Apologetic Wednesday: Three Big Questions
When it comes to making sense of life, we want answers. We want answers to every question that we have. Why does life play out in certain ways? Why do things seem unfair at times? What do we make of suffering and pain? Thousands of questions have been posed in regards to human existence.
Often, a finger is wagged at Christianity for not being able to completely answer every question with full satisfaction. “If Christianity cannot answer every question down to the finest details, it must not be true” is a stance often taken by those skeptical of the claims Christianity makes. The truth is, no worldview is able to answer every question with complete confidence. We need to be cognizant of this fact, before unfairly demanding that Christianity answer every question while giving other worldviews a free pass.
It is my firm conviction, that Christianity has answered most of the big questions with great satisfaction. Some questions about life are incredibly complex, and we simply do not have the means to give an air tight explanation. We have to be content with not having all the answers for a season.
Christianity does answer the three big questions about life. Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where are we headed? These three questions frame what it means to be human. We have here questions of origins, identity, and destiny.
Let us turn first to the question of origins? Where did we come from? Genesis 1:26 asserts, “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” We are the result of a loving Being that chose to bring us into existence. We are not the result of blind, purposeless forces. We were created to be in relationship with God. We even bear His image. In a limited way, we possess some of His very characteristics.
Next, we must focus on our identity. Where does one find purpose in life? Jesus answers this question for us explicitly. We find in Mark 12, that a group of religious leaders seek to trap Jesus with a question that places him in a double bind. They ask, “Teacher, we know You are truthful and defer to no one, for You don’t show partialitybut teach truthfully the way of God. Is it lawful to pay taxesto Caesar or not? Should we pay, or should we not pay?” The hope was that if Jesus said pay taxes, then the Jews would be extremely upset with Him, for they hated the overpowering Roman government. But, if Jesus said do not pay taxes; this would be viewed as an act of sedition against the Roman government. So in typical Jesus fashion, he answers their question with a question of His own. He calls for someone to give Him a coin. He then asks, “Whose image and inscription is this?” “Caesar’s,” they said. Then Jesus told them, “Give back to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
The coin bore Caesar’s image, so one should pay to Caesar that which bore his image. So what then belongs to God? Well, what bears the image of God? When we refer back to Genesis 1:26, we find that we are the image bearers of God. Therefore, we give God our very lives.
It is only through giving back to God what is God’s that we find our identity. When we make life about us, we never find complete happiness. We were not designed to serve ourselves. Our identity is wrapped up in serving He who created us. In serving Him, we will also serve those around us and take care of what He has bestowed upon us.
Let us last consider the question of destiny. Where are we headed? As we have said, all of mankind bears the image of God, yet when mankind chose to do things their own way instead of God’s, that image was tarnished. As Norman Geisler says, “The image of God has been effaced, but not erased.” Christianity teaches that there are two ultimate destinies, with Christ or apart from Christ. We get to choose where we want our destiny to be. Are we willing to concede that we are sinners that fall short of God’s glory and turn toward Him or will we continue doing life our own way and living according to our twisted inner man? The choice is completely ours?
There are three big questions. Christianity offers three big answers. We were created by God. Our identity is wrapped up in whether or not we give ourselves to Him. Our destiny is determined by how we respond to His offer. We can embrace what Jesus did for us on the cross and turn toward God, or we can reject His offer to be called the sons and daughters of God.
Walk good. Live wise. Be blessed.