“I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles – to whom I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me” (Acts 26:16-18).
There is a purpose in this life. There is a sole purpose for which you have been created. There is a reason that you exist, and the reason you exist is not different than the reason your neighbor or brother or boss or co-worker exists. It is the same reason. The Westminster Catechism shares that it is “To Glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” Simply put, we exist for God, not for self. This world is a theater with God’s glory and beauty and power on full display.
Because sin exists, there is great confusion as to our purpose in this world. Jesus’ mission was to defeat sin, turn the hearts of man back to God, and inevitably show humanity that their existence is indeed to glorify God. Jesus made it clear that this was his mission, and Paul himself understood that this was the message that he was to preach as of “first importance.” He described that the Good News is that “Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
If we exist for God, and Jesus’ mission is to turn the hearts back to God, then one of the key responsibilities and reasons we exist is to encourage the rest of the world to understand that they exist for God as well. The New Testament teaches that the reason followers of Christ exist is to glorify God by making disciples of all the nations. Of first importance for YOU then is the gospel, and the proclamation of it. As simplistic as this may be, the gospel is the answer to the problem of sin in this world. And if you don’t see the daily damaging effects of sin, then you must be living alone in a cave.
Just today, August 26, 2015 another shooting is in the news. This time it is so bold and disgusting that it took place while a news reporter was interviewing a woman on live TV. This shooter (Vester Lee Flanagan) was a disgruntled worker who shot the cameraman and the news reporter while filming himself doing it like a first-person shooter video game. While there are numerous motivations behind this shooting, at the core and foundation of the issue is this man’s sinful and broken heart. In a note resembling a suicide note he said this: “Yes, it will sound like I am angry…I am. And I have every right to be. But when I leave this Earth, the only emotion I want to feel is peace.” The reason we know Jesus is the answer is because everyone has that innate longing for peace. Peace is not present because of our sin and rebellion. The answer and sole solution to having this peace is Jesus.
The answer that the world needs to hear is Jesus. The answer is revealed when we share the gospel to them and God opens their eyes “…so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me” (Acts 26:17-18).
We have the answer. Enough holding it in, hoarding it for ourselves. May we be a people who shout it from the rooftops, for the glory of God!