Life’s Biggest Questions
By Jeanne Dennis, Colson Fellow and Centurion
The great questions of life, the questions that have puzzled humankind since the beginning. Everyone asks them at sometime in his or her life. Have you asked them?
- Where did we come from?
- Why is there evil in the world?
- How can an evil world be fixed?
- How does that apply to my life?
- Is there really a God?
- What is God like?
- Does God really care about my problems?
- If God is good, then why do the innocent suffer? Can’t He prevent tragedy? If so, why doesn’t He?
- What is death? Why do we die?
- Is there life after death? If so, what will it be like for me?
The Christian worldview, as presented in the Bible, answers all of these questions, even though the answers can be hard to understand—and even harder to accept when trouble comes. Theologians, preachers, writers, teachers, and thinkers throughout the centuries have tried to make sense of it all. But the simple truth is that we can’t understand it completely. God is God. He is unfathomable. Yet He allows us glimpses of His glory, and He instructs us through His Word and through the example of His Son. He asks us to trust Him, because He is trustworthy, He knows and sees what we cannot, and He is far greater than we could ever imagine. He has no beginning. No end. No limitations.
Jesus thanked His Father for revealing the truth to little ones and hiding it from the proud. The truth is simple until we complicate it. God is great. God is just. God is merciful. God is good. God loves us. He cares about everything in our lives. He redeemed us. He has a plan for each of us. When we die, we can live with Him forever in heaven because of Jesus—if we accept His free gift of salvation through faith. After we believe, He makes it possible for us to understand Him and His Word better, but we will not fully understand until we see Him face to face.
So here I have summarized the central truths in a simple way, so that you may more easily pass them down to your children and grandchildren. The truths are simple. It’s living them out that is hard—but worth everything, even our very lives. Nothing is worth more than living for God and then finally hearing Him say, “Well done, my faithful servant. Enter your Father’s rest.”
God’s Answers to Life’s Biggest Questions in the Bible
Where did we come from?
God created us and the whole universe out of nothing (Gen. 1:1, Col. 1:16–17). He spoke the word, and everything came to be (Gen. 1:1–26). Everything He made was good (Gen. 1:31). And He made mankind, male and female, in His own image (Gen. 1:27). He set them above the animals and put them in charge of the earth, to take care of it and subdue it (Gen. 1:28).
Why is there evil in the world?
Adam’s choice to defy the Creator, called sin, defiled all of creation and separated us from God. Death, disease, and evil of every kind entered our world because of sin (Gen. 3:16–19, Rom. 5:12).
We all have the freedom to choose to obey God or not, but everyone makes the wrong choice at some point, just as Adam did. We all sin (Rom. 3:23). Our sins and the sins of others have far-reaching effects. Sometimes people get hurt or die. Sometimes relationships or possessions get broken. Sometimes bad things happen that make no sense. But sin is still the reason.
How can an evil world be fixed?
God planned the solution from the beginning, and He promised to be our Redeemer (Gen. 3:15, Isa. 45:11, 54:5). We can have salvation and changed lives through Jesus (Acts 4:11–12). God will make all things new. Creation also waits with groaning to be released from its bondage. As long as we live on earth, we will suffer.
But when we know Jesus as our Lord and Savior and yield to His work in our lives, God will take our suffering and mold us more into the image of Jesus Christ. Through this suffering yielded to Him, we will develop a better character and a deeper intimacy with God.
How does that apply to my life?
I can have salvation and forgiveness of sins as a free gift from God. I can know God through His Son, Jesus.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Salvation comes with both benefits and responsibilities.
Some of the benefits: God views me through the righteousness of His Son, Jesus. He chooses not to remember my sins. I am sealed with the Holy Spirit for eternal life. The Holy Spirit lives in me and guides me into all truth. He comforts and sustains me.
Responsibilities: We have been bought with the price of Jesus’ blood. We are to offer our bodies as living sacrifices (Rom. 12:1), basically living our lives for God as an act of worship, giving thanks for everything (Eph. 5:20), and doing all to the glory of God (2:1 Cor. 10:31). Obeying God gives us lives filled with inexpressible joy (1 Pet. 1:7–9).
These answers ultimately answer the rest:
Is there really a God?
Yes, the omnipotent Creator. Creation itself witnesses to God’s existence (Ps. 19:1, Ps. 97:6, Rom. 1:20). Even our consciences, our very souls tell us that He exists, unless we suppress the truth and choose to believe the lie (2 Thess. 2:9-12), preferring the false pleasures of sin to the true joy found in Jesus (Rom. 1:28–32).
What is God like?
Greater, scarier, and more wonderful than we could imagine. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8).
Does God really care about my problems?
Absolutely! (Matt. 6: 28–33)
If God is good, then why do the innocent suffer? Can’t He prevent tragedy? If so, why doesn’t He?
This is probably the hardest question of all. And we can’t completely understand the answer. God’s ways are not our ways. Sometimes the innocent are taken away to save them from worse evil (Isa. 57:1), and even though it is unpleasant at the time, suffering helps us grow stronger (Jam. 1:2–4). God promises to work out everything for our good and to make us more like Jesus (Rom. 8:28–29).
Suffering is a consequence of a world marred by sin. But God cares, and He is in control. We don’t know why God allows bad things to happen. But we can trust Him through it, whether we believe it at the time or not.
God knows the future we can’t see. He knows the effects, the consequences, the ramifications of everything that might happen.
It’s something like when an adult is getting ready to cross the street holding a child’s hand. The adult is tall enough to see what’s on the other side of a hedge or parked car, but the child is not. Let’s say the child pulls away and starts to run into the street on his own. The adult yanks him back violently and the child falls and skins his knee or hits his head. He’s hurting, yes, but he doesn’t see that the adult just saved him from being mowed down by a speeding car.
We can’t know what God might be saving us from or leading us to when He allows us to suffer. But it only makes sense to put our trust in the One who can see what we can’t see.
What is death? Why do we die?
In death, the spirit leaves the body, and all life within the body ceases. We die because our first father, Adam, sinned. And the penalty for sin is death (Rom. 6:23). God warned Adam that if he ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he would die (Gen. 2:16–17). We all have a sin nature, inherited from Adam through our fathers, and so we all die. However, Jesus was born of a virgin who became pregnant through the Holy Spirit of God. Since our nature is inherited from our fathers, Jesus, God in human form, inherited the perfect, sinless nature of God. Because He was fully God and fully human, Jesus was the perfect sacrifice to pay for our sins.
God warned Adam that if he ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he would die (Gen. 2:16–17). But God promised to send a Savior even then (We all have a sin nature, inherited from Adam through our fathers, and so we all die. However, Jesus was born of a virgin who became pregnant through the Holy Spirit of God. Since our nature is inherited from our fathers, Jesus, God in human form, inherited the perfect, sinless nature of God. Because He was fully God and fully human, Jesus was the perfect sacrifice to pay for our sins.
However, Jesus was born of a virgin who became pregnant through the Holy Spirit of God (Isaiah 7:14, Matt. 1:18–22, Luke 1:26–38). Since our nature is spiritually inherited from our fathers, Jesus, God in human form (John 1:1, 4, 14; John 10:30, 38; John 8:58, Col. 2:9), inherited the perfect, sinless nature of God. Because He was fully God and fully human, Jesus was the perfect sacrifice to pay for our sins and satisfy God’s justice (2 Cor 5:21, 1 John 2:2). His resurrection from the dead showed that God accepted His sacrifice and He once and for all conquered death (John 11:25, 1 Cor. 15:20–23, Rev. 1:18).
A person who dies to self and lives a new life in Jesus Christ (symbolized by baptism) doesn’t truly die. Immediately at bodily death, that person enters God’s presence (John 11:25, 2 Cor. 5:8, 2 Cor. 7:10). People who refuse God’s free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ will suffer eternal separation from God. They will have to pay the penalty for their own sins (John 3:36.
Is there life after death? If so, what will it be like for me?
Yes, there is life after death. Your life after death will depend on the choices you make now. If you want to have eternal life with God in heaven:
- Repent of your sin. That means you agree it’s your own fault. You’re truly sorry for offending God and determine with His help to turn away from evil.
- Accept the free gift of forgiveness and salvation God offers you through Jesus.
- Live your life for Him.
Then your life after death will be glorious (1 Cor. 2:9). Without Jesus, you will experience eternal misery (Matt. 10:28, Mark 9:45, John 14:6).
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Rom. 1:16)
For More Information
For a more in-depth look into the biblical worldview, visit Digging Deeper.
The information presented here (and everywhere else you might look for answers) is incomplete unless you search for your answers in the Word of God. Only the Bible has the whole Christian worldview. It is the best source of information about life, faith, the early history of mankind, and life after death. If you don’t have a Bible of your own, you can read it online at BibleGateway.com or other websites that provide the entire Bible online.
Also see other pages on jeannedennis.com for more information, discussions, and interviews about living out a biblical faith and passing it on to others.
For children, visit our Truth Jr. pages.