What is the Meaning of Life
Love Relationship with God
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WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE? Program 86 Love Relationship with God By Ernest O’Neill
Have you ever wondered about the fact that so many people say, “God made the world” and that “God is good”? Yet, you look at the world with cancer, and with earthquakes, and with war and with murders. You wonder to yourself, that’s surely a contradiction. How could a good God make such a miserable evil world? Have you ever thought that? That’s the kind of question we’re talking about on this program at this time each day.
We’re talking generally about the meaning of life, and why we’re all here. We’ve come to the point where we have started to examine the explanation of the beginning of the world as it’s given in a very old book that most of us have been used to regarding as just a religious myth. It is the book of Genesis in our Bible.(cid:9)
Yesterday we discussed the explanation of the way men and women were made, that was revealed by the Supreme Being of the universe to that old man, Moses, thousands of years ago. You who listened yesterday may remember that we talked about the fact that the Supreme Being behind the universe indicates to us that the reason He made us was because He actually wants our friendship. That’s why He made us. He made us because He wants our friendship. He wants a relationship with us. He wants our company. Now, that of course immediately causes us problems because we think, ah, that is a lot of tommyrot [nonsense]. How could anybody as great as the Supreme Being behind the universe want my company?
That’s unbelievable for a start, but that is what the Supreme Being explained through His Son Jesus to us, about 1,950 and fifty years ago. And what He explained to us 2,000 or 3,000 years before that when He revealed these things to this man, Moses. The reason He made you is because He actually wants your friendship. He wants you to be with Him forever, to get to know Him and Him get to know you. That’s why He made us. That’s why He made us in His image.
That’s why you remember there is that verse way at the beginning of the Bible where it says, God turned around to His Son and said, “My son, let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” That’s why He made us, as we mentioned yesterday, with a spirit-level of consciousness, a psychological level of consciousness and a physical level of consciousness. That’s why he made us with a spirit that is the real you and around that a soul which is the psychological part of you — your mind, emotions and will. Around that again your body, your physical body.
Because He, Himself exists on three levels of consciousness. That’s why He made us with the same capacities as He, Himself has, so that we, actually, could begin to have (well, you can use the term “fellowship”, if you want), but so that we could have interaction with Him. So that we could have personal dialog with Him, so that we could have a love relationship with Him. Actually if you reflect, that does make sense because probably the most valuable thing in your life has been the relationships you’ve had with other people.
I mean, even if it’s been with your mother or your father when you were a child. That was the most valuable part of your life. Indeed, many of us look back still to those relationships and think, yeah, that was the most real thing I had in my life. It was the most precious thing. Of course, many of us who are married now will attest to the fact that the most beautiful thing in our life is our love relationship with our partner.
Many of us will say the same about our children, many of us about our parents. We’ll say it’s the love relationship that we have. Those are the things that you die for. Those are the things you cannot do without. You can lose money, you can lose property, you can lose future, you can lose success, but somehow if you have
still a love relationship with somebody, that seems to give a richness to life and meaning to life.
So, actually, it does make sense to our own experience of life when we see that the Supreme Being behind the universe made us, not so that we could be useful to Him, not so that we could make the world a better place to live in, but so that we could be His friend, so that we could become like Him, so that we could live with Him forever and actually enjoy developing the rest of the universe together with Him throughout ages and ages. That’s why He made us with the capacity that He has.
Now, the interesting thing is this. He did not make us unavoidably good. He didn’t. He gave us a mental capacity like Him, an emotional capacity like Him, volitional capacity like Him, physical capacity, a spirit capacity. But, He did not make us unavoidably good. That is, He didn’t make us robots. The reason must be obvious to you. I mean, you can’t have love from a robot. You can’t experience love from a group of people that you’ve made unable to do anything else but love. You can’t.
You can just have a group of performing dogs. Or, you can have a group of puppets or marionettes. You can’t have a love relationship with people who cannot do anything else even if they wanted to, but love you. It’s as if I got you into a room with me and said, “Look, I have machine gunners at the doors. Now, you can’t get out. Now, love me.” Well, it would be impossible for you to love me.
You’d say, “Wait a minute. I’m being forced to love you.” Love depends on a free-will. Love can only be possible in an area where there is free-will not to love. Love can only be possible in an area where there is free-will not to love. In fact, that’s why the Supreme Being behind the universe gave us free-wills. Now, there’s no point in you and me arguing about all the indications of determinism and the indications that there isn’t free-will in our world.
Sure, there are plenty of ways in which we’ve subjected ourselves to all kinds of pressures that now almost force us to do certain things. The fact still remains deep, deep, down in your own heart; you know that you have free-will. I mean, it may be pretty bedraggled. It may be pretty pressured and pretty limited through your own fault, but you have free-will. I mean you can turn this off. Now, don’t turn it off! But, you can turn this off if you want to.
You can turn the car to the left instead of the right. You can decide this moment to say the alphabet or not to say the alphabet. You have free-will.(cid:9)There is clear consciousness in all of us that we are free to do what we want. That’s why the Creator of the universe made us with free-wills. He put it this way to us, He said, “Now look. I’ve given you the capacities that I have, but My inner attitudes, my inner attributes, my inner qualities, the things that make Me, the love that I have, the understanding that I have, the kindliness and gentleness that I have — that you have to choose to receive.
You have to choose to receive that or choose to reject it, because I’m not going to force you to live forever with Me. That would be hell. I want you to choose what you’re going to do. I’m going to give you this life of 70 or 80 to become the kind of people that would be at home with Me. If you want to do that and be that, that’s good. If you don’t then it would be hell for you anyway. So really, you will end up in a hell that does not have Me in it.
But, that’s what He said. He put it in terms of trees. Now don’t get all worked up about trees. This was mankind in his childhood. God isn’t all tied up with apple trees, and Eve eating an apple and all that stuff. He simply presented it to mankind in his intellectual childhood as a choice between two trees. You remember the way it runs in that old book the Bible.
In Genesis 2:9, it runs like this, “and out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” So, there was a tree of life and there was a tree of knowledge of good and evil.
The Creator said, “Look, you can have a choice between those trees. He said, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat. For on the day you eat of it, you shall die.” Now, He wouldn’t have said that if man had not been too free to eat of it, if he wanted. So, let’s talk a little more about these old trees tomorrow. You’ll see they shed a lot of light on your own experience today.