What is the Meaning of Life
Humanity’s Evil Nature 3
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WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE? Program 118 Humanity’s Evil Nature 3 by Ernest O’Neill
We’re talking on this program about the impossibility we often find of keeping our temper. We determine we will act wisely and in a balanced fashion. We will exercise patience and gentleness. Somehow we find ourselves overcome completely by a wild anger and temper that rises up from it seems a Neanderthal depth within us. It seems to us very easy to believe that we were once cavemen, so violent is this reaction. That’s what we’re discussing.
We’re discussing what we have begun to talk about as an old nature inside us that seems utterly opposed to our ordinary nature. There is a part of us that wants to live the way we were meant to live. There is a part of us that wants to live in a civilized fashion, in a kindly way, that wants to be free of fret and anxiety and worry, that wants to be free from anger and jealousy and pride. It’s a part of us that wants to live in a loving way with our wives, children, fellow workers and our colleagues. It wants to believe that there is a Maker of the world that looks after everything, that takes care of us also, that thinks of us, loves us and cares about us.
There’s another part of us that doesn’t want to believe any of that and seems to rise up and make us behave as if there’s nobody to look after us but ourselves. Unless we grab everything we need by our own power, we won’t get anything. Unless we force everybody to think the world of us, nobody will treat us with any respect or give us any sense of value or worth.
So, we find within ourselves a nature that we have called an evil nature it seems. It seems at times opposed to all good. It’s an old nature because it seems so old. It seems as old as the race itself. Indeed, that’s what we’ve been saying. It IS as old as the race itself. That old nature that is within us, that is like Mr. Hyde, that Robert Lewis Stevenson describes in “The Strange History of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”, that old nature is as old as the race itself, because it started from the very beginning of the creation.
We men and women determined, “Forget it. We’re not going to depend on a Creator, even if He’s there. Why should we depend on Him to give us what we need in this world? I’ll grab it for myself. I know how to grab more of it than He would probably give me. Why should I depend on Him and His approval of me? What does it matter about His approval? I’ll get all these other folks down here to think the world of me. I’ll become famous. I’ll become wealthy, or I’ll become powerful and I’ll make them think the world of me and then I’ll get all the self esteem that I need.
So, from the very beginning of creation we human beings have for centuries lived like that. We’ve bred this kind of nature into our children and our children’s children down through the years. That’s really the nature that you and I have inherited. So strong and powerful is it that it’s impossible for the power of positive thinking or for psychological fiddling to do anything about it. It’s a nature that has to be dealt with by someone more powerful than that nature itself. That’s who did something about it!
When you have trouble with your vacuum cleaner you fiddle around with it for a bit. If you can’t do anything, you know what you do? You send it back to the maker. That’s exactly the situation here. The Creator, when He conceived of us, conceived us with free wills. You can think of Him back there in eternity, though I point out to you that eternity is not “back there”; eternity is timelessness.
Albert Einstein himself showed us very clearly that time doesn’t really exist. It is not a part of reality.
Time is just an accommodation that we have been given to enable us to live on this earth without going insane. Time and space are purely temporary phenomena. Timelessness is the final reality. In timelessness, which is above and beyond all that we’re experiencing here, our Creator, if you can think of Him doing anything sequentially, conceived of our creation. He conceived of us having free wills, so that we would be able to love Him. Only free will people can love.
Then, He conceived of the possibility that we would use the free wills to — instead of looking to Him for our security, significance and happiness — look to things, people and circumstances for our security, significance and happiness. He conceived of us doing that. He conceived of the results of that perverted nature that we would pass on from generation to generation, until we came to the point where that nature was so powerful that we couldn’t even use our free wills to oppose it. As He conceived of all that in one second, He conceived of the need to take us back to Himself, to destroy that nature that we would create, and create a new one, completely whole and able to do what our free wills wanted it to do. He conceived of all that in a second.
So, when He made us at the beginning He made us in fact twice. He made us, first of all. Then He made us again a second time. In other words, our Creator conceived of the life that you would live. He foresaw that life. He is better able to do that than the greatest computer that we have on earth. Even our computers are able to foresee what kind of evil we’ll face in the year 2000. How many people will be alive in the year 2030? So, our Creator is much more able to foresee all contingent events and contingent circumstances. He did that. He foresaw the life you would develop. He foresaw the nature you would develop. Then in the timelessness of eternity He put that nature of yours into His own son, His son Jesus.
It was by His son that He made you. It was by His son’s power, by the life of His son that He made you and He put you back into His son. He destroyed you in His son. He destroyed your old nature completely and absolutely. He made you alive again in a new way in His son. That’s the significance of Jesus’ dying on Calvary. Jesus’ dying on Calvary is just a temporal expression in time and space of the massive miracle of death and recreation that the Creator worked in your old nature, before the creation of the world itself took place.
That’s what God did. That’s why there’s a piece of the Bible, if you ever want to look at it, in the book called Romans, in the New Testament, in Chapter 6, verse 6. It runs like this, “For we know that our old self was crucified with Him, so that the sinful body might be destroyed and we might no longer be enslaved to sin.” That’s what it says. “We know that our old self, our old nature, this old nature, that will not do what we want it to do, was crucified with Christ…not just on the cross in 29 A.D. That’s just a physical expression in time and space of the event that took place in timelessness, before the world was.
That’s the amazing statement that’s made in another book in the Bible, in Revelation. This verse says “the Lamb”, which refers to Jesus, “who was slain from before the foundation of the world.” The creation was preceded by a mighty act of our Creator, when He took the old, sinful, evil self nature that you would develop and He knew that you would develop, and which He put into His son and destroyed it there. He made you over again new. That’s why you are conscious of a good nature in you. There is a shadow of the good nature and there is a shadow of the old, evil nature. You are able to choose which is going to live in your life today. By the power of our Creator, it is possible for you to live according to the new nature. Let’s talk a little more about it tomorrow, so we can understand it a bit more.