Where have we come from? Why are we here? It’s interesting that as human beings we can and do ask such questions. My dog, Pip, is, as far as I know, totally unconcerned about such matters. His level of thinking revolves around his next meal, his next walk or how to see off George the horse who lives in the field next door! But we do ask these questions and we desire answers.
Where are we from?
As far as we can learn from cosmologists (those who study ultimate origins of the physical universe), something quite awesome happened around 14 billion years ago. There was, it seems, a singularity, a minuscule dot with a diameter of 0.00000000000000000000000000000001m.
Everything we now know and see was in that dot. Although very small, it was very, very hot in there! Outside the dot, there was nothing – not even space, and certainly no time.
Then, it happened – the Big Bang, as it has come to be known. The dot rapidly expanded to form, billions of years later, all that we now see and know. There is good science to support this theory which you can read at your leisure online. But, the question remains unanswered. Where have we come from? What formed the dot?!
To get around this glaring problem, many cosmologists now propose something called ‘the multiverse’. Our universe, they say, could be but a tiny part in a whole series of universes! So, we came from something far grander than that singularity mentioned earlier. But this too fails to answer the question. It only pushes it further back and into deeper fog. And that is it. In a few lines I have summed up cosmological answers to the question, ‘Where are we from?’
As a scientist myself I am not knocking science, but I am recognising its limits in being able to give an answer to such a fundamental question.
Why the hostility to God?
If I were to describe God as the First Being of supreme intelligence, is that a problem?
There is no doubt that intelligence exists, the very fact that you are able to read this is. An atheistic scientist would believe that The Big Bang, pure energy, eventually condensed to form matter (stars, planets) and riding on at least one of those planets, intelligent life formed. So, such scientists would say, pure energy produced intelligence but the intelligence it produced cannot yet explain where the pure energy came from. All I am doing here is turning the argument around. Is it not at least logically possible that in actual fact it is pure intelligence that has produced the energy and matter we now see and know?!
This is the clear statement of the Bible, ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.’
So, who made God? Ah, well here is a question that at least has a logical answer. By definition God is eternal. Being a pure Spirit, this is not a problem. Whereas matter and useful energy cannot be eternal (laws of thermodynamics), God can be and is. By definition he is also all powerful. This being so, he can create a universe. The language of Genesis is interesting – it states that God created the universe ‘out of nothing’. The book of Hebrews in the New Testament confirms this (Heb. 11:1-3).
So, in the Bible, in God, we have a logical, cogent answer to our most fundamental question. I can and do live with this – it satisfies. Science operates and rides on this. Good science can be done because God has created, by an act of pure spiritual power, a universe that can be observed, probed and explored. But that leads logically onto the other fundamental question.
Why are we here?
From a pure scientific viewpoint, there is no answer apart from ‘because we are’. This means we are simply an outcome of The Big Bang. We might not have been, but we are. We are hideously, pathetically small – and hideously vulnerable. One asteroid wipes us out … and then, would the universe even exist anymore without life to observe and appreciate it? The Bible gives a much brighter, more upbeat answer!
God made us ‘in His image’. That is, we have spirit. We think, plan, decide, ponder. We are creative, we communicate. There are reflections in every human being on a minuscule scale, of what God is on an unfathomable scale! And God made us in his image for one supreme purpose, a purpose which is beyond the grasp of my dog Pip – God made us to know him. Not simply to know about him (that would be dark religion) but to know him in a living, vital relationship.
Now, this too just rings so true! There are so many good things on planet earth. But, whatever we have and possess leaves us hungry for more. We would all admit that, above possessions, our greatest sense of fulfilment and happiness comes from loving relationships. When they are right, they are wonderful – when they go wrong, we are devastated. But even human relationships leave us unfulfilled – it seems there is always something missing. Well, the missing piece is the most vital piece … God. A great church leader once said, ‘Our hearts are restless and find no rest till they find their rest in Thee.’
The answer to our problem
The God who made us to know him is clean, pure, righteous, holy — absolute moral perfection. We, however, are wrong on a most fundamental level. Genesis 3 gives the source of the problem. Sin. Sin separates us relationally from God. It has spoiled everything. It means we cannot know God, and our ultimate home, heaven is barred to us. All we have is this world and judgement to come.
Religion and morality are expressions of mankind’s desire to get back to God but they fail miserably.
Into this bleak reality comes the astonishing goodness and mercy of God. He has provided the way. Not a way, the Way. Jesus Christ alone has succeeded in doing that which no human effort could ever achieve. He has dealt with human sin. He is Immanuel, God with us. In the one person, Jesus, we are presented with one who is fully God and yet fully man. As a man, he can deal with mankind’s problem. As God, there is infinite worth in what he did!
He lived a pure, perfect life – he did it for us! He died on the cross and in dying he suffered the eternal death that our sin deserves. His resurrection proves he is who he claimed to be, and that his work works!
Why are we here? To know God. How can we? Through his son, Jesus Christ. Repent and believe the good news!