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My Purpose? Training-Ground

Updated: Oct 16

Why all this effort if life is so brief?

The Goldilocks Phenomenon offers powerful evidence for the existence of an intelligent Universe-Designer. But why would a Designer form a planet that requires such precision and attention to detail for such a brief existence?

Let me offer an analogy: why do parents put kids in playpens? Or put stabilisers on kids’ bikes when learning to cycle? The world can be a dangerous place and our young have to start off small and learn how to live well to survive into adulthood. We have to restrain them at first, so they can fly free later on. You could view this Universe as a 'training-ground' for the New Creation. The Bible teaches in Revelation 21-22 that the Physics of the New Creation will remove many of our Universe’s current restraints, but for now we are subject to them. Why?


In Romans 8:20, the Bible outlined the Second Law of Thermodynamics centuries before Science cottoned on. And yet, the Law of Decay is finely-tuned: it is the perfect amount to allow for formation of stars and planets. It also allows for slow-burning, stable stars to support life. If the universe decayed at a faster rate, you would get no stars forming – at a slower rate, all you would get are black holes and neutron stars.


The downside to the Law of Decay is that humans have to live for a short period of time in a Universe dominated by decay, death, disease and suffering. The positive aspect is that it is achieving for us eternal glory. God Himself chose to enter into our world of strife when Jesus was born over 2000 years ago. If God is willing to subject Himself to suffering, then it must have an essential role -- some value even, in light of the bigger picture. Christianity teaches that suffering wasn't God's original plan for life on this planet, but humans freely chose to turn away from the life God was first offering His creation. Thus, we are now living with the consequences of our actions. If God is all-knowing then He could foresee the route humans would choose to walk and the suffering that would ensue, but He allowed it to unfold. This life then is working towards some end that overcomes and justifies all the evil that has been allowed to exist within it for a time.

Imagine if we were allowed to live in the New Creation straight away without going through a training-ground first – would we take it for granted? Would we spoil it? Would virtue be cherished? Would we even recognise virtue if we’ve never known its opposite? Maybe you only appreciate God’s offer of Grace when you realise your own capacity for sin; that our role in the New Creation is an undeserved, free gift, paid for by God Himself through Jesus Christ. Maybe God gives us a chance at life in a Universe where suffering exists in order for us to realise our need for a Saviour. We didn’t do anything to deserve life this time round – we didn’t ask for it. It was given as a gift for a limited time. What you do with it is up to you. You have complete freedom to pursue your Creator or dismiss Him, but qualifying for the end goal is dependent upon that choice. For some reason, this universe has been prepared as the stage upon which we make that decision.

Many people see work as a necessary evil and long instead for retirement. Netflix’s ‘The Good Place’ does a great job exploring what an Afterlife of endless pleasure would lead to.... boredom! Humans are designed to work and receive their fulfilment through it. Christianity is the only religion that teaches the next life will involve having meaningful work to do. And the Bible also teaches that the work we do now in this life can last into the New Creation. Jesus warns us in Matthew's Gospel to use our earthly lives to pursue storing treasures in Heaven rather than gaining earthly pleasures that decay and do not last forever. You can choose this day to build in ways which will last. What a sense of purpose that gives us while we journey on this earth. Everything you do here counts.


How do we live lives today that build for eternity? Onto Part Four....

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