Why Are We Here?

I have often asked myself this very question in the past couple years. Why am I still here on earth? Why doesn’t God simply rapture us the minute we become saved? The obvious answer to this question is so we will share His gospel with others, that through us many might be saved. I get that. But it is not the all-satisfying answer I am looking for. Jesus said that God could make the rocks cry out in testimony of Him.  In the Old Testament God demonstrated His power to accomplish His purpose, using both a donkey and a great fish. So the simple answer to our continued existence on the earth, doesn’t totally satisfy the dilemma.

So what are we here for? The Westminster Catechism asserts that the chief end of man is to “glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” And that is exactly what we will do, uninterrupted in His presence for eternity.  So if we have that to look forward to, what are we still here for?

I have become increasingly sure that there is a certain aspect of our relationship with God that can only be accomplished here. I am convinced that our time here is an essential step to glorifying God and enjoying Him forever. Being convinced of that, I am passionate about pursuing whatever aspects of knowing God, might only be available in this life. And as I think of that in a practical sense, I begin to name the issues on earth that we experience that will no be a part of eternity: suffering being chief among those issues. But the simple answer that we are here to suffer, is ludicrous.

Rather, I think, we can begin to understand why we are here if we reconcile all three of the answers suggested. We are here, because on this earth, we have the unique opportunity to know and glorify God in the midst of suffering, and thereby testify to the goodness of God among the heathen of the world, turning many to Him. Now, that is an opportunity we ONLY have this side of heaven. That is an aspect of knowing God which is unique to our earthly existence.

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