Lifespan, Life Expectancy, Life Purpose, & Life Eternal

Written by Mark Wickersham, ECS Director of Spiritual Formation

Last week, a strong ECHS student who I see pursuing Christ asked me a great question. She mentioned Jeanne Calmart, the oldest verified person, who lived to be 122 years old (some geneticists are skeptical of this). This is more than three years older than the second oldest verified person. 

The student then asked about Genesis 6:3 which says, Then the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” After God flooded the earth (Genesis 6-9), human lifespans decreased tremendously. By the time of Moses (around 1500 BC when the ancient Egyptians conquered Nubia), only one person is recorded in the Bible to have lived past 120 years, the age when Moses died. Genesis 6:3 can serve as a general rule that people won’t live past 120 years. Another interpretation of Genesis 6:3 is God stated a flood would occur 120 years after He expressed disappointment with mankind.   

What about Psalm 90:10a? It states The years of our life are seventy or even by reason of eighty. This can be seen as a general rule for global life expectancy (which is 73 years). 

Most people want to live a long and happy life, but it’s crucial that life is lived for the right purpose. Mark 8:36 says, For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? Life isn’t meant to be lived for the world and its treasures (1 John 2:15). Life is meant to be lived to bring God glory (1 Corinthians 10:31). 

So why is living a God-glorifying life so important? Living a life pleasing to God is of the utmost importance because this is the key to peace and joy in this life and living forever in God’s loving presence. When we seek God’s will for our lives, God will bless us in numerous ways. This doesn’t mean our lives will be all rainbows and unicorns, but we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good (Romans 8:28). And when we die, those who have trusted in Christ as Lord and Savior will be in God’s perfect home, Heaven, where tears, pain, and death will be a thing of the past. Boom. 

There is MUCH more I can say, but I want to encourage you to click on the “Two Ways to Live” presentation or watch this Desiring God video if you still don’t understand our purpose in life or if you want to better understand what it means to live a life glorifying God. Additionally, don’t hesitate to call, text, or email me if you want to talk (unless you’re a big jerk). I would be more than happy to treat you to a cup of Joe or another drink of your choice. 

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:20-21