Description: God made us to be like Him in a love relationship - we have free wills
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE?
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
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