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Any one of us has asked ourself profound questions like, "Why are we here?", "Why did God create all this?", and "What is the purpose of our existence?" The answer is quite simple, really. All of it is based on relationship.

God, before time existed, decided He wanted to create something with whom He could have relationship. He was, and is, and is to come, before and after any of this universe was created or destroyed. He wanted relationship. So, He began the creative process, designing a place of habitation and the life in it so that He could commune with someone.

His plan from the beginning was relationship. Mankind has gotten so far away from that simplicity. The evil forces against us are so cunning in causing us to focus on issues that have little to do with relationship. Christianity has focused on organizations and buildings, positions and programs, and the population of the local church, and we get caught up in this "world of religion" and perhaps fail to establish God's original intent: relationship.

Because of sin, God had to design a way to point man back to Him. He used the Law to show man he needed a Savior, and He used the prophets to point man to the coming Christ. Jesus came and died for the original purpose: relationship. He came to restore relationship. If we are living in sin, it is impossible to maintain a relationship with Him. He made a way for us to be free from sin and restore relationship.

We view religion and church and Christian living so emphatically in the light of salvation. Everything we do, all our works and efforts, punctuality and faithfulness to church, good deeds, prayers and giving, and efforts to look different are all centered around salvation. That is not God's focus. Salvation is a product of relationship. Christianity is not a fire escape. It's not a "Get-Out-of-Hell Free" card. Living a life for Christ is relationship. Maybe you've heard this preached, but people still do all of the above for the whole purpose of being "saved." But you know what? Salvation is not the end. Relationship is the end. Salvation is a benefit of the relationship. We're not going to heaven to live eternally with Christ so we can fling ourselves about the Great City rejoicing that we didn't end up in hell. That's not it. We're going to heaven to finalize what God intended in the first place: relationship. When we are there, free of this world and its cares, we will fully be able to focus on the ultimate and uninterupted relationship with Him.

Seeing the purpose we are here in this light makes a lot of the things we quibble about less significant, doesn't it? The enemy has caused us to get so enthralled with so many fine points, details and temporal matters that we only see hundreds of little, tiny pictures and not the great big one that should be what we focus on every day. God is craving our relationship. He went through a LOT of trouble to get us here. Focus.

The greatest difference between us now and in eternal life should be our physical attributes. Immortality should be the biggest change. Our relationship with Him then shouldn't be too far from what it can be right now. The transition from earth to heaven shouldn't be such a huge step. One day we're walking and talking with Him and focusing on our relationship with Him, and in a moment we're walking on a different surface, but the relationship remains and goes on.

There's a bigger picture. All those little things we emphasize so much will undoubtedly take care of themselves when the relationship is the focus. One shouldn't worry about hell and whether or not he is going there. Look forward to seeing His face and improving your relationship with Him. This walk with Him isn't designed to keep me out of hell...this existence is designed for one purpose: relationship with and forever.