipotent–all-powerful; and omniscient–all-knowing! He cannot be confined to ANY particular place, and certainly not to a mere temple, altar, shrine, religious building or place of worship!–He says, “Do not I FILL Heaven and Earth? Behold, even the heavens and the Heaven of heavens cannot contain Me!–For the Most High God does NOT dwell in temples made with hands!”–Jeremiah 23:24; 1Kings 8:27; Acts 7:48.
God is the great basic Power and Guiding Light of the Universe, the Almighty Creator, the Great Spirit of Love Who has brought all things into being. As Man’s loving fatherly Creator, He has a kind and benign purpose in store for us, a final fulfillment of all of our longings for love, life, liberty and happiness!–He LOVES you!
I HEARD ABOUT ANGELS AND DEVILS, HOW ABOUT THEM?
Although He is the one and only CREATOR, the one ALMIGHTY God, there are also many LESSER spiritual personalities and powers whom He has created.–In fact, there is an entire REALM, the SPIRIT WORLD, in which there are countless MILLIONS of spiritual inhabitants, who, though usually invisible to our mortal eyes, exist just the same. There are both GOOD spirits–Angels and the Heavenly spirits of those who once lived on Earth but have passed on to live with the Lord, as well as BAD spirits–demons or devils! But God alone is the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent ALMIGHTY Creator! All of these other spirits are lesser personalities who operate within the bounds which God Himself has established for them.
The GOOD spirits, the Angels of God, are busy loyally serving Him. The EVIL forces of the Spirit World, the devils and demons, are in REBELLION against God, and are followers of a powerful rebel angel known as Satan, or the Devil. He and his forces are an opposing force who are in constant spiritual WARFARE with the good forces of God. Instead of trying to love and help Mankind and draw us CLOSER to God–like the Angels do–these demons are constantly seeking to deceive, conquer and destroy Man, trying to influence and sway him to rebel AGAINST God! It is the Devil and his forces who are largely responsible for much of the chaos, confusion, cruelty, carnage, and destruction that we see in today’s troubled World!
One of the main preoccupations of the Devil’s evil spiritual forces is to try to hinder and prevent Man from finding and entering into God’s eternal Kingdom of Love, Light and Salvation. The Bible says Satan is “the god of THIS World, who BLINDS the eyes of those who do not believe in God, to prevent the light of the Truth of God from shining unto them.”–2Corinthians 4:3,4.
So it is vitally important for you, as a sincere seeker of Truth, to be very careful and discerning in your search for the realities of the Spirit World, lest you be hindered or deceived by the Devil or one of his lying spirits!
HOW WOULD I KNOW IT’S THE RIGHT PATH FOR ME AS I AM SEARCHING FOR THE TRUE MEANING OF LIFE?
God the Creator desires to have a personal relationship between you and Him, that’s His heart’s desire, because He is a personal loving God! (I John 4:8) If you truly seek Him with all sincerity, you will find Him. The Bible says, “Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you.”(James 4:8) So, one of touchstone to discern if you’re on the right path, is to see it will lead you to have a loving personal relationship with the Creator Himself.
Another way to discern is to see the fruit from your journey of searching. Once you’ve developed that personal relationship with God, you will feel peace in your heart, knowing that all is well as He is Creator of all things and He loves you dearly. He will take care of everything, including you!
It is of vital ETERNAL importance that, in your search for Truth, you find the TRUE God, the God of LOVE, Who LOVES you and wants to SAVE you! No amount of religious forms, ceremonies, rituals or traditions can ever bring you the wonderful soul-satisfying peace, joy and love that can be YOURS once you have a living relationship with the living God!
IS IT NECESSARY FOR US TO SUFFER IN ORDER TO TRULY PLEASE AND DRAW CLOSE TO GOD?
No!–As mentioned earlier, God is LOVE, and He LOVES you very much and wants you to be HAPPY! This is WHY He’s placed you here in this beautiful World in the first place! He intended for you to ENJOY living, and has given you the ability, the senses and the environment to do so. He created you to ENJOY the life He’s given you, and to love and enjoy HIM forever!
To many, godliness and saintliness are supposed to consist of a denial of all human happiness and general enjoyment of any kind. Some go so far as to believe and teach that any kind of physical pleasure must be SINFUL or WICKED!–And they think that godliness consists of such suffering, pain, self-torture, self-denial and self-crucifixion that you must be in utter MISERY and AGONY in order to get close to God! This, thank God, is NOT the case according to the Bible!
Nevertheless, some poor folks are so obsessed with a fetish for self-denial and self-torture that they actually sit on nails, put skewers through their cheeks, walk barefooted on hot coals, whip themselves and even have themselves nailed to crosses!–PURPOSELY suffering all kinds of physical torture because they think that the more they SUFFER, the more “RELIGIOUS”, “holy” or close to God they will become!
It’s true that there are times when we may need to sacrifice or suffer, but according to God’s Word in the Bible, we do not have to do it on PURPOSE, as some kind of means to gain personal merit or favour with God! If we suffer, it’s usually because God ALLOWS it for some reason, but it’s usually a result of our sacrificing and giving of ourselves in order to help OTHERS.–NOT because we necessarily ASK for it or WANT it or think we are gaining any MERIT or righteousness by it.
IF SELF-DENIAL, SACRIFICE AND SUFFERING ARE NOT THE WAY TO SALVATION, WHAT THEN CAN I DO TO SAVE MYSELF?
NOTHING!–You CAN’T save yourself! Yet the central belief of almost all of Man’s religions is that Man is basically good & righteous, & he CAN save himself. In fact, after careful analysis we can safely conclude that there are really only TWO schools of religious thought & belief in the World: The DO-IT-YOURSELF religions & the GOD-ALONE-CAN-SAVE-YOU kind!
MOST of the World’s religions teach their followers that they can save THEMSELVES by their own piety and good works, by their own holiness, by their own sufferings, their own self-denial, or by their own obedience to the laws and traditions of THAT particular religion!–But NO man yet has ever been good enough to earn or merit his own salvation!–“For there is not a righteous man upon the Earth who always does good and never sins.”–Ecclesiastes 7:20.
In the very beginning, God originally intended for each of us to have a close personal relationship and communication with Him. He wanted to be our closest FRIEND, Someone Whose Love, faithfulness, concern and care we could always count on.
But God did not want to MAKE us be friends with Him. He could have easily created us all to AUTOMATICALLY obey and worship Him, like some kind of robots, but He didn’t want to FORCE us to love or obey Him. This is why He allowed both good AND evil to be revealed, so that we could each make a personal CHOICE, so we could voluntarily CHOOSE to love and obey Him, or rebel and go our own way.
Sad to say, each of us has made the WRONG choices at some time or another. We have acted selfishly, unkindly and unlovingly, not only hurting others, but even hurting GOD Himself, Who as our loving Heavenly Father, is saddened when He sees we are going the wrong way.
But despite all of our troubles, problems and imperfection, God still LOVES us and WANTS to be close to us, to be our nearest and dearest Helper and Friend. Yet no matter HOW earnestly and sincerely we try by our OWN piety, good works, suffering etc. to become close to Him, to become one with Him, to become “enlightened” by Him, to attain salvation from Him, we will ALWAYS fall SHORT of reaching this goal.–“For ALL have sinned and come SHORT of the glory of God!”–Romans 3:23. No matter HOW good or righteous we try to be, no matter how severely we discipline ourselves or strive to attain godliness or salvation, it is simply not within Man to save HIMSELF!
WHAT THEN CAN I DO TO BE SAVED?–MUST I RESIGN MYSELF TO REMAINING FOREVER SEPARATED FROM GOD?
God is so great, so high, so almighty, so BEYOND our limited human understanding and comprehension, that it is impossible for us to fully understand or grasp Him or His ways. He says, “As the Heavens are high above the Earth, so high are MY ways above YOUR ways, and MY thoughts than YOUR thoughts!”–Isaiah 55:9. But He so much wanted to help us and to become our close Friend that He sent Somebody Who could SHOW us His Love, Somebody Who could live WITH us as a man, Who could EMBODY and show us what God Himself is like.
God loves us so much, He doesn’t want us to have to suffer separation from Him. When we’re without God’s Love, our hearts can never be truly satisfied, and we will remain spiritually empty and lifeless. So to bring us His Everlasting Life and Salvation, He sent His Own Son, JESUS, to Earth almost 2,000 years ago.
Jesus was miraculously conceived by the Spirit of God and born to a young virgin girl named Mary. He grew up to become, in a sense, a PICTURE of His Father, so we could SEE what the great invisible Creator is LIKE.–And that picture is a picture of LOVE, for all Jesus did was go about everywhere doing good, helping others and teaching about God’s great Love for us all.
Finally, Jesus completed His task of proclaiming the Good News of Salvation to the World, and He gave His LIFE, and was cruelly crucified by His cruel and self-righteous religious enemies. Then three days after His lifeless body was laid to rest in the grave, Jesus AROSE from the dead, conquering death and Hell forever!
The Bible tells us, “God so LOVED the World (you and me) that He gave His only begotten SON (JESUS), that whosoever believes in Him, should NOT perish but have EVERLASTING LIFE.”–John 3:16. All you have to do now to come into a full and living personal relationship with the God of Love is to simply believe on Jesus and accept His free gift of Eternal Life!
Jesus said, “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his LIFE for his friends.”–John 15:13. HE was the Friend who laid down HIS life for YOU, so that you would not have to suffer being separated from the God of Love Who loves you so!
If you would like to personally know God’s great Love, find the Solution to all of your troubles and problems, and be forgiven for all the wrongs that you have ever done, all you have to do is BELIEVE on and RECEIVE His Son, JESUS, into your HEART. Jesus said,
“Come unto Me, all you who labour and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. … For I am the Way, the Truth and the Life! No man comes unto the Father but by Me!”–Matthew 11:28, John 14:6.
Although it may sound so simple or even childlike to you, this is the Plan by which the great Creator of the Universe has chosen to reveal and bring His Love, Truth and Salvation to you and me! He made it so simple that ANYBODY can receive His Love.–A young child or an elderly grandparent, a poor peasant or a rich tycoon, an illiterate tribesman or an intellectual scientist, an Easterner, Westerner, Northerner or Southerner!–ANYBODY!–Including YOU!
In fact, receiving Jesus is so simple that He said, “Unless you humble yourself and become as a little CHILD, you shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven!”–Mark 10:15. Will you humble yourself and receive God’s Love, joy, peace of mind, contentment of heart and Eternal Life through Jesus as a free GIFT to YOU, His child?
Jesus LOVES you and will give you this wonderful gift right NOW if you will simply and sincerely pray this little prayer and ask Him to personally come into your heart:
“Dear Jesus, I know that I need help and that I can’t save myself. I have heard that You are the Son of God, and that through You I can personally find and know the God of Love. Jesus, I need Your Love to cleanse me from all fear and hate. I need Your Light to drive away all darkness. And I need Your Peace to fill and satisfy my heart. So I now open the door of my heart and I ask You, Jesus, to please come in and give me Your free gift of Eternal Life! Thank You, Jesus, for suffering for all of the wrong I have done and for forgiving me and hearing my prayer! In Jesus’ name, amen.”
Now that you have asked Jesus to come into your heart, a wonderful new life has begun for you! The Bible says, “If anyone be in Christ, He is a NEW creation. Old things are passed away, behold, all things are become NEW!”–2Corinthians 5:17.