What is the Meaning of Life
Repentance and New Birth
Sorry, Video Not Available.
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE? Program 194 Repentance and New Birth by Ernest O’Neill
What is the meaning of life? That’s the question we’re discussing on this broadcast. And this is about the 194th time we’ve talked about it. And you may remember, those of you who’ve been following it through the days Monday to Friday, know that we’ve reached the point in our discussion where we’re examining the explanation of the meaning of life that has been given by that remarkable human being that lived in the first century of our era. The man has shown himself to be different from every other human being, because he was able to overcome death, and come through the experience of death as often as he chose. And that is the man known as Jesus of Nazareth.
And He has explained to us that the problem with our lives is that we’re not living it in dependence upon the One who produced the world. In other words, it is obvious to all of us that there had to be some intelligent mind that produced a world that has as much order and design as ours has. One has only to look at the chaos that follows drops in the stock market to see that it is usually us human beings that create the chaos in the world. The world itself has great order in it. The seasons provide a framework of order for us and for the farmers to operate.
The rising and setting of the sun provides some of the only stability that many of us have to our day. The world itself has design and order everywhere. The Maker of that universe has to be an intelligent Being, who is at least as personable as ourselves.(cid:9)And this man Jesus explained that the Maker of the universe created us and created the world so that we would get to know Him. That was why we were created; so that we’d get to know Him, become His friends, and begin to actually love Him. Because He actually loves us. And that’s why He made you — because He treasures your friendship.
You are invaluable to Him. If you don’t begin to get to know Him, there’ll be something that He will miss forever, and there’ll be something of course, that you will miss forever. But Jesus explained that the reason for our creation, therefore, was to become His friends. And we would become that through simply dealing with Him as He is, treating Him for real; respecting Him, taking the appropriate attitude that we would take to the One who had made us.
But, instead of doing that, we have determined that we will try to get from the world of people the sense of self-esteem and worth that you really get when you begin to believe seriously that there is a Creator who has made you, and has counted the hairs of your head, and wants you as His friend, as His son or as His daughter. There is no sense of self-esteem or self-worth that will even compete with that!
And instead of beginning to live like that in regard to the Maker of the world, we have, of course, tried to substitute the good opinions of our boss, the approval of our teachers, the praise of our friends, the respect of our peers, the acknowledgment of our parents. And because we have done that, we have become little puppets that will do anything to please them, or to get their praise, or to get their approval. And as we have done that, we have turned more and more into little robots, or little performing monkeys or marionettes.
It’s the same, this man Jesus explained, with our desire for security. All of us have a great desire for security. And you know that we don’t just want old, boring security. We want happiness as well. And so we want security and stability from having the right food, and the right shelter and the right clothing. But we also want excitement in our lives. And so we try to get “both-and”. And the only way we can do it is to become almost slaves to the company. “Our souls have been sold to the company store”, as the song said.
And we will do anything to hold onto our jobs. And if we lose our jobs, our heart sinks, and our whole security goes through the floor. If we find that our investments have turned sour, our sense of security absolutely departs from us. And we become slaves to the companies, or to the jobs, or to the money, or to the bank accounts that provide us with the food, and the shelter and clothing that gives us the sense of security. And Jesus said that that results in us becoming a little robot, a little R2D2. And you know yourself that often your life has become just a rat race, just a treadmill.
You blast into the office every day, not because you love to be in the office, but because you need the old shekels. And you need the dollars or the pounds, in order to give you a sense of security so that you can sleep at night. And so you find yourself often on a treadmill — not a treadmill that gives you much happiness — just a treadmill that seems to keep away the fear of the wolf from the door. And so you become a little pre-programmed robot, that does what it has to do, and has very little freedom in its life.
And there come times when you say, “Yes, yes, that’s right! I do feel that! I feel so old at times. I feel as if I’m worn out, just doing what everybody wants! Doing what the boss wants me to do, doing what my wife wants me to do, doing what my parents want me to do. Yes, I do feel that! I DO feel that often the bank runs me. The bank OWNS me, body and soul. Often I feel I’ll do anything for more nuts, like a little monkey. But I don’t know what to do about it.”
“I’ve looked inside to see if there was any of that fresh, young mind that I used to be years ago. But it’s as if I’ve disappeared. It’s as if when I knock on the door of my heart, I find nobody in. I can’t find myself the way I used to.”
And this man Jesus said, “Of course you can’t. That’s because you’re dead.” And we hate that thought! But He said, “Yes, even though you’re alive, you’re dead inside. You’ve died inside. Your spirit is dead.” Your spirit, you know, is the essence of you. The spirit of Churchill was the essence of the man. Your spirit is the essence of you, the very essence of you: you yourself. Apart from your heredity, apart from your environment, there’s a you. There is, believe it or not! Your soul, your mind and emotions are often formed by your heredity and influenced by your environment. So is your body. But there’s a part of you that isn’t.
There’s a part of you that actually is eternal, and that’s the part of you that is you. That’s the “you” inside.(cid:9)And you can’t find that you because it’s died. Why has it died? It’s died because instead of looking to the Maker of the universe for the things that you need and for the happiness that you need, you’ve looked to everything else, so that you’ve ceased to operate. You’ve actually ceased to exercise yourself. You have. You’ve ceased to exercise yourself.
And that spirit, you yourself, is dead inside. And of course, Jesus explained once to a Jewish scholar in the first century, He explained, “Actually you have to be born all over again. You have to be recreated inside.” And the scholar said, “How can I do that? Can I enter again into my mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus said, “No, no. You’re born from above.” And this man was Nicodemus. If you ever have a Bible near you, you should look it up in the New Testament. It’s in a book called “John”, the Gospel of John, and it’s chapter three.
And this man Nicodemus said, “How? How can that be?” And Jesus said, “The first step is, believe me. Believe what I’m saying to you.” And that actually is the first step. You know, if you’re in that position and you can’t find yourself anymore and you don’t know how to bring yourself alive, believe that: that the only One who can bring you alive is the One who made you alive in the first place.
There is a God. There is a Maker or a Creator. There is. And He actually knows you. And He actually loves you,
believe it or not. He loves you. He thinks the world of you. He thinks something of you, far more than anybody else does. And He is able to make you alive inside again, if you believe this, if you believe it. And then Jesus said there’s one other thing you have to do, if you’re going to come alive inside. And I’d like to share that tomorrow. Let’s talk a little more about it tomorrow.