Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Four Key Questions of Worldview: Origins, Anthropology, God, and Empirical Practicality

Today we’re going to address four key questions, in regard to our conception of worldview. We’re looking at the planet Earth, the human race, God, and how to live. How do you view the world? What is the nature of the universe? What is the truth? And how can we live out the truth? That is our exploration today, as we all come to the table and think about life.

Origins: First question, Where did this planet come from?

Do you see it as something produced at random, or something made by an intelligent creator?

I’m not a tree hugger, but I do love trees and forests. And when I look at trees, grass, stars, animals, plants, even food and drink, I’m pretty amazed. It’s all very amazing, this world we live in. I can’t help but think there must be some intelligence behind all this order in nature.

The planet Earth is just the right distance from the sun to allow for life. If we were just a little closer, we’d be burned up, a little further away and we’d freeze. The moon orbits the Earth at just the right distance to stabilize our orbit. Without the moon our rotation would be so erratic, no life could exist.

Where did this planet come from? Some think it just appeared from nothing, billions of years ago. But that doesn’t make sense to me. Something can’t come from nothing. To me, the most logical explanation is that an intelligent infinite creator created the Earth. In short, God created the Earth.

As it says in the word, Genesis 1:1-3 “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

Anthropology: Second question, what is the human race? If we now know that God created the Earth, then we can understand also that God created humanity. He made us male, and female. And what he made was very good. God created humanity to live with Him in paradise. And in Genesis, we see that God created humans to love Him and love one another.

God planted a beautiful garden, a paradise, where humans lived in joyful blissful peace. Can you imagine it? Can you imagine the garden paradise in all it’s beauty? The bright shining sun? The warm lush meadows… the animals, the deer, squirrels, leopards, lions, cats, birds, all living in peace with humanity?

That is how it should be on Earth right now. It should have been a paradise. But unfortunately we all know from what we see in the world that something went terribly wrong. Because right now each of us lives in the fall of man. Because long, long ago, the first humans, Adam and Eve, decided to play god for themselves, and they betrayed god. And as a result all of creation has been cursed.

This is why we see things like murder, suicide, depression, drug addiction, alcoholism, child abuse, pornography, abortion, sex slavery, and human trafficking. This is why we often live a single 24 hour day feeling confused, feeling empty, feeling sad, because we just know deep down something is wrong with the world. We know deep within that it shouldn’t be this way.

Humanity ultimately, is God’s greatest creation. But we’ve turned away from God, and gone off to try to do life without him. Many of us to this day prefer to do life without God. But that’s why we struggle, because life was never meant to be lived without God. We’re designed to live with God. We’re his masterpiece. Humanity needs to live with God, but our sins and selfishness have driven us far from God.

Theos: This brings us to our third question: Who is God?

One might just as simply ask: What is infinity? There is no way for all of us to really understand who God is. He is so far beyond us. The bible says “His ways are not our ways.” He is infinite. He has no beginning and no end. But we do know a little about Him. He is all powerful. Meaning he can do anything. We know he is moral, holy, and righteous. That means He always does what is right. He is also a God of justice. He expects each of us to live holy and pure lives. He punishes those who do wicked, and he rewards those who live rightly. God is love. God loves you and me. He loves us so much. He made us. He’s our daddy in heaven. His love is so deep, it’s like an ocean of love he has for each of us. He loves us, even when we struggle to love ourselves. God is also a just judge. We will all have to appear before his throne to be judged based on what we did and how we lived. The Bible says it is appointed for each person to live, and die, and then to face judgment.

Empirical Practicality: And this brings us to our final question: What do I need to do to live rightly?

Most of us don’t think too much about how we live. We work jobs. We pay rent, taxes, and go to the grocery store for food. We go on vacation, spend time with family, and attend town events. But we ought to consider carefully how God wants us to live.

Remember that we talked about how humanity has sinned, and run far from God. Well that’s true for us today as well. We’ve all sinned. We’ve lied, stolen, cheated, hurt people, sinned sexually, and the Bible says that God will judge us based on the ten commandments when we die.

Now if we go before God and he judges us to be pure and holy, then he will send us to a place called the new Earth. And this is just like it sounds, a new Earth, and in it is the New Jerusalem, a beautiful city where God and humanity will leave in peace and harmony together for all eternity. Sound familiar? Yeah, it sounds a lot like Eden. If we’re pure and holy before God, then we’ll get to go to paradise, forever, and we’ll never die, and we’ll never suffer again. We’ll live in a city of millions of people with God at the center of the city. Sounds great doesn’t it?

But if when we go before God to be judged, and he finds us guilty of sinning by violating the ten commandments, then he will send us to a place called Gehenna, or as the Greek renders it, hell. Hell is a place that God prepared for the Satan and the beings that joined in Satan’s rebellion against God. Those who end up in hell, are left there for eternity, in fires, and sorrow. Yes, you will be conscious. You’ll be able to feel the pain. And you’ll know you can never escape hell. There is no way out. I’ve studied people who have testified God showing them hell, from books, and videos, and let me tell you, this is a place I really don’t want to go. You have no blood in hell. You can’t even breathe in hell. You can’t feel anything good, only pain, forever. You cry but you have no tears to shed, because there is no water in hell. I don’t tell you this to scare you, but to warn you that heaven is real and hell is real. It’s all real.

Now we’ve all tried to be good, but the truth is we all fall short. For some reason we always fail to be good, and we fall back into sin again. So we’re left here, guilty of sin, before a righteous God. What do we do?

There is only one who we can turn to, who can make us holy. That is the Lord Jesus Christ. Who is Jesus? Jesus is God come to Earth on a rescue mission to save us. Jesus lived perfect holiness on Earth. He never broke any of the ten commandments. And then he went willingly to the cross. Jesus was nailed to the cross for our sins. Jesus suffered the wrath of God on the cross that was meant for us. And then Jesus resurrected from the dead. Jesus is alive right now. And if we will turn to Him and cry out to Him for salvation, then our sins are washed away. And God sees us as pure and spotless in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ becomes our savior. He gives us the Holy Spirit. And he removes all of our sins from our life, and puts them on himself. And not only that, but he walks with us the rest of our days on this planet. How do we live rightly? We live for Jesus, and live his way. Then we’ll be judged pure in God’s sight and we’ll go to the new paradise when we die.

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