Not to have a goal and aimlessly move forward is a sure road to failure. In general, man moves toward various hopes- the hope of getting into a good college, to complete an education, to have a good job, to raise a family, to buy a home, to start a business, to obtain a promotion, to retire,— and so on. These goals provide fuel for the daily grind of life. But what happens when all is said and done; when life draws to a close; when the inexorable search for what lays beyond, into eternity; leaves man with an emptiness that is hard to fulfill? No matter how many goals we may have in life, ultimately without God, an inevitable sequel is aimlessness.
“If there is no God, then man and the universe are doomed. Like prisoners condemned to death, we await our unavoidable execution. There is no God, and there is no immortality. And what is the consequence of this? It means that life itself is absurd. It means that the life we have is without ultimate significance, value, or purpose.” (William Lane Craig)
Consider Paul’s words in the Bible, where he gives us more specifics,
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. (Titus 2:12-14)
Salvation comes through Christ, with the grace for it being provided by God. It is impossible to man to save himself and to lift himself up from the throes of eternal despair and secure him for eternity without the grace of Christ. That grace is seen on the cross, where Jesus paid for our sins with his life. This grace, this gift, is for all men who choose to believe, not just for a select few.
For one who does believe and receives the gift of salvation, a new way of life begins- one wherein he dissociates from the ways of the world and learns to emulate the true nature of God. It is a nature that helps him to live with values and principles that are diametrically opposite to that of the world- a nature that was demonstrated by Jesus when he lived life here on earth- a nature characterized by fearlessness, holiness, a sacrificial love and faith. It is a nature that fully appreciates the unseen spiritual world and lives life in sync with it, submitting to the authority of God.
What follows is an eagerness to voluntarily do good, rather than being forced to, where one is able to readily look beyond one’s own interests. Every mission and ministry that has origin in God and makes an impact on the community is one that follows this transformative initiative within a believer.
A transformed hope takes root within such a person. He does move toward several goals like other men, but an overriding goal of being with God into eternity, of union with Christ beyond death becomes his ultimate motivation. The spiritual world is so real for such a person, that death no longer remains a bully that needs to be overcome, but a mere transition like many other transitions in life. The goal of life here and beyond, become tied into his union with God through Christ and meaninglessness that once plagued him, evaporates effortlessly away. In Paul’s words, ‘waiting for the blessed hope of Jesus’ becomes the ultimate goal.
- AWE AND WONDER
- CHOOSING YOUR MASTER