We all start at zero.
When we were kids we tried to build tall, skinny towers only to watch them tumble for no apparent reason. When we grew older we built them a little wider or more like a pyramid and they stayed up until a sibling knocked them over. Professional engineers now lay carefully designed foundations for skyscrapers, but powerful earthquakes can still crash them to the ground. The point is that the bigger and better the foundation, the more destruction-proof the structure becomes. So how big would the foundation need to be to overcome all possible damaging forces?
What if your foundation was as big as the earth itself? No hurricane, earthquake, or flood could overthrow it, but it would be destroyed if the sun went supernova. So let's make our foundation bigger than the solar system and bigger than the galaxy. Let's make it is as big as the universe itself. Nothing can destroy it now.
Universal patterns make it possible to explain eternity with a high degree of reliability and description, but the final proof is in you.
By eternity I mean past, present, and future, personal motivations and global movements. I mean ultimate truth, destiny, origins, and purpose. I mean the meaning of life.
Now we see life and death, joy and pain, creation and destruction mixed together in the illusion that they belong together, but just as life must come before death, so life will outlive death after it dies. Underneath all the negative clutter and the confusing, incomprehensible sufferings there is a positive framework and foundation supporting everything. The parasite of evil cannot exist on its own. There must first be good to feed on. The destructive forces we feel can only be experienced after creative power has done its work. It cannot all be bad. There is goodness and answers, otherwise nothing would exist.
This is not guesswork or abstract philosophy. There are universal patterns of evidence that point us in the right direction. And by patterns I mean complete, organized, and inspiring to the degree where it becomes clear they are beyond human invention. We are not left to flounder in piles of random trivia shaped by secret prejudice and ambition.
Finally, eternity is much more than observation and analysis of patterns. It is also an experience—a deeply fulfilling and meaningful experience. The unlimited glories of eternity invite us out of the darkness and into the light, out of the cold and into the warmth. We see and feel this more clearly as we move forward step by step.
We live in a universe where everything interacts. Nothing exists in total isolation. On the physical level, interactions are caused by power, force, or energy. On the spiritual level, we choose to interact based on what we believe, our hopes for the future, and what we love or value. Our faith, hope, and love can be either positive or negative, helpful or hurtful.
While it is possible to invent wishful thinking based on nothing, real faith, hope, and love arise in response to patterns we observe and experience in real life. Predictable patterns prompt faith. Progressive patterns encourage hope. Profitable patterns inspire love. None of this is forced. We can respond positively or negatively to either positive patterns or negative patterns.
Physical patterns (such as the daily sunrise, four seasons, etc.) are just repetitive collections of physical interactions, so physical forces make them both. However, spiritual patterns can only be made by people who choose to talk to, provide for, work with, etc. other people. Spiritual people are continually generating by choice a positive or negative spiritual influence that affects spiritual people who in turn influence others.
A core characteristic of all people is that they have a “paradise instinct.” This is like the survival instinct when we get in life threatening situations, but with the addition that we want to do more than merely survive. We want to live a rich, rewarding, endless life. We all want to live happy ever after.
To do that we need positive patterns and positive faith, hope, and love for all eternity. Neither finite people nor machines can provide it. Therefore, we need an Infinite Good and Giving Person (IGP or God) to constantly supply us with positive physical and spiritual patterns.
But how can an IGP really exist with all the evil in the world? It seems contradictory. However, if we open our minds to the possibility that God is quarantining evil to a small part of an otherwise perfectly good universe, and God is transforming negative people so they can live in the positive, then the contradiction is resolved.
Where do we find reliable information about, and communication from, this Infinite Good Person? We have no hope for eternity if we cannot connect with such a Person.
After surveying all the major religions in the world, process of elimination brings us down to five then down to only one that teaches an infinite giving person who offers us a complete solution to the problem of evil. That religion is Christianity, but with its checkered past and thousands of denominations, we must dig down to its source–the writings of prophets and apostles inspired and interpreted by progressive patterns.