Significance   Leave a comment

Every person feels that his life has some purpose and that history must be going somewhere. Why?

  • Why should our lives have a purpose if we’re nothing more than computers on legs that procreate?
  • Why should history be going anywhere and why should we like where it is going?

People invent all kinds of meaning for ourselves and for the human race as a whole … a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage … personal prosperity … gods, religions and philosophies in every shade … world peace. Many of these are refuges from facing up to what Bertrand Russell saw as the ultimate reality of history – the death of the individual and the eventual death of the solar system. If Russell was right, all is meaningless. The individual life and the history of the human race have no final value. Russell was honest enough to acknowledge that:

“Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despare, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built. … How, in such an alien and unhuman world, can so powerless a creature as man preserve his aspirations untarnished?” (Russell, Why I am Not a Christian).

Russell, having denied the existence of God, had no answer to the question of why man hopes for significance. He recognized it was a problem. As Francis Schaeffer explained it, if mankind is nothing more than the sum of our material parts, then that longing for significance truly defeats us because we can never achieve our aspirations. The grass we walk on will reach self-actualization. It aspires no higher than to be grass and to grow toward the sun, but we aspire so much further than that. Schaeffer suggested that if we truly believed we were nothing, then we should probably respect the grass since it has achieved a higher level on Maslow’s ladder than we.

Convesely, the Bible tells us that our longing for purpose and a meaning to history has been placed within us by God. That longing for significance can only be satisfied by turning to God. We were made to love God, to reflect His character and to enjoy a relationship with Him forever; to love, enjoy and serve one another; to enjoy and have domination over the creation as God’s co-regents. We don’t fit in a fallen and twisted world where sin has brought enmity between ourselves and God, within our own hearts, between us and others, between us and creation, within creation itself. Everything is touched by the unnatural stain of sin and death. Yet, God in His love stepped down into history as Jesus Christ to redeem those of us who agree and, eventually, the whole creation, for sin and death. Through the work of Christ, in faith in Him, we are restored to fellowship with God and begin to be made whole again. Christians will be the first produce of God’s harvest when He transforms the world back to its pristine condition upon Christ’s return. God promises us that the goal of history is the physical resurrection of all who believe in Christ and the making of a new heaven and a new earth in which there is only righteousness. All of reality will be healed and everything will be made new. At the same time the devil and all evildoers will be judged forever. Our own individual lives are given eternal significance and history is coming to a glorious conclusion.

Our longing for significance is satisfied.

Posted July 12, 2014 by aurorawatcherak in Christianity

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