Gambling on Jesus
Dec 11, 2022 693
Are you gambling on Jesus? Followers of Jesus sometimes refer to an idea called “Pascal’s Wager” to tell other people that they should seriously consider becoming Christians.
Blaise Pascal was a seventeenth-century French scientist, philosopher, and theologian. He was basically very smart all-around.
Pascal’s wager says that human beings are effectively gambling with their lives on whether God exists or not. If there was only a tiny possibility that God exists, and you live as though he did, then you will have infinite gain in the end. However, if you don’t live as though he did, then your loss will be eternal. Therefore, it makes sense to live as if God exists.
Pascal’s wager was actually much more complicated than that, and there have been various arguments mounted against it.
My view is that it basically makes sense, but if you think about it, it isn’t really a very good reason why anyone should turn to God. The truth is that God desperately wants us to know him, and he has in demonstrated who he is through Jesus. There’s no need for anyone to gamble with regard to whether they should believe in God or not.
There are other ways in which people gamble with God. One of them is when you treat God like a heavenly lottery. It works like this. You become a Christian in the hope that your life will be happier, easier and more comfortable.
Basically, you want more money, better health, and help with your relationships. And you hope that by praying enough, worshipping enough and giving to the church enough, God will be willing to grant you what you want. It’s like a lottery for blessings in which you try to buy as many tickets as possible.
Another way in which people gamble with God is by betting that the church they go to is the right one. You know how there are many different kinds of Christian churches, and they all think they are the best one. So you pick one that seems the more “right” than others, and gamble that you’re in the right place.
There are lots of ways of gambling on Jesus.
Yet another way of gambling with God is by hoping that you’re “good enough.” You hope that just by living a “good” life, that will be acceptable to God.
And if you’re religious, you to try to be as faithful and obedient as possible, and gambling that you are good enough to be acceptable to God.
But you can’t gamble with God. If you want Jesus in your life, you don’t get to bet on what kind of Jesus you will get or what the outcome of your life will be.
You don’t get to “hope” that God will be good to you or that he will keep his promises. You absolutely know that he will.
Forget about Gambling on Jesus!
You see, you don’t need to gamble, when you know how to win, do you? And Jesus has told us how to win in the Bible;
…this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent (John 17:3.)
When you’ve won that, you’ve won everything!
Not only do you not have to gamble with God, but he doesn’t want you to. He wants you to know him and trust him.
He doesn’t want you to relate to him in a half-hearted manner, with doubt and uncertainty. What kind of a relationship is that? It wouldn’t work with another person, and it certainly doesn’t work with God.
When you know God, you don’t need to gamble.
God wants you to definitely know him (Jer. 9:24.) God wants the reason that you choose to follow to be your certainty that he is not only real, but so unbeatably good!
Beyond all the intellectual and philosophical arguments, no one beats actually experiencing the presence and power of God in your life.
When that’s the case, there’s not gambling involved. You’re not following God for what he gives you, but for who he is. You might have much or little, but it won’t matter.
Placing a bet on your salvation based on whether you’re good enough or what church you go just doesn’t make sense. Gambling on Jesus isn’t necessary.
– Eliezer Gonzalez