Why We Are Here
1. What conclusion have thinking persons reached?
PEOPLE have long wondered about the meaning of life on earth. They have looked at the huge star-filled sky. They have admired a colorful sunset and the beauty of the countryside. Thinking persons have reasoned that there must be some grand purpose to all these things. But often they have wondered where they fit in.—Psalm 8:3, 4.
2. What questions have people asked?
2 At some time in life most people ask: Are we just to live a short time, get what we can out of life, and then die? Where are we really going? Is there more that we can expect than the brief cycle of birth, life and death? (Job 14:1, 2) What will help us to understand this matter is the answer to the question: How did we get here?
EVOLUTION OR CREATION?
3. What is the teaching of evolution?
3 In some places it is commonly taught that everything we see just happened by itself, that it came about by chance or accident. Over many millions of years, it is said, life evolved, or developed, from lower forms until finally humans came into existence. In many parts of the earth this theory of evolution is taught as a fact. But is it true that we came from an apelike beast that lived millions of years ago? Did this great universe just come about by accident?
4. Why can we believe that “God created the heavens and the earth”?
4 The Bible says: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) And the facts of science agree that the heavens, with their billions of stars, and our earth had a beginning. They were created. The movements of the stars and the planets are so regular that even years in advance their position can be determined with perfect accuracy. The stars and the planets move in the universe according to the laws and principles of mathematics. A professor of mathematics from the University of Cambridge, P. Dirac, said, in the magazine Scientific American: “One could perhaps describe the situation by saying that God is a mathematician of a very high order, and He used very advanced mathematics in constructing the universe.”
5. How does our physical body show that we were created rather than being a product of evolution?
5 The Bible states: “Know that Jehovah is God. It is he that has made us, and not we ourselves.” (Psalm 100:3) Our human body shows such wonderful design that one Bible writer was moved to say to God: “I shall laud you because in a fear-inspiring way I am wonderfully made. . . . My bones were not hidden from you when I was made in secret . . . Your eyes saw even the embryo of me, and in your book all its parts were down in writing.” (Psalm 139:14-16) A baby develops inside its mother in a wonderful way. Newsweek magazine said of this: “It is, quite simply, a miracle.” Then it added: “No technique can pinpoint the momentous time of conception. No scientist can tell what wondrous forces then take over to develop the organs and myriad nerve networks of a human embryo.”
6. Why does it make sense for us to believe in creation rather than in evolution?
6 Think about our great universe, as well as our own body with its wonderful construction and design. Sound reasoning should tell us that these things did not simply evolve or come by themselves. They had to have a Designer, a Creator. Consider other things that we see around us. When you are in your house, ask yourself: Did my desk, lamp, bed, chair, table, walls, or even the house itself, evolve? Or did they need a maker? Of course intelligent persons had to make them! In what way, then, can it be claimed that our much more complex universe and we ourselves did not require a maker? And if God put us here, he surely had a reason for doing so.
7. (a) How did Jesus show that he believed in creation? (b) What further evidence is there that Adam was a real person?
7 Jesus Christ himself said of the first man and woman: “He who created them from the beginning made them male and female and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and will stick to his wife, and the two will be one flesh.’” (Matthew 19:4, 5) Here Jesus quoted from Genesis 1:27 and Ge 2:24 regarding the creation of Adam and Eve. He was thus pointing to this Bible account as being the truth. (John 17:17) Also, the Bible calls Enoch “the seventh one in line from Adam.” (Jude 14) If Adam had not been a real person, the Bible would not have identified him in this specific way.—Luke 3:37, 38.
8. What view of man’s beginning does the Bible not teach?
8 Some persons say that God used the process of evolution to create man. They claim that God allowed man to evolve, and when he reached a certain point He put a soul into him. But nowhere in the Bible does this idea appear. Rather, the Bible says that plants and animals were created “according to their kinds.” (Genesis 1:11, 21, 24) And the facts show that one kind of plant or animal does not, in time, develop into another kind. More information to prove that we are not the product of evolution can be found in the book Life—How Did It Get Here? By Evolution or by Creation?
HOW GOD CREATED MAN
9. (a) How does the Bible describe man’s creation? (b) What happened when God blew into man’s nostrils the “breath of life”?
9 God created man from the earth to live on the earth, as the Bible says: “Jehovah God proceeded to form the man out of dust from the ground and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man came to be a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7) From this we can see that man was a direct creation of God. In a special act of creation, God made man a complete, whole person. When God blew into man’s nostrils the “breath of life,” man’s lungs were filled with air. But more than that was accomplished. God thereby gave life to the man’s body. This life-force is sustained, or kept going, by breathing.
10. What is the human soul, and how was it created?
10 Notice, however, that the Bible does not say that God gave man a soul. Rather, it says that after God started man breathing “the man came to be a living soul.” So the man was a soul, just as a man who becomes a doctor is a doctor. (1 Corinthians 15:45) The “dust from the ground,” from which the physical body is formed, is not the soul. Nor does the Bible say that the “breath of life” is the soul. Rather, the Bible shows that the putting together of these two things is what resulted in ‘man’s becoming a living soul.’
11. What Bible facts about the human soul show that it could not be a shadowy thing that can exist apart from a person?
11 Since the human soul is man himself, then it cannot be some shadowy thing that lives inside the body or that can leave the body. Simply put, the Bible teaches that your soul is you. For example, the Bible speaks of the soul’s wanting to eat physical food, saying: “Your soul craves to eat meat.” (Deuteronomy 12:20) It also says that souls have blood traveling through their veins, for it speaks of “the blood marks of the souls of the innocent poor ones.”—Jeremiah 2:34.
WHY GOD PUT MAN HERE
12. What was God’s purpose for humans on the earth?
12 It was not God’s purpose for Adam and Eve to die after a while and live somewhere else. They were to stay here to take care of the earth and all its living things. As the Bible says: “God blessed them and God said to them: ‘Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth and subdue it, and have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and every living creature that is moving upon the earth.’” (Genesis 1:28; 2:15) Adam and Eve, as well as all the children they would have, could have been happy on earth forever, doing the things that God wanted them to do.
13. (a) How can we be happy? (b) What will give real meaning to our lives?
13 Notice that “God blessed them.” He really cared about his earthly children. So as a loving Father he gave them instructions that were for their good. They would have found happiness in obeying them. Jesus knew this and so later said: “Happy are those hearing the word of God and keeping it!” (Luke 11:28) Jesus kept God’s word. “I always do the things pleasing to him,” he said. (John 8:29) This is the key to the very reason we are here. It is to have full, happy lives by living in harmony with God’s will. It will give real meaning to our lives now to serve Jehovah. And by doing so we will be putting ourselves in line to live forever in Paradise on earth.—Psalm 37:11, 29.
WHY WE GROW OLD AND DIE
14. By disobeying God’s command, what did Adam and Eve do?
14 But now we all grow old and die. Why? As noted in the previous chapter, it is because of the rebellion of Adam and Eve. Jehovah had placed upon them a test that showed the need of their being obedient to God. He said to Adam: “From every tree of the garden you may eat to satisfaction. But as for the tree of the knowledge of good and bad you must not eat from it, for in the day you eat from it you will positively die.” (Genesis 2:16, 17) By eating from this tree, Adam and Eve turned their backs on their heavenly Father and rejected his guidance. They disobeyed and took what did not belong to them. They could have lived happily in a paradise forever without poverty or sufferings, but now they brought upon themselves the penalty of sin. This penalty is imperfection and death.—Romans 6:23.
15. How did we get our sin from Adam?
15 Do you know how we got our sin from Adam? After Adam became imperfect, he passed on to all his children that imperfection and death. (Job 14:4; Romans 5:12) As a help in your understanding the situation, think of what happens when a baker bakes bread in a pan that has a dent in it. A mark will show on all the bread that is baked in that pan. Adam became like that pan, and we are like the bread. He became imperfect when he broke God’s law. It was as if he received a dent or a bad mark. So when he had children all of them received this same mark of sin or imperfection.
16, 17. How does one of Jesus’ miracles show that sickness has come upon the human family because of sin?
16 We get sick and grow old now because of the sin that all of us have received from Adam. One of the miracles Jesus performed shows this. While Jesus was teaching in the home where he was staying, a large crowd gathered so that nobody else could squeeze into the room. When four men brought a paralyzed man lying on a cot, they saw they could not get inside. So they went up to the roof, made a hole in it, and lowered the cot with the paralyzed man on it right down next to Jesus.
17 When Jesus saw how much faith they had, he said to the paralyzed man: “Your sins are forgiven.” But some of the people present did not think that Jesus could forgive sins. So Jesus said: “‘In order for you men to know that the Son of man has authority to forgive sins upon the earth,’—he said to the paralytic: ‘I say to you, Get up, pick up your cot, and go to your home.’ At that he did get up, and immediately picked up his cot and walked out in front of them all.”—Mark 2:1-12.
18. To what kind of future can servants of God look forward?
18 Just think of what this power of Jesus can mean for us! Under the rule of God’s kingdom, Christ will be able to forgive the sins of all persons who love and serve God. This means that all aches and pains and sicknesses will be removed. No one will ever have to grow old and die! What a wonderful hope this is for the future! Yes, there is truly much more that we can expect than being born, living a short time and then dying. By continuing to learn about God and by serving him, we really can live forever in Paradise on earth.
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Many wonder about the meaning of life
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Did these things evolve, or were they made?
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The Bible account of Jesus’ healing of the paralytic shows that people get sick because of Adam’s sin