That's Incredible! was the name of a popular American television program. It specialized in showing the viewer unusual and spectacular — that is, incredible — stunts, people and events.
This show dealt, of course, only in the physical phenomena.
God's transcendent spiritual purpose for man can be described only with the same superlative — it's simply incredible!
Yet, precious few really understand exactly why God made man, or what is God's purpose and destiny for humanity.
Think what this means! Without the knowledge of why he exists, man has no real meaning or purpose in life. Man has no ultimate goal or destiny, and spiritually is like a cork adrift on an ocean, at the mercy of every force, good and bad, with no direction or anchor. Life is futile and uncertain.
Yet it need not be so, for God, the giver of every good and perfect gift, has clearly spelled out man's purpose in the Bible, for those who will read and believe.
II. The Basic Doctrine
The purpose for human life is this: God is literally reproducing Himself through man.
He made man to be His sons in His own Family — the God Family — and hence to someday be Gods themselves.
III. The Usual Teachings of This World
Religious teachers of this world have fallen disastrously short of knowing or teaching this incredible truth.
Some religious people say God promises heaven to the saved, although few seem to know exactly what man will do in heaven for all eternity.
Others say that the saved become angels.
Still others believe in reincarnation — a sort of ladder-like hierarchy of life forms (from animal to human, and, in some cases, to supernatural) upon which one continually ascends or descends (after death and rebirth), depending upon his goodness or badness now.
Some non-Christians believe when one dies his mind loses its identity and combines in blissful oblivion with the forces of the universe.
Those who subscribe to no religion usually think the purpose of life can be nothing higher than "to make this world a better place to live."
But none of these ideas, no matter how seemingly noble or widely held, have, even remotely, a basis in the Bible.
What, then, is the purpose for life? Why did God create man?
To quote the same question from King David's lips, "What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?" (Psalm 8:4).
IV. The Bible Teaching
To answer this question — and to learn the purpose for man — we must first learn something about God. We must learn that God is a Family!
This plain truth is hinted at from the very first verse in the Bible. Genesis 1:1 says, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
This word translated "God" is the Hebrew word Elohim, which allows for plurality, like the English words group and church.
Genesis 1:26 further adds weight to this truth, because it quotes God (Elohim) as saying, "Let Us make man in Our image."
John 1:1-2 removes all doubt about God being more than one when it pronounces: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God."
No question remains. God is composed of at least two beings who are different yet are both God.
Other verses prove that this group of two God beings is more than a group like a team, but is rather a literal Family.
For example, upon Christ's being baptized, "A voice came from heaven, saying, 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased'" (Matthew 3:17).
Further, Christ confirmed in the most dogmatic terms that He and the Father are indeed related as a Family. In John 10:29-39, He time and again referred to God as His "Father," much to the displeasure of some of the Jews, who knew He meant it literally and therefore threatened to stone Him for it!
Clearly, we must conclude the obvious. God is more than one. He is a group of two beings. And He is more than a group of nonrelated Gods. He is, by His own admission, a Family!
But the most breathtaking part is that we — you and I — are destined to become full members of that Family as literal sons! That is the purpose for man!
The Scriptures abound with direct, incontrovertible statements proving this.
John 1:12 says quite clearly, :As many as received Him [Christ], to them He gave the right to become children of God."
Romans 8:15-16 pronounces: "You received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, 'Abba, Father.' The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.'"
Galatians 4:5-7 announces that we have been redeemed by Christ "that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, 'Abba, Father!' Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ."
Compare also Hebrews 2:11, which proclaims that, since Christ and we who are converted have the same Father (God), He is "not ashamed" to call us brothers.
And in Revelation 21:7 God says, "He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son."
But some would read these verses to be mere figures of speech. They would tell us that we are not to be literal sons of God.
Are they correct? Are we to be members of God's Family only in a symbolic sense?
Clearly we will not be angels.
In Hebrews 2:5-11 we read that man will have the world to come in subjection under him, but that angels will not. Hence men will not become angels.
We are told in Philippians 3:21 that we look to Christ from heaven "who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body" (Authorized Version).
And in I John 3:2 we read: "Now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is."
There it is! We shall be like Him — not like an angel or some other being of inferior type. We shall be sons of God and part of His Family, and therefore, since God is a Family name, literally Gods ourselves!
Yet some will still not believe. They will feel such a statement surely must be blasphemy. Read again John 10:29-39.
See how some of the Jews themselves sought to stone Christ because He said He was God's Son, and therefore a God and equal with God. They said He spoke blasphemy.
His reply? "Is it not written in your law, 'I said, "You are Gods"? If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God'?"
These Jews could not even accept that Christ was God. Yet He told them that, potentially, they were Gods themselves!
They would not believe. Will you?
Some will wonder, "If God wanted sons, why didn't He just create them as powerful spirit beings rather than as human beings who must be changed into spirit?"
The answer is that God created us human first so we may build character (change) and make any mistakes on a relatively low level of power (compared to a spirit being).
And since humans are subject to death (spirit beings are not); unrepentant sinners, along with the misery caused by all the sins we have all committed, can be extinguished from the universe by the final lake of fire.
God's Family and government will increase forever. David and the apostle Paul predicted the vast reaches of the entire universe will be our inherited domain (Psalm 8:4-6, Hebrews 2:6-8).
You need to understand all the aspects of God's amazing plan — what we as members of God's Family will be doing during the Millennium and throughout eternity, and how we may qualify to fulfill that awesome destiny.
V. Key Verses
Such an astounding truth is worth remembering by reviewing from time to time the basic scriptures that prove this doctrine. Here is a summary of the most important ones:
Genesis 1:26 and John 1:1 — God is a group of, at present, two beings.
Matthew 3:17 — the relationship between the two God beings is Father and Son (a literal family relationship).
John 1:12, Romans 8:15-16, Revelation 21:7 — our destiny is to be spiritual sons of God.
Philippians 3:21 and I John 3:2 — we will look like Christ and hence be on the same God level as He.
John 10:29-39 — Christ told the Jews that all men are potential Gods.
The truth about why God made man is indeed astounding. Stated simply, we are to be God's sons. As Christ stated, potentially, "You are Gods"!