Questions about life
There are many questions that might be asked about the creation and the general purpose of life and God. The man in general is looking for excuses mostly when he doesn't accept or understand something. on the other hand we are having questions. One of them might be: "why am I here?", "why do I exist just to suffer?", "the life is so unjust", etc. Let me tell you something. We have to be grateful for this life, even if this might sound hard to you. The life that we've got is an opportunity and it mustn't be thrown away or despised. In a way we are unique and in God's hands we are only ones and special. If we throw away or despise our life, then it can get really complicated.
The life we are living is a gift from Him, but what happens is that the sufferings we are living come from a fallen world with a lost mankind and the corruption and sin we are surrounded with, commited by us and the rest of the people.
Yes, we are having questions , but what we need to do is to be disposed to believe and not to look for a loophole in God's creation or a negative way of seeing things. If we anyway have questions or wonder about somethings, we mustn't be ashamed of this. At the end of the day we are all humans and we are all limited and I'm sure that God is not having a problem with us having questions. People can ask: "Why is that God created me, if I am probably going to hell? Is it for me just to suffer?" Yes, this is a question that someone might have.
As we said before, sometimes we don't even realize the opportunity we've got and we just look at it from a negative perspective. There is not a clear answer to all the questions we've got, but here we will try to give an answer based on what the Bible says about this topic. We need always to look for answers to our questions there. If we don't find it at the moment, it doesn't mean that there is not an answer. It happened to me to find an answer for certain questions after a long period of time, but in the right moment.
Looking at the whole meaning and the whole direction of the scriptures, the Bible in general speaks about the opportunity that God is giving us. That's why He sent His Son to die on the cross for us. So that we can believe in Him and be saved. This is an opportunity.
"The Lord is not slack conserning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9
We obviously know that not all will come to repentance, but here we see His heart and His desire for the people to be saved. This should let us think that He hasn't created the man, so that he can just worry and have tough times, but He created him with a purpose and also to give him opportunity.
His thoughts toward us are for good as well as His purposes for us. (Jeremiah 29:11) So we conclude that He wants to save us and this life is an opportunity given to us, as the Bible represents it.
"There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answered and said to them, "Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eghteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all the other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish."
He also spoke this parable: "A certain man had a fig three planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, 'Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig three and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?' But he answered and said to him, 'Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.'" Luke 13:1-9
Looking at the beginning of this passage, we notice that it speaks about some Galileans that have been killed by Pilate and it mentions about some other people upon whom a tower fell and they also have died. Then after this, Jesus tells them and warns them that they also need to repent and that those people that have perished were not worse sinners than them. To those people who were listening then, was simply given an extra, an additional opportunity.
The same one that those other people had, but just extended, just more. Looking at this, they had obviously to profit it. What do we mean by this? That the life itself is an opportunity, as here in the story speaks about life and death. People that had died and other people that were still alive and having in this way an opportunity to repent. The life of many people finishes for different reasons, caused many times by the man itself, but we need to consider that every moment in which we live is an opportunity to turn towards God. What we don't know fo sure is when each one's life will end. That's why we need to be careful, appreciate each second of it and be grateful. Because of Christ we have this opportunity.
So, we see again God's heart here. We can conclude that He wants to give us opportunity.
Looking at this point, we can see that without this life, we wouldn't have this opportunity.
So, where we would be, if we assume that we were not born? Because as we said before, people might ask "why am I born" and "which is the purpose of life?". Looking at the life and the meaning of it that we see in the Bible, we could assume that we were probably going to exist, but away from God's presence. And away from God's presence is not a good place to be. And why is that, if we haven't done any bad thing at that stage? Well, the separation from God is not provoked just because we have or we haven't done anything bad, but because by nature we are out of the perfect order of God and this is because we don't have Him in our life, because we haven't accepted the sacrifice of His Son. We are meant to coexist with Him, being part of Him and Him being part of us. we are together with Him. This is what is meant to be. This is the life and the purpose of it.
So, we haven't done any bad thing before being born to be condemned, but if we look at it from this point, we also haven't done any good thing so that we can go to heaven. And obviously it is not by any good deed that we can go there, because the greatest of all good deeds and the one that is redeeming us, is been already done and that is the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Only by accepting and believing in it, we can go to heaven.
Because since Adam and Eve have sinned, the sin and the separation from God go from generation to generation. We all inherit that. Why? This is about God's nature and the way things work. Even He can not just change it. Here is where the verse saying that the sons pay out the consequences for the sins commited by their parents.
"'The Lord is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgressions; but He by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation.'" Numbers 14:18
We can see His character toward sin here. This is how far He wants to keep it from Himself. Anything that is been even close to the sin or is having to do with it, cannot stand in His pure presence, because He is pure and Holy. In the old testament we read passages for persons that even just having contacts or touching something considered as sinful or unclean, they were defiled by it and for this reason also considered unclean. (Leviticus 15:31, Leviticus 15:10, Numbers 19:14)
Obviously today we do not live by some of these laws and we are not just defiled by anything unless it defiles us spiritually, because this is what is really important - our heart and spirit. Some of the commandments of the Old Testament are just a shadow of the things that had to come and what is really sinful comes out from our hearts, but from these examples given in the Old Testament we can in general see His attitude toward sin, that He cannot be even close to it or to anything else that is also been defiled by sin. It is not part of His nature, it doesn't have to do with it. He is so pure and this is His nature.
It works in a similar way like any other nature that can not accept certain things. When we speak about a nature, it is something that doesn't get influenced by what someone likes or not, or prefers. Even the natural human nature. There are somethings that we can bear and others that we can not. By nature our body will reject certain foods or substances and will accept others. The same is with God's nature toward sin. He can not accept it.
What do I mean by this? That as we come out from our fathers who are sinners and we are born in a sinful world then somehow we are having to do with sin and we are already defiled. How can we then draw close to Him? Only by His Son's sacrifice who paid for our sins. So, from these passages we see how He looks at the sin.
In the next passage we will see something similar, but yet different.
"Yet you say, 'Why should the son not bear the guilt of the father?' Because the son has done what is lawful and right, and has kept all My statutes and observed them, he shall surelly live. The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself." Ezekiel 18:19,20
As we see from this passage, everyone shall bear his own guilt, being father or son. What is interesting is that this is a prophecy about the future that was about to come. The one that we are living now in. The time of the New testament, the time of Christ. Ezekiel, being a prophet from God, declares His statutes and prophesies about the work that God is about to accomplish. Now in these days everyone has to answer for himself. I mean that even if someone had inherited the sin from his fathers, he can still change his direction by listening to the good news (the gospel) and repenting and turning awy from his ways. That's why the desire of God is that everyone can hear today these news. The ones that say that Jesus Christ came, lived among us, died for our sins and after three days has resurrected. Those who accept it, will enter into His promises. There is no other way by which someone can observe God's law and commandments. Christ is out righteousness. By accepting this with faith we are righteous and accepted by God. His Holy Spirit also helps us on the way to follow Him and observe His commandments.
This is how someone changes and starts to keep God's statutes as it is said in Ezekiel 18:21
"But if the wicked man turns away from all his sins which he has commited, keeps all my statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die."
Christ is our righteousness and by His sacrifice we can enter into His righteous way. Trying to observe it with our strenght only is impossible.
These passages that we see in Ezekiel speak about how really God wants things to be done after the coming of Christ and His sacrifice. He wants everybody to hear about these good news, about the gospel, so that everyone can have an opportunity and be judged not anymore by the sin of his fathers that he has inherited, but by his position in front of Jesus' sacrifice. It is about his aceptance or refusal of that sacrifice. About his righteousness (that is accepting the sacrifice and the righteousness of Jesus) or about his own wickedness and sin, that is the refusal of that sacrifice.
In the day of judgement (when they appear in front of God's throne) the people will be not judged anymore just by what they have done, but also if they have accepted God's sacrifice on the cross. The first question won't be anymore "why have you done these wrong things", but "why haven't you accepted the sacrifice of my Son?"
This is how the God's nature is. Meaning that He really abhors the sin and everthing that is related to it. In a way it is like a virus. The persons are not born having done already something good or bad, but they are born without a relationship with their Creator. And this is what is going to redeem them. This is what everyone needs. Why? Because we are meant to be with Him. And the way to have that is through the sacrifice of Jesus. He came to reestablish this broken relationship with our Creator. This is what accepting His sacrifice does. Because what everyone needs is to repent. If not for something wrong he has done (even if everyone has done something wrong), then he needs to repent for his unbelieve and for not trusting in God and not having a relationship with Him.
That's why Jesus speaks about the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32. The parable speaks about a son that asked his father to give him the inheritance and after that left for a far country away from his father. Here is where his relationship with his father was broken. Obviously this parable doesn't speak only about the relation between a father and a son, but the relation between us and God. When Jesus was telling this parable, He was reffering to all the people in general that are sinners and haven't reconciled with God and in consequence don't have a relationship with Him.
When speaking this, He also spoke to the Jews in that case being religious persons as the Pharisees and the scribes who "apparently" were close to their father God, by trying to keep the law and live in a religious way, but in their hearts they were far. They were representing the older son in the parable. The one that was always there, but in his heart he was complaining. They of course were also sinners, but were not recognizing it. They were thinking themselves as righteous in front of God. "And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, "This Man receives sinners and eats with them."" Luke 15:2 Even though they didn't brake the law as the rest of the sinners, as the tax collectors and prostitutes from that time, they were still sinning in their hearts and this was caused by a lack of a proper relationship with the Father.
When we read the parable of the prodigal son, we see that at the end after the older son got upset as he saw how his brother that came repenting was treated, the father explained him that it was right to rejoice for his brother, because he was lost and now is found. We see that even being there close to the Father, he still didn't know some very fundamental parts of His character. Would it be because of a lack of a relationship with Him? So, we understand that to have a relationship with God is not a question of living an apparently "religious" or "godly" life, but truly repenting.