Where are We From and Where are We Going?

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The King of Glory

24 A Psalm of David.

   The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof,

the world and those who dwell therein,

   for he has founded it upon the seas

and established it upon the rivers.

   Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?

And who shall stand in his holy place?

   He who has clean hands and a pure heart,

who does not lift up his soul to what is false

and does not swear deceitfully.

   He will receive blessing from the Lord

and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

   Such is the generation of those who seek him,

who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah

   Lift up your heads, O gates!

And be lifted up, O ancient doors,

that the King of glory may come in.

   Who is this King of glory?

The Lord, strong and mighty,

the Lord, mighty in battle!

   Lift up your heads, O gates!

And lift them up, O ancient doors,

that the King of glory may come in.

10    Who is this King of glory?

The Lord of hosts,

he is the King of glory! Selah [1]

 

As God’s viceroy, human beings are placed in a position of responsibility within a creation of which they themselves are members in soul as well as body. It was Adam’s calling to lead the whole creation into God’s everlasting shalom, signified and sealed by the Tree of Life. Only with the Bible does there arise a genuine eschatology that orients human existence toward the future—toward a goal to be realized within history yet from the powers that lie beyond it.[2]

Where did we come from? This is a major question as we study whether there is a God in Heaven, but it is also a question we should ask when we consider where we are going. Our origin helps to shape our destiny. The reason we are made helps us understand what we are supposed to do and where we will end up.

If we, and the entire universe, are the result of a random series of purely physical circumstances that somehow evolved into our present sophisticated world, then we are justified in living our lives as we would without worry or consequence. However, if we have been created by God on purpose then it follows that we should live out that purpose and expect God to hold us responsible for how we live according to his purpose.

The theory that life came from non-life is impossible to maintain. The theory that moral persons evolved from physical matter unconcerned with morality is unlikely at best. The idea that the existence of things and the existence of rational persons began to exist without some personal being causing them to exist does not stand the scrutiny of science, philosophy, or religion. So, we are left with the only remaining option—there is a personal being who was not created but exists eternally by his own power who made all of creation.

Since we human persons have been created by God, it only stands to reason that we should live in view of that reality. This, “living before God” (Coram Deo) aspect of life forces us to consider our lives. Should we live as we want? Should we live as God wants? Will we be judged for our lives? Will we be judged for our sins? Are we responsible to anyone but ourselves? Should we live our best life now or live for eternity? All these questions are answered when we understand where we are from and where we are going.


[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Ps 24:title–10.

[2] Michael Horton, The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), 380–381.

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