Four of the biggest questions we are faced with in this life are: (1) Why am I here? (2) What is wrong with the world? (3) What happens when I die? and (4) How is it all going to end? Interestingly enough, the answers to these questions form the basis of what is called a “World-View,” and your “World-View” is your basic scheme or philosophy for interpreting and living life.
As we consider the answers to these significant questions, I want to contrast the answers given by two of the most prevalent World-Views: Biblical Christianity and Secular Naturalism.
WHY AM I HERE? The Naturalist believes they are here as a product of evolution. Life theoretically began billions of years ago when the first cells came about through some yet unexplained process of biochemical combination. Human beings, as creatures who have evolved to the use of higher skills of communication and complex reasoning, are responsible for contributing positively to the continuing process of biological and cultural evolution in whatever way they define as “positive.”
The Christian believes that the entire universe was created out of nothing as a special act of God, that man is created in God’s image (or after His likeness), and that we have been entrusted with leadership and stewardship over the earth as His image-bearers. God created us with this purpose: to joyfully honor Him as our first love, to enjoy His creation as we rightly exercise stewardship over it, and to fill the earth with other image-bearers through the beauty of marriage and family as He has defined them in the Bible.
WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE WORLD? The Naturalist believes that there is turmoil and evil in the world because of two things: poor environment where human needs go unmet, and lack of education about culture and science and world community. They believe that if we can bring every society to a place where needs are met and people are properly educated, then most of the evil and strife will disappear and mankind will realize a utopia of peace and creativity and mutual respect.
The Christian believes that evil exists because, rather than enjoying God and seeking His standard of righteousness as embodied in His laws, we have acted upon our selfish desires and rebelled against God’s reign and God’s law. This rebellion is called “Sin,” and our sin separates us from our Holy, loving Creator and makes us worthy of His wrath. Most basically, evil exists in this world because all of us sin; some of us in greater ways and some of us in lesser ways, but every single one of us regularly chooses to put our desires above God’s; thus, evil reigns in this world.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I DIE? According to the Naturalist view, you become food for worms. Period. There is no afterlife because there is no “spirit” in man that lives on. This is the cycle of life according to evolution. All that remains of you when you die is whatever knowledge you might have contributed to your progeny or to humanity as a whole.
According to the Bible, we all have a Spirit or Soul that will last forever. And Hebrews 9:27 says when our appointed time of death comes, we all face God’s judgment. Those who have repented of their sins and believed explicitly in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior have their sins forgiven and are saved from the just penalty of their sins. They will inherit eternal life with Christ in heaven forever and ever. (John 14:6, 3:16) Those who never repented and believed in Jesus Christ still bear the weight of their own sinfulness, and they will suffer God’s wrath in a literal place called hell forever and ever.
HOW IS IT ALL GOING TO END? According to the Naturalist, it won’t end, it will all just continue to evolve. We may reach utopia, we may gradually turn into another species, or we may be decimated by some planetary or cosmic event. No one knows.
According to Christianity, the day will come “when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed.” (2 Thess 1:7-10) God’s everlasting kingdom will then be established forever.
Remember that the answers to these questions are different for every World-View. A Muslim, a Hindu, a Mormon, etc. will all give different answers to the questions above. Also notice that every World-View is formed on the basis of faith. Even the Naturalist view, which they claim is predicated on the facts of Science, is really a system of faith. Evolution is an unprovable theory. Their perspective on the origins of the universe and the origins of life are unproven theories (and some aspects of these views even violate scientific law). They “believe” these things to be true and act accordingly.
The bottom line is that our World-View is important, because your “Faith” determines who you are and how you live. It is also important to see the superiority of the Christian World-View, because no other view guarantees us an eternal hope grounded in the grace of God rather than our human effort. No other system of thought addresses the key issues of life with perfect authority and certainty and clarity. No other system of thought combines these certainties with the directives that correlate to what brings out the best of our humanity (which, of course, goes back to God’s design of us as His image-bearers). I love you all dearly!