The atheistic theory of evolution argues that life evolved by chance with no ultimate purpose or plan. The Bible, however, tells us that God created the earth and man with a specific—and awe-inspiring—purpose In mind.
What Is that purpose? Israel's King David, when viewing the expanse of the night sky long ago, asked, "What are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?" (Psalm 8:4, NRSV). Unlike all other creatures, God created man In His own Image and likeness (Genesis 1:26). He gave man the ability to have a relationship with Him. Man had the capacity to understand and live by the same spiritual laws God Himself lives by, these being part of His character. Man could grow to become more like God through an Intimate relationship with Him.
Our first human parent, Adam, made a fateful choice for the rest of the human race when he tried to find a way of life for himself apart from the Intimate relationship God was offering him. We have been groping for meaning ever since.
The awe-inspiring truth is that God Is creating a family—the God family. How did Jesus Christ reveal God to His disciples? As "our Father in heaven" (Matthew 6:9). Jesus tells us to follow the ways of God "that you may be sons of your Father In heaven" (Matthew 5:45). The apostle Paul referred to God the Father as "the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth Is named" (Ephesians 3:14-15).
God Invites us Into a father-child relationship with Himself and gives us His Spirit so we can become His children: "But you received the Spirit of sonship ..." (Romans8:15, NIV). By this Spirit "we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ" (verses 15-17, King James Version). Jesus Himself Is called "the firstborn among many brethren" (verse 29).
After this life, those to whom God gives His Spirit receive eternal life through a resurrection from the dead. "We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised Incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruptlon, and this mortal must put on immortality" (1 Corinthians 15:51-53).
Through the resurrection to eternal life God
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Life's Purpose and the Consequence of Ideas 53
Huxley's brother Julian, writing later in the 20th century, was even more blunt: "The sense of spiritual relief which comes from rejecting the idea of God as a superhuman being is enormous" (Essays of a Humanist, 1966, p. 223).
Aldous and Julian Huxley were grandsons of the 19th-century biologist Thomas Huxley, a close friend of Charles Darwin and vigorous promoter of evolution. Early in the debate over evolution, Thomas Huxley revealed his antireligious bias to a colleague: "I am very glad that you see the importance of doing battle with the clericals... I desire that the next generation may be less fettered by the gross and stupid superstitions of [religious] orthodoxy than mine has been. And I shall be well satisfied if I can succeed to however small an extent in bringing about that result" (quoted in The Columbia History of the World, p. 957).
More recently, paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould asserted: "We are here because one odd group of fishes had a peculiar fin anatomy that could transform transforms us into glorified and immortal beings, as God Himself Is. As 1 John 3:2 tells us, "we
According to evolution, man is but one species in a large family of animals. According to the Bible, our destiny lies in another family, the family of God.
2 shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is." | Just as human children are the same kind of be-i ings as their human parents and older siblings,
3 so will we ultimately be the same kind of beings as the Father and Christ, sharing their level of existence. This Is an astounding truth that very few understand.
God Is in the process of creating His own literal family—with children In His very likeness. He will give human beings immortal, divine life, which we will share with Him for eternity. He desires to share with others His eternal existence in the way of life of outflowing love. Indeed, It is because of His love that God brought the universe into existence in the first place. It is because of His love that He gave us a part In it. Life, then, is the result of God's love and His desire to share His love with His Immortal family for eternity.
The Bible's revelation of our destiny is far removed from the dark, meaningless view of life offered by atheism and evolution. Life with God In the picture Is not something we should rationally oppose. Instead, we should regard It as a cause for rejoicing!
Life without God—and without His promise of eternal life—is empty and hopeless. Life with God Is exciting, fulfilling and ultimately rewarding beyond our wildest Imagination. (For a deeper understanding of your future as revealed in the Bible, be sure to download or request our free booklets What Is Your Destiny? and The Gospel of the Kingdom.)
into legs for terrestrial creatures; because comets struck the earth and wiped out dinosaurs, thereby giving mammals a chance not otherwise available (so thank your lucky stars in a literal sense); because the earth never froze entirely during an ice age; because a small and tenuous species, arising in Africa a quarter of a million years ago, has managed, so far, to survive by hook and by crook. We may yearn for a 'higher' answer—but none exists. This explanation, though superficially troubling, if not terrifying, is ultimately liberating and exhilarating " (quoted by David Friend, The Meaning of Life, 1991, p. 33, emphasis added).
What a frank and candid admission! But why would anyone feel exhilarated and liberated by convincing himself that God does not exist?
The problem lies with the heart. The prophet Jeremiah explained,
"The heart is more deceitful than all n, ., , . ,,., . ,. , .. ,,
,. , , . , , Philosophies of life rooted in evolution offer else and is desperately sick; who can RQ hope orpurpose jn ljfe when we under_
understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9, New stand the truth of God's plan as revealed in American Standard Bible). the Sii)fe# //fe becomes infused with meaning.
God exposes the dark intent of those who deliberately set themselves against Him: "For when they [those who despise God's authority] speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage" (2 Peter 2:18-19).
We must guard our minds against those "great swelling words of emptiness" that bombard us with unsubstantiated evolutionary thought. Such thinking has a gradual and insidious effect on us and on our society—an effect the Bible equates with slavery.
God's Word pulls no punches in identifying the motivation for denying His existence. The apostle Paul explains that some people reject God so they will have no qualms when it comes to satisfying their selfish desires.
Notice the process and tragic results: "What can be known about God is plain to them; for God himself has made it plain. For ever since the creation of the universe God's invisible attributes—his everlasting power and divinity—are to be seen and studied in his works, so that men have no excuse; because, although they learned to know God, yet they did not offer him as God either praise or thanksgiving. Their speculations about him proved futile, and their undiscerning minds were darkened" (Romans 1:19-21, Twentieth Century New Testament).
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Life's Purpose and the Consequence of Ideas 55
Paul explains that when we look into the skies and examine the world around us, the creative hand of God should be self-evident. A reasonable person will recognize that God exists because of the evidence he can see with his own eyes. Paul says a person should logically and naturally conclude that there is a Creator God and recognize many of His attributes by observing the wonders He has made. To conclude otherwise—that the sun, moon, earth and stars came into existence on their own from nothing—is utterly nonsensical.
Some, however, carry such a passionate anti-God prejudice that they conclude the opposite—that the physical universe doesn't require God. Paul continues his description of the process that takes place in their thinking: "Professing to be wise, they showed themselves fools; and they transformed the Glory of the immortal God into the likeness of mortal man, and of birds, and beasts, and reptiles" (verses 22-23, TCNT). They attribute godlike powers to the physical creation and reject the Creator.
Have you been misled by this false reasoning into assuming that the thinkers of this world are wise just because they can observe similarities in animal and plant life on this planet and elaborately hypothesize that these originated from a common ancestor? This reasoning is one of the basic foundations of the evolutionary concept.
Paul continues: "Therefore God abandoned them to impurity, letting them follow the cravings of their hearts, till they dishonored their own bodies; for they had substituted a lie for the truth about God, and had reverenced and worshiped created things more than the Creator, who is to be praised for ever" (verses 24-25, TCNT).
Where does such thinking lead?
Paul analyzes the fruits of the thinking that leaves God out of the picture: "That, I say, is why God abandoned them to degrading passions. Even the women among them perverted the natural use of their bodies to the unnatural; while the men, disregarding that for which women were intended by nature, were consumed with passion for one another. Men indulged in vile practices with men, and incurred in their own persons the inevitable penalty for their perverseness" (verses 26-27, TCNT).
Paul gets to the crux of the matter: People don't want God to stop them from gratifying their selfish lusts. "Then, as they would not keep God before their minds, God abandoned them to depraved thoughts, so that they did all kinds of shameful things. They reveled in every form of wickedness, evil, greed, vice. Their lives were full of envy, murder, quarreling, treachery, malice. They became backbiters, slanderers, impious, insolent, boastful. They devised new sins. They disobeyed their parents. They were undiscerning, untrustworthy, without natural affection or pity" (verses 28-31, TCNT).
These are the predictable results of removing God from our thinking (verse 28). They describe a society that does not recognize God and moral law, nor does it acknowledge absolute principles of right and wrong.
One of the acclaimed philosophers of the modern world, Friedrich Nietzsche, who wrote in the latter half of the 19th century, was influential in the attack on God as the source of moral standards. His ideas had a radical impact on some of the most influential men of the 20th century, particularly Adolf Hitler.
Nietzsche sought to replace the religion of Christianity, with its belief and reliance on God, with a new world built on a godless foundation. He sought to redefine human life without God. He claimed that Christian ideas weakened men and women and prevented them from rising to the true greatness that lay within them. To him, Christianity's concepts of morality, repentance and humility were self-debasing ideas that had to be discarded before humanity could break free, soar to greater heights and scale the mountains of individual accomplishment.
Nietzsche strongly espoused the idea that, as he put it, "God is dead"—referring to the biblical conception of God as a source of meaning and morality. He wrote his philosophy in a style that stirred the emotion and imagination. He argued that since God is dead we human beings must be worthy to take His place. However, he wrote that man was not ready for such an exalted position, and until man was able he must live through a temporary time of upheaval and revolution. The day would come, nevertheless, when this godless world would be welcomed into the arms of a philosophical deliverer.
Nietzsche's predictions in part came true. His nihilistic teachings were ready to be taken seriously by a rapidly changing world already influenced by the 18th-and 19th-century philosophers who preceded him: David Hume the skeptic; Immanuel Kant, who exalted the authority of human reason; Soren Kierkegaard the existentialist. There arose in the 20th century powerful men, atheists and despisers of religion, who sought to become what the world was waiting for—the new superman. Men like Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse-tung and Pol Pot were products of that experimental philosophy.
Historian Paul Johnson wrote: "Friedrich Nietzsche... saw God not as an invention but as a casualty, and his demise as in some important sense an historical event, which would have dramatic consequences. He wrote in 1886: 'The greatest event of recent times—that "God is Dead," that the belief in the Christian God is no longer tenable—is beginning to cast its first shadows over Europe.'
"Among the advanced races, the decline and ultimately the collapse of the religious impulse would leave a huge vacuum. The history of modern times is in great part the history of how that vacuum had been filled. Nietzsche rightly perceived that the most likely candidate would be what he called the 'Will to Power'...
"In place of religious belief, there would be secular ideology. Those who had once filled the ranks of the totalitarian clergy would become totalitarian politicians. And above all, the Will to Power would produce a new kind of messiah, uninhibited by any religious sanctions whatever, and with an unappeasable appetite for controlling mankind. The end of the old order, with an unguided world adrift in a relativistic universe, was a summons to such gangster-statesmen to emerge. They were not slow to make their appearance" (A History of the Modern World From 1917 to the 1980s, 1983, p. 48).
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Life's Purpose and the Consequence of Ideas 57
Looking back on the 20th century, Johnson observed: "We have lived through a terrible century of war and destruction precisely because powerful men did usurp God's prerogatives. I call the 20th century the Century of Physics, inaugurated by Einstein's special and general theories. During this period, physics became the dominant science, producing nuclear energy and space travel.
"The century also brought forth social engineering, the practice of shoving large numbers of human beings around as though they were earth or concrete. Social engineering was a key feature in the Nazi and Communist totalitarian regimes, where it combined with moral relativism—(he belief that right and wrong can be changed for the convenience of human societies—and the denial of God's rights.
"To Hitler the higher law of the party took precedence over the Ten Commandments. Lenin praised the Revolutionary conscience as a surer guide for mankind than the conscience implanted by religion" ("The Real Message of the Millennium," Reader's Digest, December 1999, p. 65).
It was Charles Darwin who gave the philosophers what they wanted to hear. Before Darwin the ideas were abstract, perhaps reactions to earlier abusive and corrupt institutions and governments. Darwin gave life to the nihilistic and existentialist philosophies. With his theory of the mechanism of natural selection, it was now possible to explain scientifically—at least in theory—that no Creator God was necessary after all. Life could have come about on its own and then evolved without God.
Science and philosophy now teamed up to shatter the hold religion had on the populace. With the acceptance of the theory of evolution—and the ramifications of that thinking—would come the bloodiest century in human history.
The great moralist Victor Frankl, a survivor of Auschwitz, wrote: "If we present man with a concept of man which is not true, we may well corrupt him. When we present him as... a bundle of instincts, as a pawn of drive and reactions, as a mere product of heredity and environment, we feed the nihilism to which modern man is, in any case, prone.
"I became acquainted with the last stage of corruption in my second concentration camp, Auschwitz. The gas chambers of Auschwitz were the ultimate consequence of the theory that man is nothing but the product of heredity and environment... I am absolutely convinced that the gas chambers of Auschwitz,
What happens to man's moral outlook when we remove God from the picture? Do some reject God so they can have freedom to do as they choose—regardless of the consequences?
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