No one can properly consider the validity of Christianity or God unless they try to understand the purpose and motivation of God. I cannot even pretend to know all about His goal for humanity. But I will present some of what we know from the Bible and some of the ramifications of those goals and motivations. Now you may reject the Bible as the Word of God, but if we are discussing who the Christian God is and what his desires or motivations are, it is the voice of authority. For example, if we are discussing what the Ohio law regarding taxes is, the Ohio Revised Code is the voice of authority. If we are discussing whether the law is good for the economy or not, the law itself is not authoritative. So in discussing the character and motivation of God, the Bible is the authority. I realize I cannot say that God exist because the Bible says so.
The Relationship God Desires With Us And Each Other.
It is easy to say the ultimate goal of God for humanity is heaven, but we know very little about heaven, but what we know quite a bit about is what God desires in his relationship with us and our relationship with each other. I’m sure my comprehension of these relationship goals is inadequate to the point of being pathetic, but it has literally led to an explosion of understanding about God and the world I live in. I hope I can properly put into words what I’ve come to understand not just in my mind, but in my heart.
Extreme Unity : “I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.” John 17:21 From these words or Jesus we know that God wants us to be one with him and one with each other. God desires unity. Now unity can mean a lot of things, so what does God mean by unity?
Well the Bible many places uses marriage as a description of his relationship with his people. In marriage two people come together and, as the Bible would say, “become one flesh”. We can see that easily in the family structure of two people producing a child. I think the child is the completeness of the unity and the symbol of the unity God desires. Recent science (I think science is rapidly helping make the case for Christianity) sheds an incredible amount of light of this. We have always been able to look at a child and see some of its parents characteristics but now we know about DNA, and that changes everything.
We know that when a child is conceived half of its genes come from the father and half from the mother and these genes come together to form the child’s DNA. That DNA is the building block of every cell of the child. Now imagine trying to divide the child again into it’s mother and father. Obviously you can’t start cutting away at the child because you would have to divide every cell in the childs body, which would of course destroy the child. Even is a laboratory it won’t work. You could theoretically take a sample of the child’s DNA and divide the genes that came from the father and the mother, but you wouldn’t end up with either the father or the mother. The pile of genes you would have for each would be useless, unable to even produce half a person!
Now lets apply this back to God’s desired relationship with us. It seems obvious to me that he wants to be so unified with us that we are indivisible from him. I think it is also safe to say he wants us all to be unified with each other. This desired unity has extreme ramifications on every other aspect and consideration regarding God’s actions and motivations. To achieve such unity we need to fit into the character of God so lets apply this goal of unity to God’s characteristics and see what happens.
God is Holy: This was discussed in detail in the section about God’s character so I won’t go into that again. But if we are going to be one with a God that is primarily and completely Holy (and I mean capital “H” Holy), we also will need to be Holy. How can that be? How extreme is that? According to the Bible, and my personal experience, it is impossible for me to achieve on my own. I fail and I sin. If God wants this relationship he must provide a method for us the achieve this level of Holiness. That is entirely different discussion but suffice to say extreme unity with God will require extreme Holiness.
Now can Holiness truly be meaningful if there is no ability to choose evil? If you chose complete and extreme Holiness, could you be unified with someone who was never given the choice? Wouldn’t that person be a robot? Actually, it wouldn’t be a person at all. For our Holiness to be Holiness we have to choose to be Holy, extremely Holy.
God’s desire for a true Holy relationship that is absolutely unified requires extreme Holiness, and that extreme Holiness requires that it be a free choice, that will have extreme ramifications.
God is Love: This characteristic of God also has profound implications on the goal of unity. We must love God and love each other to an extreme level. God loved us not just to the point of sending his son to die for us, but to the point of torturing and killing his own son for us. I know that is another discussion but it is true. If you don’t have children, you may not be able to comprehend that but if you do it is unimaginable.
Now, could have Jesus chosen not to die on the cross? Could God have chosen not torture and kill but rather to rescue Jesus? This means that in our relationship with God, we must have the choice to love him or not to love him. We must have the choice to love each other or not to love each other. Consider that in the context of this total unity relationship. We must all be completely united by love, but we must have the choice to not love. Can a doll love you like that? Of course not. Love is not real if there is not the choice to not love. None of us want to be loved by a robot, and we certainly don’t want to be completely unified with a robot.
God’s desire for a true loving relationship that is absolutely unified requires extreme love, and that extreme love requires that it be a free choice, that will have extreme ramifications.
God is Eternal: Again, to achieve this level of unity, this means we must be eternal and eternally choose to be one with God in his love and holiness. The fact, according to Christianity, that God made us all eternal means that our life here on earth is but the blink of an eye. It is extremely short, but because it determines our eternity, it is extremely important. It is almost like an explosion, sort of a “Big Bang”. If this short life will determine a completely unified relationship for all eternity, this short life may include some extreme events, extreme sacrifices, extreme choices, and extreme outcomes. In short our individual lives and the entire existence of humanity will likely be filled with extreme circumstances because the resulting eternity is so extreme.
God’s desire for an eternal relationship that is absolutely unified requires extreme circumstances, and those extreme circumstances require that we make extreme choices that will have extreme ramifications.
Everything below this was written some time ago. I decided to let it in here because some may find this presentation more meaningful than my re-write above.
I think we know what some of His goals for us are based on the Bible. I believe that the final goal for us – heaven – is the key to understanding most of why God does what he does. The final goal is so immensely difficult yet so wonderfully unexplainable, that the effort and sacrifice required to obtain it is unimaginable for human beings. But if you ask yourself what you would do if the goals below were your goals, and you were the God described above, you may find you are very happy you are NOT God.
- God created us to live forever. Really, this is unfathomable for the human mind. Forever is more than just a very long time. This simple goal or reality forces us however to view everything about ourselves, God, and our life on earth from an entirely different perspective. It is extremely hard to take this perspective on things, yet it is vitally important. Think forever, not a lifetime.
- God wants us to truly love him and bring him glory. This is the purpose of our life, and by life I mean forever. At first, this may seem self-centered of God, but if God is all-good, it turns out this is best for us and best for humanity in general. An who among us doesn’t want to be deeply, truly, and completely loved?
- God wants the humans in heaven to enjoy perfect unity with him and with each other. This is extremely hard, if not impossible, for us to truly understand, but it is obviously his desire for us based on the Bible. The depth of this unity is similar to the depth in which our body parts come together to form one body. This goal again, is intricate to making heaven, heaven. Understanding this is also intricate to understanding so much of what happens in this life on earth and what our eternal life will be like.
- God wants us to have a free-will. God does not force us to love, hate, follow, lead etc. etc. Again, this is incredibly important. It is actually the key to the previous three goals. True glory and praise can only come when a person is free to choose whether to praise or not. We have all been patronized and know what false praise feels like. God wants us to reside with him in heaven, but only if we want to be there. If we had no choice in the matter our presence would be hollow. God wants us to have unity with him and with each other, but again, this would be completely meaningless if we had no choice. God knows that true love, friendship and unity only can occur when it is freely chosen.
- God wants us to reside with him and each other forever in heaven. This pretty obviously God’s goal from the Bible.
- So what is heaven? Obviously I don’t know for sure, but based on the other obvious goals of God, I think it is safe to say the following.
- Heaven will be a place where everyone there loves God and each other completely. We will love each other with the love Jesus displayed when he was savagely whipped and crucified for us. Watch the movie “The Crucifixion of Christ” and try to comprehend the love that would cause someone to accept such agony for someone else. That is the total and complete love we will all have for each other and for God in heaven.
- Heaven is a place where everyone wants and does what is best for everyone else – complete selflessness. See note above on love!
- Heaven will have no sin, or even temptation to sin, because we all put others ahead of ourselves.
- The people in heaven will all have the ability to hate and sin and be selfish, but will freely choose not to. For if heaven is to be full of true love, that love must come from a free will. Heaven cannot be heaven without everyone having a free-will, but it also can’t be heaven if there is any chance of someone sinning, for that would ruin it for everyone there.
- Heaven will be filled with the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and gentleness of God.
- Heaven is timeless, immortal, forever…impossible for us to describe or understand.
- Heaven will be a place of complete unity. We will be one with God and one with each other just as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one. It is really impossible for us to comprehend. One of the best analogies may be human sexuality and reproduction. Two people join together and create a new person. That new person is made from the two, but is completely indivisible. We will be that united in heaven.