In his article, atheist John Horgan explores this question, looking at an idea in physics that “information never vanishes,” so somehow the universe will remember us forever (an idea he rejects). But he begins his article exposing the ultimate hopelessness, meaninglessness, and purposelessness of the secular worldview:
Compounding my concern is the possibility—no, probability—that one day humanity and all its residues will vanish. Our works of science, mathematics, philosophy, art, music and, yes, journalism will slip back into the void whence they came. Everything we have thought and done will be for naught. If nothing about us endures, if nothing is remembered, we might as well never have existed.
No wonder so many of us, even in this age of scientific materialism, still believe in God. An immortal, omniscient being watches over each and every one of us, and not just celebrities like Einstein and Beyonce. He/she/it/they also surely remembers us after we’re gone, like a cosmic backup device with infinite storage capacity. Supposedly. If this divine entity does not exist, and someday all traces of us disappear forever, in what sense do our lives matter?
This angst is a natural and logical consequence of the naturalistic, evolutionary worldview that is inherently secular and atheistic.
This angst is a natural and logical consequence of a naturalistic, evolutionary worldview that is inherently secular and atheistic. If there is no god—if our lives, thoughts, and actions are just the result of us dancing to our DNA (as Richard Dawkins has said), the result of millions of years of chance processes—then nothing ultimately matters. Our lives, our accomplishments, the scientific discoveries we’ve made—none ultimately matter. They will disappear and be forgotten, along with us. There’s no ultimate hope, meaning, or value to our lives as humans. What an utterly depressing worldview!
But it’s a wrong worldview (one with tragic consequences!). There’s a reason so many people struggle with the logical consequences of an evolutionary worldview—“God has set eternity in their hearts” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). We have been created as eternal souls, in the image of God. We know there is more to this life than the here and now. We long for ultimate hope and meaning. And that’s only found in Christ.
As Avery Foley and I wrote in our 2016 article, it is the biblical worldview—rooted in the truth of God’s Word—that gives life ultimate purpose, meaning, and hope:
Life has no meaning without God. But there is a God. We are not animals who happened to evolve through millions of years of random chance processes. The Bible describes us much differently:So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them (Genesis 1:27).For you formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:13–14)Before I formed you in the womb I knew you (Jeremiah 1:5).
We have been uniquely created and formed by the Creator of the universe. We are not accidents.
As Solomon writes, the things we do in this life, indeed our very lives, have a purpose: “fear God and keep His commandments.” We don’t obey the Lord simply as a “get-out-of-jail-free card” from some cosmic prison, as many atheists contest. We also don’t obey Him to try to somehow give meaning to our actions and lives. No, we obey the Lord because it is the mark of those who love Him: “If you love Me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). But in obeying, we get the purpose and meaning that we so desperately crave. God has created humans to desire meaning and purpose of their life because it is only found in Him!
Our Creator also gives us hope: “For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14). It’s not the universe that will remember us—it’s God! Both the good and evil things done in the world, even those things done in secret, will eventually be judged by the perfect Judge. There is ultimate justice for everyone. So we can’t simply live any way that we please with no regard for right and wrong. Right and wrong are given to us in God’s Word, and our choices have weight and significance for more than just today. Even in the midst of evil and chaos, we can have hope that justice will indeed be served.
We can also have hope because of Someone who came from the lineage of Solomon’s father, King David. Jesus Christ, the God-man, stepped into history when He was born of a virgin and was laid in a humble manger. He lived a sinless life, perfectly obeyed His Heavenly Father, and chose to die on the Cross. Through His sacrificial death He took the penalty that we deserve—death—upon Himself (1 Corinthians 5:21). But He didn’t stay dead. He rose from the grave, conquering death. He now freely offers eternal life to all who will put their faith and trust in Him (Romans 10:9).
Because of what Christ did for us, death is not the end for those who believe. His death and resurrection removed the sting of death (1 Corinthians 15:56–57). Now “to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). For Christians, death means entering the presence of the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8) and dwelling with Him for eternity in a place free from death, suffering, pain, and tears (Revelation 21:4). We can have hope for eternity because of the sacrifice of our Lord. Do you have this hope? If not, I encourage you to give your life to Christ today, believing in His death and resurrection so you can have “a living hope” (1 Peter 1:3) for all eternity.
As believers, we can be thankful that we have meaning, purpose, and hope both for now and for eternity.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day here in America. Many people are struggling to find things to be thankful for this year. But, as believers, we can be thankful that we have meaning, purpose, and hope both for now and for eternity. This world is not all there is. We don’t have to wish and hope the universe will somehow preserve our memory. We are known and loved by the Creator, the eternal King of the universe! For those who have repented and put their faith and trust in Christ, we have eternity to look forward to, worshiping and praising the Lord.
So this Thanksgiving—in the midst of what might be hard or dark times for you and your family—thank the Lord for his great gift of salvation, his sovereignty over everything, and the hope he gives us now and for eternity.
Remember what God said to Joshua: Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9).
Get More Answers on Answers News
I discussed this item today on Answers News with cohosts Dr. Georgia Purdom and Roger Patterson. Answers News is our twice-weekly news program filmed live before a studio audience here at the Creation Museum and broadcast on my Facebook page and the Answers in Genesis Facebook page. We also covered the following topics:
- Is your preschooler a mansplainer?
- “Junk DNA” . . . not so junky after all?
- Sociologist experiments on her “genderless” child (and everyone they know).
- And more!
Be sure to join us each Monday and Wednesday at 2 p.m. (ET) on my Facebook page or the Answers in Genesis Facebook page for Answers News. You won’t want to miss this unique news program that gives science and culture news from a distinctly biblical and Christian perspective.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.