Evangelist Billy Graham has revealed that God created humanity for one simple reason: to know Him and love Him and have fellowship with Him.
The Baptist minister and founder of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association shared his thoughts in response to a question posed by a reader, who asked, "Why did God even bother to create us? He must have known that we were going to sin and turn against Him. This has always puzzled me."
God created people to know and glorify him - and originally that's what happened, Graham contended, citing the perfect, unbroken relationship between Adam and Eve and God.
However, determined to destroy humanity, Satan told Adam and Eve that God was deceiving them and if they obeyed him instead of God, they'd become like God. Tragically, they believed his lie-and their fellowship with God was broken.
"You and I now share in the consequences of their sin," the 97-year-old evangelist wrote. "But God created them with a free will-that is, with the ability to either love Him or reject Him. Otherwise they would have been like robots, unable to choose to love God. We may enjoy watching a robot in action-but we can't really love it, nor can it love us. And that's why God didn't make us like robots. Instead, He gave our original parents the ability to love Him-or even reject Him. True love requires the ability to respond."
While humanity has rejected God, He continues to love us and yearns for us to know and love Him, and has made this possible by sending Jesus Christ into the world to give His life for us.
"Have you responded to His love by accepting Christ into your life?" Graham asked. "The Bible says, 'This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins' (1 John 4:10)."
Earlier, Graham explained that while God knew humanity would resort to sin, He planned our salvation even "before the creation of the world" (Ephesians 1:4).
"Why didn't God make us so we couldn't sin? The reason is simple: Then we would have been like puppets, unable to choose between right and wrong. Our love for God wouldn't have been genuine either, because we couldn't have freely chosen to love God. Love is real only when we can choose it."
He continued: "And the good news is that we don't need to fear God's judgment any longer, because Jesus Christ opened Heaven's door to us by His death on the cross."
Another prominent evangelist, John Piper, also shared his thoughts on this issue, revealing that God created man for His own glory, citing 1 Corinthians 10:31 and Matthew 5:16. Because of this, God will not allow His name to be profaned indefinitely.
"Though he is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, he will not tolerate forever those who do not give him glory, but instead regard something else as more glorious, more worthy of allegiance," Piper explained in a Desiring God blog post. "It is a fearful thing to be at cross purposes with your maker. There is a judgment day and the issue for every one of us will be: Have we been with God in his great goal to glorify himself or has his glory been a matter of indifference to us or even animosity?"