True Meaning of Life
What is the meaning of life and what is the best way to live it to the fullest? Why did God create people and what does He want people to do in life?
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Brother Bob: Thank you, all! Thank you! Hello. Welcome and thank you all very much for being part of our studio audience here today. Welcome and greetings to all those who are joining us on Direct TV as well as online, on the Internet. Hello to everyone and welcome. I’m Brother Bob Pellien, Minister of the Gospel here in the Iglesia Ni Cristo, the Church Of Christ, and welcome to this live taping of That’s In The Bible. Thank you for being our live studio audience. We just want to thank you for not only just being here today, but for helping us reach out to the world and making them know the Church Of Christ and the teachings of God we embrace inside the Church Of Christ from here in the Holy Scriptures.
Here in the program That’s In The Bible, we receive questions just about every topic imaginable from, well, pretty much all parts of the globe. And we always turn here to the Holy Bible for the answers to any and all of the questions that we receive, as we will be doing together this afternoon, this day, as well.
Our question for today, first of all, comes from; actually there are two individuals that have posed this question. First is Mr. Chuck Swift and well as Cynithia Dycus. They bring up a subject that, well, I’m sure many ponder, have pondered on before, concerns the meaning of life. Let’s listen together how they pose the question.
[On screen text graphics]
What is the meaning of life? Is there a purpose?
Chuck Swift: When living this life, seeing the ups and the downs, and you know the happiest we can be to as low as life can get, are we supposed to be saved in this world like Jesus Christ? Or are we meant to live through this life and experience whatever it might be?
Cynthia Daicus: And my question is, how do you know when your life has been fulfilled?
Finding fulfillment in life
Brother Bob: They ask it in different ways, but to sum it up they’re asking questions about what’s the meaning of life. How do you know when it’s going to be fulfilled? How do you know when its purpose has been met? What is the meaning of life? There have been people that have, let’s say they’ve gained fame, they’ve gained honor, they have amassed great wealth, but still they find themselves discontented. They find themselves unfulfilled. They find themselves just not satisfied. Regardless of who we are it’s become, let’s call it a universal human drive to assign meaning to our being. So what are some of the ways that people think they can give meaning to their life? Studio audience, those of you here with us here in the studio audience, what do you think? What is a way by which people strive to give meaning? What do you think would give meaning to a person’s life? We’ve asked that question and get all kinds of different answers. How about from anyone in the studio audience today? What gives life meaning? What would be one? Anybody?
Brother Bob: Sure, family, children. Others might think of what? Concerning their careers. What would they want for their career in order to give meaning to their life?
Brother Bob: Success, precisely, whether it’s money, success, family, have a good career, have a good job. They will innumerate many things like that and measure the condition of their purpose in life by such things. But really, will those things give any true meaning to our lives? What is the meaning of our life? Our purpose? What are we here for?
So that’s the question that they have posed. That’s the question we pose together right now and we turn to Isaiah 22:13 to begin our study. The Prophet Isaiah responds like this:
Instead, you laughed and celebrated. You killed sheep and cattle to eat, and you drank wine. You said, “We might as well eat and drink! Tomorrow we’ll be dead.”
[Isaiah 22:13 Good News Translation]
“Live life to the fullest?”
Brother Bob: So for many, what’s life mean to them? What did they find in life to give themselves purpose? The meaning of life for so many is that have not yet, let’s say, they have not yet found the focal point for their spiritual energies. So their conclusion, “Well let’s eat. Let’s drink.” It’s like kind of an excuse or justification for fulfilling all of their human impulses. Their purpose in life becomes, and I think we know people like this; their purpose in life becomes self-gratification. To become most comfortable, to become, yes, most comfortable. I said the best way of saying it, right? But for those who possess this kind of principle, what kind of principle will they be embracing concerning the value of their life? How would they say would their life will become significant? It’s not just a waste. Then what is their meaning, their meaning or what’s the meaning of life? What is the purpose of their life? Let’s continue in King Solomon’s pronouncements on this important topic here in, we’re going to read Ecclesiastes, chapter 5, verses 18 and 19.
Here is what I have found out: the best thing we can do is eat and drink and enjoy what we have worked for during the short life that God has given us; this is our fate. If God gives us wealth and property and lets us enjoy them, we should be grateful and enjoy what we have worked for. It is a gift from God.
[Ecclesiastes 5:18-19 Good News Translation]
Brother Bob: And I think all of us know people that think this way. They even have a term for that nowadays. They call it “YOLO.” Come on studio audience, what’s YOLO?
Audience: You only live once.
Brother Bob: Yeah, you only live once. So you only live once. “Live for the moment,” they would say. “Well God allowed us to acquire this, God allowed us to acquire that, He allowed us to do this, to do that, it’s fun, enjoyable. So let’s eat, drink, and be merry. YOLO!” We all know people like that. Studio audience, what do you say? You know somebody like that?
Brother Bob: I’m not going to ask if you’re like that. OK, I promise I will not ask that. But why do they consider this as their life principle though? Or that the valuable way of thinking in their mindset, the best thing that they can do in their life is to eat, drink, and be merry, live for the moment. It’s because they are aware, as we just read there, that life is very short. So they want to fulfill it. They want to live it to the fullest. They say, “It’s short so let’s do it all.” For them life can really only have significance or importance if they’re enjoying it. If they’re not enjoying it, it can’t be valuable. That’s their way of thinking. But do people with this way of thinking, do they really understand yet? Ok I want to emphasize that word “yet.” Do they really understand yet the true meaning of life and the purpose of our existence? We’re not here just to wake up everyday, eat, breathe, go to sleep and wake up on another new day and do the same thing. That’s not it. How many of you think, here in the studio audience, how many viewing us from abroad or anywhere else in the world, how many of you think that those who have the YOLO mindset, how many think they got it all figured out and they’re on the right track? How many think that way? Do you think a high percentage of people in the world do entertain that way of thinking? What do you say?
Brother Bob: Yes, yes. There are a lot who are thinking that way. Is there any example in the Holy Scriptures of someone who had that way of thinking and then the LORD gave some response and some council that we can all benefit from learning or reading about that encounter? Well obviously there is and I’d like to take a moment to read that. It’s recorded here in the Book of Luke, chapter 12, verses 16 through 19.
Then Jesus told them his parable: “There was once a rich man who had land which bore good crops. He began to think to himself, ‘ I don’t have a place to keep all my crops. What can I do? This is what I will do,’ he told himself; ‘I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, where I will store the grain and all my other goods. Then I will say to myself, ‘Lucky man! You have all the good things you need for many years. Take life easy, eat, drink, and enjoy yourself!’
[Luke 12:16-19 Good News Translation]
Brother Bob: Well, here’s one example, right? Who was it? Who was the example mentioned here? How does the Bible describe this individual?
Audience: Rich man.
Brother Bob: Rich man. What was he thinking? That might seem like a responsible thing that he said, right? “I’m going to build bigger barns and I’m going to hoard everything that I got and I’m going to save it all,” right? “Then I’m going to eat, and then I’m going to drink and enjoy all of it.” So let’s see. What did God say to him? How’d that work out for him with that way of thinking? “I got all this. Now I’m just going to enjoy it all.” Especially when it comes to his eternal life, when it comes to his salvation, was simply having a bigger barn, was simply eating and drinking and enjoying the moment, YOLO, huh? Well let’s just repeat the question. How well will that work out for him? We read up to verse 19. Let’s read this time verse 20.
But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night you will have to give up your life; then who will get all these things you have kept for yourself?’”
[Luke 12:20 Good News Translation]
Brother Bob: So here was someone who was living that entertaining, or let’s say, embracing that way of thinking. “Just eat, drink, and be merry. Live for the moment. That’s what will give my life meaning. If I’m enjoying it then it’s got a purpose.” Well what did God say to the rich man who had that way of thinking? What did he call it?
Brother Bob: OK, studio audience, raise your hand if you’re foolish. Uh huh. Of course nobody is going to raise their hand, right? Nobody would want to acknowledge that they are foolish. And it’s not we who would be accusing and what are calling anyone of being foolish. That was God through the conversation that the LORD had with that rich man telling him it would be foolish to entertain that way of thinking or to think that life’s purpose ends or simply rooted upon enjoying the life the LORD has given to us. So those who would think that their life would be meaningful if they would spend it in merry-making, eating, drinking, they were called fools in the sight of God because they don’t yet possess an important understanding. They don’t have an understanding yet of the true and real reason for life and our existence. They do not yet know the meaning and significance of life. But, beloved studio audience with us, everyone, there is hope, there is always hope for our knowledge to grow, our understanding to deepen.
What does God want me to do? Does God want me to be happy?
Brother Bob: So what then must everyone realize in order for life to become truly meaningful, for one to have purpose? Ecclesiastes chapter 11. Ecclesiastes chapter 11, this time verse 9. We turn to the Holy Scriptures again for the Bible’s response.
Young people, enjoy your youth. Be happy while you are still young. Do what you want to do and follow your heart’s desire. But remember that God is going to judge you for whatever you do.
[Ecclesiastes 11:9 Good News Translation]
Brother Bob: So allow me to pause. Is God against anybody enjoying life?
Brother Bob: No he’s not opposed to that. So is God against people being happy? What did He say?
Brother Bob: He’s not against that. Dear friends, what then is going to give life meaning? If it’s not just enjoying every moment that we are here in this world we’ve got to know that everything that we are doing, just like what we have just read, everything that we are doing in this day to day existence here is going to be judged by God. Everything we say, everything we do has purpose, has meaning, once a person realizes that what we say and what we are doing is important to God and, in fact, will be judged by Him. That’s what will give life meaning. That’s what will give a person purpose. That’s what will give importance to what we do each and everyday of our life, each and every moment that we are alive. But where does the Bible further explain this point? I’d like to turn to this time to the writings of Apostle Paul where he gave some additional insight on this. 2nd Corinthians, chapter 5, verse 10 reads this way:
Sooner or later we’ll all have to face God, regardless of our conditions. We will appear before Christ and take what’s coming to us as a result of our actions, either good or bad.
[2 Corinthians 5:10 The Message]
Brother Bob: “You only live once. Eat, drink, and be merry. Do what you want to do,” they will say. “Live your life in any way that you want to. We are free!” What cannot be forgotten if we want to have life mean something is that we are going to have to answer for every action that we take. The Bible describes very clearly there to us. We’ll be standing before the judgment seat of the LORD and we’re going to be judged, not regarding by simply what we believe in by what we know is good, what we believe is the right thing for us to say, the right thing for us to do, but whether or not we are doing it. Whether we had done good things or done bad things, that is the determining factor whether or not what we have done is relevant and makes our life meaningful. And of course we should note, God doesn’t set us up to fail. He provides us guidance in this life so that, well, our life will truly have value, it will truly have meaning.
Why were we created?
Brother Bob: And what is it that God wants all of us to learn? What does He want us all to remember so that your life, my life, our life, will have meaning to it? What does He want us to understand what so many just haven’t grasped yet? But it’s our prayer that everyone here in this studio audience, and everyone watching us everywhere around the world will understand what God wants us to understand. And what is that? Let’s take a look here in Ecclesiastes chapter 12, we’ll read here first verse 1 where it says:
So remember your Creator while you are still young, before those dismal days and years come when you will say, “I don’t enjoy life.”
[Ecclesiastes 12:1 Good News Translation]
Brother Bob: What’s God’s instruction? He said well, remember Him, remember your Creator while you are still young. Well what does it mean to remember God? Can we call that, some may ask the question, can we really call that a purpose? Can we really say that that gives meaning to life? Remembering God? Can we call that our purpose in life? Well let’s continue the same chapter. He went on further to say verse 13 this:
After all this, there is only one thing to say: Have reverence for God, and obey his commands, because this is all that we were created for.
[Ecclesiastes 12:13 Good News Translation]
What is the meaning of life?
Brother Bob: Remember that He created us. Remember the purpose for which we have been created, that we will come to know him, that we will come to serve Him, that we will be obedient to Him and that everything that we do in this life we will be judged and He will decide whether or not we are ready and worthy to enter His kingdom. That gives our life and the things we do meaning. And to conclude, I’d like to read the same verse in another rendition of the Holy Scriptures. Ecclesiastes chapter 12, verse 13, which we just read. I’ll read 13 again and include verse 14.
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
[Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 King James Version]
Brother Bob: Dear friends, that’s it. We are here for a purpose. It’s not just YOLO, just live for the moment and never mind anything. Just make sure to grab for all the self-gratification that one may acquire in this life. That is not the end all for humanity. The meaning of life is valuable; life itself is valuable because it can be used to show to the LORD we’re fulfilling our duty to know Him, to understand Him, to serve Him, to be obedient and to be judged worthy to enter His kingdom on the Day of Judgment. If we just eat drink and be merry and die at the end of it all then we’re no different than any other animal or biological entity that lives on planet earth. No different at all and we would have the same end. Anyone in denial of that, their search for the true meaning of life and justification of their existence would be an abject failure. Their tomorrow, live for today, for tomorrow we will die mindset and outlook on life will have caused them to live their life based upon a wrong principle. A wrong principle, which they ended up following and they adopted and led their lives by it. Therefore they end up confused about the purpose of their life. So they attempt to give their life meaning, to give their life importance, and all the self-gratifying ways imaginable. So to really give life, to conclude, to really give life meaning and importance we need to learn God’s ways, live our life guided by them, and bring our self to be worthy therefore of true life, real life, eternal life with Him in His kingdom. A place much different than life we experience here in this world.
Join in our continued study of God’s commands, most especially all of you who are guests and listening and joining with us in our study for the first time. Join in our continued Bible study of God’s teachings. The Bible, it’s full of God’s teachings and instructions about life and the journey that we travel through this life that may be filled with all kinds of trials and tests of our perseverance that God allows us to experience in this temporary world. We thank you for joining us. We thank you for the questions that were sent in. We encourage everyone to also send in your video questions just like they did. You can just video yourself posing any kind of question and we will use it on this program. Just like always, turn to the Holy Scriptures and there, together, we’ll find the LORD’s answer and response is teaching to us that will guide and direct us in our journey in this life, because there’s no question that is too basic, no question that cannot be answered by the Holy Scriptures when it comes to our lives, to our salvation. If you’d like to know more about the basic fundamental teachings that we believe in and are found here inside the Church Of Christ, please visit our website. What’s our website?
Brother Bob: Yes, correct. INCmedia.org. You can send your video questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and you can see your questions answered right here on what program?
Audience: That’s In The Bible!
Brother Bob: Thank you for joining us in this episode of That’s In The Bible. We’ll see you again next time.
Brother Bob: Thanks for coming! Thank you all.