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If there is NO God, and I will eventually be annihilated, then...
Why Am I Living?
By Ken Raggio
Am I here for a reason?
To most people, the Bible is out. Modern America has thrown the Bible out the window, and tried to redefine both the ORIGIN and the DESTINY of man.
Our scientists have done their dead-level best to assure us that God never existed.
This morally decadent and spiritually depraved generation did NOT want God breathing down their back, so they have at last conveniently explained Him away.
Most people think they will go to Heaven but almost nobody believes in Hell. The Bible has almost nothing to do with their opinions on these subjects.
The materialistic right-here-and-right-now is all that is sacred.
Like an ostrich with its head in the sand, people just do not want to believe there is anything to be accountable for, or any coming judgment for how their lives have been lived. It seems that the only thing that matters to this generation is to have immediate pleasure. The topics of God and Eternity prick their consciences, and grate against their foolish motives. So God is out.
Now, people casually accept still-unproven theories that our ancestors trace back billions of years. According to the most "intelligent" people, our grandparents were chimpanzees; and their grandparents were amphibians!
It is certainly arguable that a lot our finest "thinkers" have made monkeys out of themselves, but that is no proof of evolution - that is degeneration!
But let's get real...
Have we really come randomly from out of nowhere?
Are we really headed into blank oblivion?
(See this companion article: The Outrageous Claims of Evolutionism)
According to widely accepted teachings, we were born without purpose in ancient primordial soup; thoughtlessly arriving, and mindlessly perishing - destined to disappear with the wind.
Meanwhile, we humans are the center of the universe, and should do whatever we choose to please ourselves. How liberating!
As an unplanned, random blossom in time, we supposedly have no absolute liabilities. No responsibilities. No accountabilities to time or eternity. We came here without a plan, and do not have to answer to anybody.
We may take whatever we can get by with, and any good we do is a generous gift to the other wandering randomites of the world.
That leaves us without any significant purpose, on our own, free to act like any other animal creature.
It is a very accommodating doctrine. We do not have to show a reason for living. Our "rights" include the freedom to pursue any and every pleasure we may desire. Old conventions of morals and ethics are just the primitive miscalculations of our pitiful forefathers who were ignorant and unenlightened. The arrogant "sovereignty" of this generation is blinding.
"Reality is only a state of mind."
Most people believe there are no absolutes. No rights, no wrongs. Whatever behavior springs from our animal nature is acceptable. I am supposed to be able to do anything that seems right to me, and I must allow everyone else to do whatever they think is right, too. I must forget what I was told about social order. There is nothing wrong with any kind of behavior, whether it is normal, abnormal, or nothing to do with normal. I have a right to feel any way I want to feel, and do anything I am brave enough to defend. And no one is supposed to say anything about it.
But what is the real Truth?
Because the human brain is indeed a magnificent thinking machine, it is capable of almost infinite conclusions. It can defend virtually any position. Combining fact with fantasy, one person can easily formulate an endless list of postulations and theories to support any belief system, no matter how absurd.
At some point in their thinking, however, people often become unable to distinguish between the truly legitimate and the truly absurd.
By careful thought, great and powerful conclusions have been reached. But by the same thought processes, holocausts have also been launched. Most frighteningly, every action seemed perfectly logical at the time it was conceived and implemented.
The big point to follow these comments is that human logic is defective.
If we live by human logic, we will never, ever have a reliable foundation upon which to live. Logic is arguable. It is subject to endless scrutiny and re-evaluation. And it is ultimately unstable. Without a supremely superhuman source of logic, we all are at risk of doing great harm, both to ourselves and to others.
Without divine wisdom, our future and destiny is, at best, dangerously uncertain, and, at worst, fatally doomed.
We desperately need infallible logic.
But we have no power in or of ourselves to generate the superhuman logic that could truly lead us. Unless God truly exists apart from and independently of human intellect, we are doomed.
But I believe there is Divine logic - Divine wisdom.
Someone really is behind all of this. We are thoughtfully created. Even if the universe is as many billions of years old as some say, the possibilities that mankind has evolved to its present form entirely without any thoughtful guidance is stupendously ridiculous.
English scientists of a Christian persuasion computed the mathematical possibilities that even ONE human being evolved randomly from absolutely nothing in as many billion years as most scientists say, and found the answer to be "literally impossible."
How can you get anything as complex or sophisticated as a human being, with almost 100 TRILLION living cells all working together in perfect homeostasis, perfectly and instantly synchronized, from a RANDOM process? It cannot happen.
How many times would you have to stir twenty million letters of the alphabet to get an unabridged multi-lingual dictionary? THAT would be infinitely more likely!
THE HARD, COLD FACT: Man could ONLY have been made by God.
It was far more than a sculptor fashioning a body out of clay. GOD was engineering material substance that would accurately display His very own intellect and abilities. The prototype for man was the invisible God. Our ability to know came from His ability to know. Our ability to hear came from His ability to hear. Our ability to see came from His ability to see.
And it was only as a result of His miraculous methods we are here. God created man, both the male and female gender, in His own image.
GOD placed a living soul into a lifeless human body.
"...and man became a living soul." That statement from Genesis 2:7 conjures imaginations of an invisible man inside a visible one. It presumes to tell us that man is more than the offspring of primeval animals. Man is created with a uniquely and vastly higher nature. Inside the mortal is something immortal.
We have an invisible, everlasting soul.
God spontaneously introduced a form of life into the human organism that He never gave to any other creature. A SOUL.
A soul is NOT a collection of molecules. It can not be seen in flesh or blood. The soul is of a sub-atomic nature that can never be observed in a test tube or in a microscope. It cannot be detected by CT scans or by Magnetic Resonance Imaging. It is a life-form; invisible, and not sustained by earth's elements. It comes from the Divine spirit.
Every soul will eventually leave its mortal body, and return to God who gave it. Each soul will be forever known and identified with the human body in which it was first found. Every soul will eventually give account for all the deeds of that body.
A soul is never annihilated. It is of eternal substance. It does not breathe air, drink water, or consume food. It is sustained entirely by the design and will of God, and will eventually migrate either into the eternal presence of God, or be eternally separated from Him because of sinful offenses.
God's logic, His Word, is the only sustenance and direction for our souls.
The soul requires nurturing and guidance. The mortal body will inevitably die and decay, but the immortal soul will continue forever. It is a matter of ultimate priority for each individual to prepare in his earthly lifetime for the destiny of his or her soul.
Since God is the Creator and owner of the soul, we are bound to follow His specific instructions for maintaining the welfare of the soul. The soul was breathed into existence by the breath of God. God's breath, God's Spirit is the original foundational component of the soul. His Word is the life-support of the soul. His thoughts arrange the order of life in the soul. Without God's supervision, the soul is tragically lost.
God's Word is the Bread, His Spirit is the Water for the soul of man.
A soul deprived of the Word or Spirit of God will famish or starve and lose its way. God's logic is the nurture and energy and the only true orientation for the soul.
Only a well-developed relationship with God can sustain the soul as it was created to be. Jesus explained that the words He spoke were "spirit and life." He is the Word made flesh (I am the Bread of Life), and His Spirit (the Holy Ghost) is the "water of life," the "river of living water," and the "well of water springing up into everlasting life."
God's Logic guides our souls.
Every one of us MUST find and know the Truth that will save our souls.
If we ever find acceptance with God, we will have to be ordered by the Lord. The soul is not pre-programmed to perform the will of God. Each individual is a free agent, capable of choosing the lesser order of fleshly desires, or the higher, divine order of Jesus Christ. He said, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
We may choose to ignore the influence of God and attempt to be completely self-sufficient. But that choice is certain to lead to a mortal end at which time the soul will be sentenced by God forever into the regions of the damned.
But for the individual who wisely chooses to please his Creator, God has revealed His will through His Word and His Spirit. Only when we know and thoughtfully consider His Word and correctly choose to follow His instructions can we ever find acceptance with Him. Otherwise, our sins and our folly will alienate us from Him.
The Word, as denoted in the Greek 'Logos' is the 'thought,' or 'arrangement' of God. The Word is God's logic! His Word gives us logic. His Word arranges our lives.
Contrast "self-guided" living versus "God-guided" living.
Only God can redeem the soul from a tragic end. The process by which a soul is saved for all eternity is called redemption. Our hopeless, helpless destiny can be redeemed by obedience to God's word.
Prior to such redemption, we are fully non-compliant with God's will. This is the essence of sin. The law of God is supremely higher than any law of man. Because of this, any human who fails to obey the laws of God unto redemption is considered wayward, sinful, and damned.
Born once? Die twice. Born twice? Die once.
Jesus introduced the New Birth. His taught that a soul can be grafted into Him, and be born again of His Spirit.
God says that the soul that sins will die. He compares a sinner to tares (weeds) in a field that will finally be gathered and cast into the fire. Jesus carefully described hell as a place where the soul remains conscious but is in eternal torment and weeping.
The only alternative to the damnation of the sinful soul is redemption.
Redemption comes by a rebirth into the divine order of life. Jesus demonstrated the course of redemption by His own death, burial and resurrection.
He forfeited His own mortal existence to death and burial, thereby obeying the eternal will of God. After that, He was resurrected to live forever, and was lifted up and exalted forever into the presence of God.
He tells us to follow His example in Death, Burial, and Resurrection
After this repentant 'death,' comes burial. "Buried with Him in baptism." Our baptism (immersion) in water is the counterpart of Jesus' burial. Both Jesus (in Luke 24:47) and Peter (in Acts 2:38) directed baptism to be done in the name of Jesus, making the divine association between immersion in water and physical burial.
Then Jesus instructed everyone to be born of the Spirit. To the disciples He said, "be endued (clothed upon) with power from on high." This was a direct reference to the baptism of the Holy Ghost. The receipt of the Holy Ghost, evidenced by speaking in other tongues, is the initial sign of our spiritual resurrection unto eternal life. It is the equivalent of Jesus' new life from the tomb. First we die, are buried, then resurrected.
We die by confessing and repenting of all our sins. We are buried by being immersed (baptized) in water in His name. We are resurrected when He fills us with the life of His Holy Ghost.
Becoming One with God's Body
We are thereby baptized by water and by Spirit into the Body of Christ. We have already seen the need for Word and Spirit to nurture the soul. We also saw the need to follow the Lord in His death, burial and resurrection unto a new life by a new birth.
For reasons greater than we can fully comprehend now, God also insists that we be joined spiritually with all other souls who would aspire to His perfection.
An example of unity: Homeostasis
The all-encompassing responsibility of the brain to the body is a function called homeostasis.
Homeostasis does not address any particular member above another. It is the simultaneous coordination of all the members of the body for the overall performance of the whole. It is the maintenance of proper temperature, chemical balances, metabolisms, organ functions, etc. It is the fluid performance of all the members in one spectacular symphony.
Consider the example of Symphony.
Yet, by the power of His Word and His Spirit, we are being forged into one glorious entity: the Body of Christ. Not one individual Christian, not even one minister, one choir, one congregation, nor one denomination can begin to compare to the mighty Church of the living God. We are not self-sufficient in any way, but rather, are ultimately dependent.
(The kind of symphony I am speaking of is NOT ecumenical unity, or the coming together of opposing doctrines by sacrificing, abandoning or ignoring necessary truth. That is not unity. It is anarchy and chaos at best, and diabolical at worst. I am referring to unity among true Bible-believers who have all been born again according to the scriptural formula.)
The Apostle Paul described the born-again Church as a body that was "fitly joined together, and compacted by that which every joint supplieth." Every single member contributes to the overall beauty and performance of the body. And under the direction of Jesus Christ, the Head, we will be seen as One.
Synergism means that 1+1 is more than 2!
We are more TOGETHER than merely the sum of our parts.
In the pharmaceutical laboratory, it is understood that when two or more chemicals are combined, the potential effect is often more than the sum of their individual effects. An additional effect, called synergy, comes into play.
In a similar fashion, it is exciting to realize that any time an individual becomes one with Jesus Christ, and simultaneously unifies with His body, the Church - something magnificent takes place. God's glory begins to exude from men's countenances, and men's lives are transformed into something that defies description.
In the midst of this transformation, an other-world component is added to our time-based limitations. Our potential is suddenly expanded in Jesus Christ, and what we could never do in and of ourselves, becomes a simple thing.
Many Members make One Body
Jesus Christ and the Church.
A Maestro Conductor and his Symphony.
A General with a Mighty Army.
A Captain and a Winning Team.
A Master and his Scholars.
A Mentor and his Protégés.
Such are the analogies of our role in Christ.
Reasons for Living
Apart from the determined will of God for the individual, there is comparatively no reason at all for living.
I can quickly confirm that as a lone entity, isolated from my divine calling and purpose, I am embarrassed to admit my worthlessness.
But when Jesus Christ calls you from your fishing nets, as He did the disciples, and shows you how to raise the dead and cast out devils, a fishing career dims and loses its attraction.
And even though he once experienced much gratification in sitting with the Pharisees in Gamaliel's school, Saul could never entertain the thought of going back after having a single supernatural experience in the bright light of God's presence.
Saul realized that the humble man from Nazareth who he had fought so vehemently was actually the incarnate God about whom Gamaliel had taught him.
It is only AFTER a relationship with Jesus Christ is in place that any one of us can begin to know our reason for living.
If it were only Jesus and me...
Everything would still be drastically different.
Now that I have received of His Spirit, I have begun to know as He knows. In the Holy Ghost, His secrets are revealed. I have seen His angels. I can discern the presence of unclean spirits, and have power in His name to cast them out.
Regardless of the objections from the cynics and skeptics, this is a very real dimension. Only a person who has been tormented and oppressed for years by unclean spirits can explain what an incomparable joy and freedom comes when He delivers.
He taught me how to fast, and pray, intercede in behalf of others who need salvation and miracles. He taught me that I can have unlimited power according to His will.
Since believing and obeying Him, I have had the wonderful experience of seeing blind people see again by His power. I have been present when deaf people regained their hearing in Jesus' name. I have watched many, many sick and afflicted people receive healing and miracles that medical doctors could not explain in a million years. I have watched miracles of every class and category take place through the power of faith in God.
And hundreds of times, I have seen the awesome transformation that takes place when He fills another seeker with His Spirit. No psychologist, psychiatrist, or social worker can begin to produce the instant changes in a desperate life like He can.
The unspeakable power of unity
The work of the Kingdom of God is more than any one man can do. It was Jesus who took twelve simple men and revolutionized the world. It was Jesus who instigated their ministries; who healed lepers, raised the dead, made cripples walk, and produced more miracles than the world had ever seen.
It was one hundred and twenty who tarried in the Upper Room in Jerusalem until the Holy Ghost came upon them, and three thousand people were instantly converted to the ways of God. It was the collaboration of God-filled men who, in their time, carried a knowledge of God to every nation of the world.
Christ in you is the hope of glory
And it is you and I praying together, binding together, interceding together, and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ together who will finally set this out-of-control world back on its right course. In the end, we will rejoice to know that we obeyed the Only One who never fails.
Those of us who bravely follow in His steps will see Him return to earth in great power and glory. In that day, He will give to us dominion in all the earth. He will, as He long ago promised, finally crown US with glory and honor.
We will rule and reign with Him for 1,000 years. We will see the new heaven and the new earth. And finally, we will stand before His heavenly throne, to spend eternity discovering the riches of His infinite glory.
Now that is something worth living for!
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