Pastor Al, the late-night parson, answers again...
"All the World's a Stage"|
Posted: December 8, 2007
Back in high school some friends and I kept up a running joke based on a line in Shakespeare's play, As You Like It. "All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages." We joked that all you needed to do to have a successful life was to find and edit the script.
Actually, there is some truth to the idea that "all the world is a stage." According to the Bible the universe is a vast stage where a great drama is playing out, with planet Earth at center stage. It is a vast panorama of triumph and tragedy stretching from the very beginning of time, of rising hopes and crushing despairs, and of the desperate struggles between good and evil over the souls of all who have ever lived or will live.
However, if, as the Bard observed, we were merely players stumbling on and off the stage then the evolutionists would be correct. Cast by a roll of the genetic dice, chance, circumstance, and dumb luck would determine the plot. Our lines would be what we make of them during our brief appearance on stage and only on rare occasions outlive our performance. The stage itself would be merely the chance byproduct of a primordial explosion. In other words, our lives would ultimately be nothing more than a meaningless exercise in futility.
Thankfully we are not merely players stumbling on and off the stage. We are active participants created by God and placed on the stage at specific times for definite purposes. We are "fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)." Our lives have purpose and are full of meaning and value. After all, Jesus said, "Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. (Luke 12:6-7)."
So what is the Bible answer to that great question, why am I here? Easy, Isaiah 43:7 says, "Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him." Revelation 4:11 tells us, "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." In other words, we exist to bring glory and pleasure to God.
Death, of course, brings no pleasure or glory to God. It was not even a part of God's original plan. God created us to live not die. However, according to Romans 5:12, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned."
According to Ezekiel 38:11, God has "...no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live..."
Death is fundamentally a separation. Physical death is the separation of the soul and spirit from the body. Spiritual death is separation from God. The second death, according to Revelations 21:8, is eternal separation from God in the lake of fire. That is what the Bible means when it says, "the soul that sinneth, it shall die," in Ezekiel 18:4 and 20.
When Adam sinned in Genesis chapter 3 his fellowship with God was immediatly broken and he died spiritually. As a result of his sin he also began to age and eventually died physically. Had not God intervened and established a sacrifice for sin, Adam, and all his descendents, would have been destined to suffer the second death as well.
Fortunately Jesus Christ came "...that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly (John 10:10)." Or, as Paul put it in Romans 5:8-10: "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life."
In other words, when a person realizes that Jesus Christ died for them, repents (turns) from their sin to Christ in faith, and accepts Him as their Saviour, Jesus says, in John 5:24, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life."
The salvation of each lost sinner brings great pleasure to God and creates joy in heaven. "I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. (Luke 15:7)"
Furthermore, the very act of leading someone to Christ and rescuing them from eternal damnation in the lake of fire brings glory to God. "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit [souls rescued from the curse of sin]; so shall ye be my disciples. (John 15:8)"
You see, God created us to live and interact with Him and with each other. Such interactions glorify God and bring Him great pleasure as His love is reflected in our relationships with Him and those around us.
Unfortunately, sin prevents us from having the kind of life God wants for us. It destroys relationships and corrupts all that is good and just. It cuts us off from God and condemns us to eternal damnation.
Have you glorified God in your life by trusting Christ as your Saviour? Have you brought pleasure to the One who created you for His glory by being saved? If not, why not trust Christ today? Take that first step to fulfilling your purpose for existing.
The second step is living your life for Him. "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)".
-Pastor Alfred B. Davis
Bible Baptist Church, Richfield, Ohio