The End and Purpose of the World (R.C. Sproul)

Have you ever wondered why all things exist? Does the universe and everything in it have some grand meaning or is it all meaningless? Is the meaning of all things something we can know or is it shrouded in mystery?

Fortunately for us, God has not left the meaning of the world a complete mystery.

R.C. Sproul gave this message at the 2014 Ligonier National Conference.

Bible Passage

Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.” (In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)

– Ephesians 4:8-10

Highlights of the message:

  • Secularist vs biblical worldview regarding the existence of the world
  • R.C. Sproul’s question that Carl Sagan refused to answer
  • A Christ-glorifying explanation of Ephesians 4:8-10

Questions for Study

These questions are based on the information from this message and follow the order of the talk. Some of the questions may challenge you to think beyond what you hear and take what you learn a step further through application or bringing in knowledge you might already have.

  1. How does secularism interpret reality according to Sproul? How does this conflict with a Christian worldview?
  2. Who was it that Sproul thinks Jesus led captive in Ephesians 4:8? What do you think of this interpretation?
  3. What does the ascension of Jesus refer to in Ephesians 4:8?
  4. What does it mean that Jesus “fills all things”? How does this relate to God’s ubiquity and immensity?
  5. Why is God’s glory in the world often “hidden” from us?
  6. Why did God create all things?
  7. What does it mean that Jesus is the alpha and omega?
  8. How does this message help you understand your purpose in life?

Other Helpful Bible Verses

Ephesians 1:22–23 – And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Jeremiah 23:24 – “Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord.

1 Peter 4:11 – whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Romans 11:36 – For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Jim Rosenquist

Jim Rosenquist

Jim is Founder, Editor, and Author at 4Elect. He holds a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Reformed Theological Seminary. Jim rejoices that God chooses insignificant people to bring glory to Himself.

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Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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