That’s the question of
the hour, isn’t it? Most of us have had it all—we’ve been blessed with
education, successful careers, health, wealth, beautiful homes, cars,
and toys, as well as leisure time to enjoy the best vacation spots and
entertainment money can buy. But we’re still left empty, wondering why
the thrill doesn’t last, and how to fill the void it’s left behind. Why
is that? Perhaps the bigger question is: is there anything out there
that brings lasting satisfaction? If so, what is it?
If you’re asking that
question you’re no doubt searching for answers. So let me give you good
news! There is more—so much more to life than simply feeding our
cravings and living for the moment.
You might be surprised
to hear this, but you did not originate from a monkey. You were not an
accident, or a fluke of nature. You are here on purpose. In fact, Mr.
Darwin had it all wrong. You were the design of an incredibly loving
Master Creator, who knew you inside and out before the creation of the
earth. He has big plans for you. And on top of that, Psalm 139 says His
thoughts of you are more numerous than the sands of the sea. Are you
surprised to know you’re that important to God?
Well, you are. He says
you are the apple of His eye. You’ve heard that expression before,
haven’t you? It’s in the Bible in Deuteronomy 32:10. It says: “He found
him in a desert land and in the wasteland, a howling wilderness. He
encircled him; He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye.”
God wants to know you
intimately. He wants to be your very best friend. Are you wondering how
that’s possible? Well, let me start from the beginning and clear up
whatever confusion you may have. It all started with Adam and Eve.
When God created the
world He made everything perfect, including the first two human beings,
Adam and Eve. He placed them in the beautiful Garden of Eden, where
everything they needed was provided—right at their fingertips. They were
to enjoy the luxurious tropical garden and God even assigned Adam the
job of naming the animals. God deeply loved Adam and Eve. Did you get
that? scripture says God wanted nothing more than to be close to them,
which is why He walked and talked with them in the garden in the cool of
the day. Though He already knew what they were thinking and feeling, the
relationship was so important to Him that He wanted to hear how they
felt. How’s that for a compassionate Creator?
There was only one
thing He required of them—that they not eat of a certain tree, called
the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. That tree was placed there
to offer them a choice, either to love and obey God or to disobey Him.
He wanted their loving obedience.
Now I want to change
gears and bring in another player. About the time God was creating the
world the angels were more or less the center of the universe. And of
course God loved them as well, but one particular angel, who was
remarkably beautiful and a very talented as a musician, grew a big head.
You probably know the story. His name was Lucifer, and his name means
‘beautiful light’. Isaiah 14:12 details his fall from heaven, after he
tried to exalt himself higher than God. He was thrown out of heaven, but
because Adam and Eve relinquished their dominion over the earth when
they sinned, Satan took the title deed, which he still holds today.
With the new name of
Satan, he became a terrible distortion of the beautiful angel he once
was, but from that point on his one and only goal was to wound God, whom
he could not destroy, by killing and bringing to ruin those God loved
best--human beings who are created in His image.
With that in mind,
let’s get back to the story of Adam and Eve. Remember, God had said they
were free to enjoy everything in the garden, except they were not to eat
of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. At just the right moment
Satan showed up in the form of a beautiful serpent and spoke to Eve. He
said something to the effect, “Did God really say that you could not eat
of every tree in the garden?” Eve explained that they could eat of all
but one tree, and that if they did they would surely die. Satan, or the
devil, as we know him today, responded, “You will not surely die, for
God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and
you will be like God knowing good and evil.” (See Genesis 3:1-8)
His lie was so
convincing that Eve was seduced and believed him. She and Adam both ate
of the forbidden tree then hid themselves from God knowing for the very
first time that they were naked. And for the very first time they were
also afraid, because of their disobedience. That decision to disobey
then brought judgment on all mankind, forever breaking the close, warm
relationship between God and man. Let me add here that Satan is still up
to his old tricks, using half-truths to entice the needy, unwary heart.
There was another tree
in their garden called the Tree of Life, which, had they eaten of it,
would’ve caused them to live forever in what had become, deteriorating
physical bodies in a deteriorating, sinful world. The worst kind of
punishment would’ve been living forever, without end in that situation,
so God took them out of the garden, closed the gates to the garden
forever, and placed an angel with a flaming sword, outside to guard its
From then on, life was
tough. Men have had to till the soil, pull the weeds, and deal with all
manner of heartache, illness, and hard physical labor, to feed and
provide for themselves and their families.
But God missed the
warm fellowship with them so much that He came up with Plan B. In the
Old Testament God told His chosen people, the Israelites, to take a
spotless lamb to the temple once a year, where it would be sacrificed,
to cover the sins of each family, and once again restore fellowship,
between God and man. The blood covering was essential to the restoration
of fellowship, and nothing has changed since that time.
In fact, everything in
the Old Testament foretold of a blood sacrifice that would
forever cover the sins of mankind once-and-for-all. That would be
God’s answer to the problem of sin and Satan. His name was Jesus.
Jesus was God’s
perfect and sinless Son, who agreed to leave His deity behind and humble
himself to come to earth and be born in a stable. And in the greatest
irony of all time, the people of His day always looked at Him as the
bastard son of a fallen woman.
I know you know the
story, but perhaps you’ve never realized how it applied to you. Well,
Jesus came and died as that last, perfect sacrifice, in order to cover
and remove your sins and mine. But once again, because we are free to
choose or reject His sacrifice, He wants us to know the details of this
When Adam sinned, you
and I were also consigned to eternity without God, unless we accept this
gift of salvation, the blood covering of Jesus for our sin. That means
that if we choose to reject God’s gift He will not force us to go to
heaven, because--why would we want to spend eternity with someone we’ve
rejected? So instead, we choose hell by default, where it’s dark, and
void of everything green and alive, and people suffer at the hands of
terrible demons, who love nothing better than to torment and destroy
those God loves. The thing to realize is that hell is forever. There
will be no second chances if we change our minds.
Romans 3:23 says: For
all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
Romans 6:23 tells us:
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 10:9-10 goes on
to say: If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in
your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For
with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth
confession is made unto salvation.
Romans 10:13 says: For
whosoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
1 John 1:9 tells us:
If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
We each have a
decision to make: will we accept the loving sacrifice of our amazing God
or will we go our own way and never live out our destiny? The truth is
that you were born to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and point others to
Him, lest they be forever lost in their sins. Eternity is a long, long
time, but the choice is yours. Which way will you go?
Is this all there is?
Not by a long shot, but it’s up to you to make it happen. You can live
for yourself, or you can be best friends with the Creator of the
Universe. The ball is in your court. What will you do?