Why Do We Exist?
What is the purpose of life? Why are we living on this earth? I put this question to a friend the other day. He replied that man’s purpose on earth is to eat and praise God. He is right in a way. All man’s other activities only help him to find food. Ask a philosopher or a scientist the same question and they will give their own, sometimes unsatisfactory, answer. I would rather have the answer of my friend.
Biblically, God created man for a purpose that is more than eating and thanking Him. A vivid example is Jeremiah. God said to him: “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5). Before his conception, God knew him and the purpose of his birth i.e. to be a prophet and spread God’s word to the nations. Another example is John the baptist whose coming was to prepare the way for the ministry of Christ. Yes, they are to eat, praise God and help spread the good news about God.
Events in our lives can help us to ask ourselves the same question: To what purpose were we brought to life by God? Why are we still exisiting? Let me recount a personal story. A friend that I grew up with back home in our village was making jokes with me. “Elijah”, he said, “do you remember when we were swimming in our village river and you nearly got drowned? They stamped on your stomach and water gushed from your mouth, nose and ears” I tried to play down the joke but the incident started to haunt me again. I was about eight years old then and about 20 of us around the same age we went to swim in the said river. I lost my balance and in my desperate search for air started taking in water. Immediately somebody lifted me up. That’s all I remembered. I didn’t know when they stamped on my stomach. I only woke up to see people standing around me. A passing older person saw me and rushed into the river to save me. Yes, other people have similar stories to tell. Why did God preserve us and not allow us to go and be forgotten? I believe because we are for a purpose, not just to eat and say ‘thanks be to God’. We are to proclaim His mercy and His purpose concerning the world to others. In Ephesians 1:3-6 we read of having been “chosen before the foundation of the world”. Isn’t it marvellous that before the world was created God knew us and chose us. He decided that we should be born.
We should see it our duty to proclaim the gospel and purpose of God to everybody. That is why we are here on earth. I used to feel shy to tell people that I belong to that Christian organization with a long and perculiar name: CHRISTADELPHIANS but when I remember that I haven’t found fault in any of our doctrines, I am now always bold and tell them of my faith. It is my responsibility to spread the good news of the coming kingdom to others.
We must be humble and totally depend on God for our daily food, give Him thanks and spread the message of His love and purpose to others. “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel” is a command from Christ that we must carry out. Whenever there is the opportunity, let us not hesitate to speak to people about our hope.
Bro Elijah Okorie (Togo)