“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
Have you ever asked yourself, What is my purpose in life? Your answer depends on who is the Lord of your life. For unbelievers (those who are not Christians), the meaning of life can vary from one person to the next. Dr. Mike Brooks is a licensed psychologist, and this is what he wrote about the ultimate question, what is the purpose of life.
“I’m going to tell you a little secret about The Ultimate Question: There is no secret, correct answer to this question. How could I, or anyone else, have a secret answer to The Ultimate Question that few have stumbled upon? The “right” answer as to the purpose of life there is no single right answer. It would be more accurate to say that there are right answers.”
There have been many people who have tried to tell us what the purpose of life should be. Some even claim to be followers of Christ. Joel Osteen, a false teacher, wrote a book called “Your Best Life Now.” In it, Osteen writes, “God wants to give you your own house. God has a big dream for your life”. But even Pastors that you think would know better can confuse the matter of every believer’s purpose. Rick Warren wrote his best-seller, “A Purpose Driven Life,” in 2002 and has sold over 14 million copies. Lee Strobel, the author of The Case for Christ, said, “If you only read one book on what life is all about – make it this one! This book is life-changing. Rick Warren is absolutely brilliant at explaining our real purpose on earth and stating profound truths in simple ways. Give this book to everyone you care about. Believe me, you’ll never be the same after reading this! What a gift!” However, in this book that is supposed to teach everyone what their purpose in life is, Warren does not even give a clear presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In his critique of the book, Tim Challies wrote,
“The author does not at any time provide a clear explanation of the gospel message. On page 58 he says, “Real life begins by committing yourself completely to Jesus Christ” but never comes closer than that. He never writes about such crucial doctrines as man’s sinfulness and need for a Savior or the work of Jesus. He never mentions the importance Christ’s life, the cross or the empty tomb. Yet on page 58 we find him leading the prayer of “Jesus, I believe in you and I receive you” and then saying “Welcome to the family of God!” How can a person become a Christian without any understanding of his own sinfulness or of Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf?”
Christian the purpose of life is clear. Solomon, the son of David and the wisest man who ever lived, wrote in the book of Ecclesiastes the pointlessness of life when it is lived only for this world. This is what after he lamented about a life in the flesh, “Here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14). As Solomon writes, our purpose in life is to fear God and obey Him.
The Westminster shorter catechism states it plainly. The purpose of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. We glorify God by fearing and obeying Him, keeping our eyes on our future home in heaven, and knowing Him intimately. We enjoy God by following His purpose for our lives, which enables us to experience true and lasting joy—the abundant life that He desires for us.