What is the Meaning of Life?
Bern says the meaning of life is death. The Bible says it is to be God's wife and soul-mate. We will explain.

Bern asks: Why does God kill every thing He makes? I ask this question because I was dwelling on the meaning of life. When I spent many hours really contemplating, I came up with a sincere answer to the meaning of life, it is death. We are born so we can die. This is so because men, no matter who they are, what they do, rich as well as poor people of all races die. Every day brings you closer to that which you were born to do.
Question about A General Question: Character of God
Motivation - Curiosity: Sincere curiosity; Interest in religion: Interest in Christianity; Why, God?: Why did this happen?
Bible view - The Word of God - [question 108, Friday, 01-Jun-2012]

About Life and Death

Have you lived long enough, Bern, to understand that a happy life comes from doing what is right, not what feels good?

Mature, rationale adults throughout the world understand that right, moral actions produce better life results, far more desirable than those produced by immoral behavior. You do not need the Bible to tell you this. Anyone who has lived a few years and experienced a few joys and hardships will probably agree with the first verse of Psalms 1:

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
- Psalms 1:1 [NASB]

Blessing, also known as happiness, comes by avoiding sin.

You don't need the Bible to tell you that being good brings happiness and being bad brings sadness. Life on earth teaches that, and most people learn it quickly. Illicit drugs promise happiness, but deliver sadness. The same is true for illicit sex, fame, power, fortune, and all the classic human vices. In the long run, it is much better to behave morally than not. Young people may not know this, and there are plenty of old people who choose to ignore it, but, on average, most adults have figured it out. Human existence would be chaotic if this were not the case. Young people who understand the source of happiness early in their lives are truly fortunate.

Is, then, the pursuit of happiness the meaning of life? No, it is not -- not according to the Bible, and not according to human experience. Sadness engulfs us. All sorts of intense suffering in the world does not seem to move the hand of God to stop it. Instead, He allows evil to persist and even flourish, and does nothing to curtail people from dieing. In the end, everyone dies. God has appointed men and women to die, as the Bible says in the book of Hebrews:

And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment
- Hebrews 9:27 [NASB]

That leaves death as the ultimate reality, as Bern observes. Could this be true? If you pick up a little happiness along the way, is it just a fleeting bonus, or is it a true, long-lasting benefit? What does the Bible say about life and death? In short, it says:

For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.
- 1 Corinthians 15:22 [NASB]

The Biblical Model for Life and Death

The Bible presents life and death differently than most religions and most philosophical thinking. It presents a natural side of life and death, as well as a supernatural side. These are two distinct elements, but they are closely related. The natural realm is the one to which we are accustomed, with people, animals, plants, the known universe, and planet Earth. The supernatural realm is one that we only think about, with God, angels, demons, Heaven, and Hell.

The supernatural permeates Scripture, from the opening of the Red Sea to miraculous healings of deaf, lame, and even dead people. A good summary verse is Colossians 1:16. Speaking of Jesus Christ:

For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created through Him and for Him.
- Colossians 1:16 [NASB]

The decalogue
The Bible is more than a code of ethics.

Visible means natural, and invisible means supernatural.

There are plenty of people, including plenty of Christians and Jews, who want to reduce the Bible to a code of ethics by down-playing the supernatural elements. That is, these people view the Bible as a compendium of rules for living, but nothing more than that. While such a code is built into the Bible (see Exodus chapter 20), the Bible becomes grossly inconsistent with itself until a supernatural component is added. For instance, in the story of Adam and Eve (Genesis chapter 3), God says they will die if they eat the forbidden fruit. They eat it, but they do not die! The explanation is that the death was spiritual, not physical. Without the supernatural component of spiritual death, the story contradicts itself.

If you choose to ignore the supernatural, the Bible provides no clues about the meaning of life because, like Bern says, only death provides a single, natural, universal truth. When you include the supernatural, or spiritual side of the Bible equation, an elegant rendition of the meaning of life appears: the meaning of life is to have fellowship with God.

We referred to 1 Corithians 15:22 as the summary of Bible-based life and death. Look in the table below to understand what the Bible says about the natural (physical) side of life and death and the corresponding supernatural (spiritual) side.

For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.
- 1 Corinthians 15:22

Natural Supernatural
Adam Physical life began with the first man Adam. Physical death followed eventually, after Adam disobeyed God. Spiritual life is different than physical life. It began before Adam, but Adam's disobedience snuffed it out and brought spiritual death to humankind.
Die Physical death is the end of bodily functions and return of the body to dust. It results in separation from loved ones and all other people. Spiritual death is separation from God even though physically alive. Spiritual death includes eventual condemnation to Hell.
Christ Christ is the promised Deliverer (Messiah) in the Old Testament, and Jesus as God with us in the New Testament. Christ is God's gracious solution for spiritual death. Through Christ it is possible to be brought back to spiritual life, i.e., a spiritual resurrection, or being born again.
Alive Physical life embodies all the natural human functions, including those of the body, the emotions, and the mind. Spiritual life embodies a warm personal relationship between a person and God. Spiritual life starts while physically alive, and continues forever.

The Meaning of Life

For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
- Ephesians 5:31ff [KJV]

You may not subscribe to supernatural, metaphysical explanations of the universe. If this is the case, there are still benefits to be gained from the Bible. Specifically, obeying biblical concepts of right and wrong lead to personal happiness, as discussed at the beginning of this article.

But if you are willing to acknowledge the possibility of a supernatural realm, inhabited by a loving and just God as described in the Bible, it makes sense that a positive, rationale, and workable meaning of life is to have a close, personal relationship with Him. In fact, the Bible says that a relationship with God can proceed from a personal one to an intimate one in a supernatural sense, as reflected by sexual relationships between husband and wife in a natural sense (verse in box at right).

In other words, the natural intimate relationship between a husband and wife corresponds to the supernatural intimate relationship between God (Christ) and His followers (the church). So the ultimate meaning of life is to be God's spiritual wife! You don't hear it stated so bluntly very often, but that is what the Bible says.

being God's wife
According to the Bible, the ultimate meaning of life is to be God's wife and soul-mate in a spiritual sense, responding to His love, His provision, and His protection, on a one-to-one basis. That is an exciting prospect!

Mon, 26-Jun-2017 03:45:01 GMT, unknown: 642330 ABmHAptJHOglU
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