Summary: Have you ever asked yourself, "Why did God permit me to wake up this morning? Why is my heart still beating? Why am I here?" You see, God has a reason. What is the purpose of my existence? (Powerpoints Available - #292)
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
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I hope that if the words of the song we have just sung, "It Is Well With My Soul," are not true in your life, that they soon will be, because that is why we’re here, to make sure that things are right between us & God, both now & for all eternity.
A. This morning I’m preaching the first of several sermons dealing with some of life’s most difficult questions.
ILL. That reminds of the old story about a 5-year-old boy who came to his mother & asked, "Where did I come from?" The mother took a deep breath because she had dreaded the moment when he would ask that question. But she was determined to answer it truthfully. So she started explaining in explicit detail the whole reproductive system, conception, birth, everything.
About 20 minutes later, her bored little boy interrupted & said, "But mommy, where did I come from? Jimmy said he came from New York."
Well, I guess it’s possible to make a mistake like that. But I hope that will not be the case this morning as we consider one of the most difficult questions we’ll ever face. And it is, "What is the purpose of life?"
ILL. President Ronald Reagan wrote: "I know in my heart that man is good; that what is right will always eventually triumph; and there's purpose and worth to each and every life."
B. Have you ever asked yourself, "Why did God permit me to wake up this morning? Why is my heart still beating, & my lungs still breathing? Why am I here? What is the purpose of my existence?"
PROP. If you haven’t asked yourself that, you need to, because there is a reason why God has permitted you & me to be here. There is a purpose!
I believe it is important for us to know the answer to that question because if we don’t, there can be all kinds of negative results. And in the O.T. book of Ecclesiastes, King Solomon talks about some of the negative results that arise when we have no purpose.
Now King Solomon, if anyone, should have known the answer. I mean, Solomon had it all. He had money - more than he could ever spend. He had possessions - more than he could ever enjoy. He had wives - more than he could ever please. He even had wisdom far greater than any one else in his day. He had it all. Yet he didn’t have a real grasp on the purpose of life.
I. LIFE WITHOUT A PURPOSE
A. Turn with me to the 1st chapter of Ecclesiastes, & let’s consider some of the negative results that come from not knowing the purpose of life.
1. First of all, when you don’t know the purpose of life, then life will seem empty. In vs. 2 Solomon writes, "`Meaningless! Meaningless!’... `Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.’" Have you ever felt that way? Without some guiding purpose, life doesn’t make much sense at all!
2. Secondly, when you don’t know the purpose of life, then life can be an endless cycle of futility. In vs’s 4, 5, & 6 Solomon says such things as, "Generations come & generations go... The sun rises & the sun sets, & hurries back to where it rises," & "The wind blows to the south & turns to the north; round & round it goes..."
So life becomes like a merry-go-round - going round & round, yet never getting anywhere. And Solomon gives this result in vs. 8, "All things are wearisome, more than one can say." In other words, "It’s wearing me out."
3. Thirdly, when you don’t know the purpose of life, you’ll never be really satisfied. Notice the last part of vs. 8, "The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing." We always want more. We have gone from 10" black & white picture tubes to giant screens, & hi-fidelity, stereo- phonic, surround sound. But we’re still not content.
Put a 150-channel remote control in our hands & we’ll still be restless. Because the things of life don’t really satisfy unless you have a purpose.
4. Fourthly, when you don’t know the purpose, life itself will seem insignificant. Listen to vs. 11, "There is no remembrance of men of old, & even those who are yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow."
ILL. If you went to college you probably attended classes in a building that was named after some person. Did you know who that person was? Did you even care? Probably not! It was just "X" building, named after someone who did something before you got there. It was all ancient history to you, & you were only concerned about the here & now.