The Voice Of One Transcript

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Pascal's Wager

There was a 17th Century French scientist who was also a Christian named, Pascal. He tried to use his study of probabilities to arrive at the probability that God exists. In his calculations, he came up with an interesting result. He found out that the chance that God exists is 50/50. In other words there is as much a chance that God exists, as there is a chance that there is no God. In his day, as is the case today, God is seen as the One who can give eternal life in heaven and eternal punishment in hell. To Pascal, a person who believes that God exists will live as God wants, and will be rewarded with eternal life, whereas a person who does not believe in the existence of God will live as he likes and will receive eternal punishment in hell.

So Pascal postulated that if there is no God, then there really is no problem, but if God exists, then heaven and hell is real; and a person who says there is no God will go to hell! Therefore, according to Pascal, it is safer to believe that God exists, and to do what he says, so that you will not be thrown into hell forever. What this man, Pascal, was saying is that if you do not believe that God exists, in which case you are not living as God wants, then, if when you die, you discover that God indeed exists, you will go to hell. If on the other hand, you discover upon death that there really is no God, then there really isnt any problem, because there is no repercussion of hell if there is no God! This postulation is commonly referred to as the Pascal Wager.

For a person who gambles, Pascal is of the view that if you have to put your money on something, you have to weigh not only the joy of winning, but also the sorrow of losing. Therefore, if the sorrow of losing outweighs the joy of winning, you are better off not placing your bet. If on the other hand, the joy of winning outweighs the sorrow of losing, then place your bet. What this means is, if, for instance, by betting on a football team to win a match, you will earn say, the equivalent of $1,000; but if the football team you are betting on loses, you would be losing your bet of $50; then, if the loss of your $50 means the loss of all you have, dont place the bet. If, however, the loss of $50 is nothing to you since you have much more, it means that you are better off gaining $1,000, and a $50 loss would just be nothing to you.

Taking Pascals Wager into the sphere of life, we must now look at the value of life in relation to whether or not God exists. That is, if God exists, you gain eternal life; and if God does not exist, it does not matter because you would die anyway. On the other hand, if God exists, and you chose to believe that God does not exist, then you go to hell for ever; but if God does not exist, and you chose to believe that God exists, there may be no eternal benefit, but you would have lived a life that makes the world a better place than you met it, for the divine order for living on earth makes the world a better place. This means that, there is a greater benefit for believing that God exists, than there is of not believing that He exists.

This is the point we are trying to make. If there is no God, there is really no reward other than the life you live here on earth; in which case it doesnt really matter how you are living your life now. But if God exists, then there is a reward after death, for the way a person lives his life here on earth; and this reward is eternal life. This means that the way a person is living on earth now is very important, if God exists. Now, applying Pascals Wager to this situation, the question we should be asking is, What is the value of eternal life in comparison to this present life and the way it is lived?

Eternal life cannot be valued against anything found on earth. This is because it is worth much more than the present life. Eternal life for one is eternal, not temporal like the present life. Secondly, eternal life is a blissful life without stress, in comparison to the life here on earth which is full of stress and challenges (even among the rich and famous)! Thirdly, eternal life is a life that is devoid of the trappings of temptation and sin, unlike this present life which is filled with these things. Finally, eternal life is the reward for living this present life as God would want a man to live it. In other words, if a man were to live in this present life in a manner that is contrary to the way God wants, that is, living according to the divine order for living on earth; then he does not get the reward of eternal life, but goes to hell; whereas, if he lives in this present life as God would want, he will leave the world a better place, and he will be rewarded with eternal life, after his time on earth is over.

The choice to be made here is either to follow Gods pattern for living so that you can reap the reward of eternal life in heaven after you are dead; or to follow your own pattern of living, and reap the punishment of eternal damnation in hell. The divine order for living can be summarised in the Ten Commandments which is known instinctively by all men. For example, Honour thy father and thy mother; Thou shalt not kill; Thou shalt not steal; Thou shalt not covet; etc., are part of the divine order for living and they are known and acknowledged by all men! To live contrary to the divine order is to live disorderly and lawlessly.

We see that the reward for living by the divine order is subject to the probability that God exists. So if a person says that God does not exist, he would no doubt live as he wants (that is, he will be disorderly and lawless)! So then, if a person were to live disorderly, but on dying discovers that God really exists, then, he will have to face eternal punishment in hell forever. If on the other hand a person lives according to the divine order and discovers that there is no God after death, he really has not lost anything, because he has actually lived a better life here on earth than the person who lived without God. To live on earth as prescribed by God is to live a righteous and selfless lifeone devoted to making the world a better place than we met it! So you see, living according to a divine order here on earth has its own rewards even here on earth, besides the reward of eternal life in heaven.

There is Someone who lived according to the divine order here on earth, and we still cannot stop talking about Him. That Someone is Jesus Christ. It does not matter what your creed or belief is, the name Jesus Christ, evokes the imagery of a humble life, a selfless life, a life devoted to the human race, and more importantly, a death that was not deserved but was nonetheless a submissive one! This, my friends is the evidence of a life that is deserving of eternal life. And this is one of the reasons why Jesus came to the earth: to show us how to live according to the divine order so that we can receive eternal life after death. He did not just end there, He also, by His gruesome death, made it possible for man to be able to live according to the divine order here on earth. The death of Jesus Christ took away the sins of man, and the weakness that makes it impossible for man to live as God wants. Hence, if a man would align himself with Jesus Christ, he will be empowered to live according to the divine order, and then when he dies, he will receive the reward of eternal life. By Jesus resurrection, He gave proof of the life hereafter, and made it clear that if any man were to live as God wants, here on earth, he would not be living in vain, but would be living in view of a most blissful life in eternity.

Putting it all together, what we are saying is, put your bet on the truth that God exists, because that way you would live as He directs. If in the end you find that God does not exist, you havent lost anything, because by living according to the divine order, you have actually lived to make the world a better place than you met it. If in the end, however, you discover that God indeed exists, and I can categorically tell you that He does exist, then you have the reward of eternal life. Dear friend, let me repeat myself again: God does exist, and the reward of eternal life is real. If you have reached the point of wanting to be on the side of God, the way to go is through Jesus Christ, Whom God sent to the earth to show us how to live, and Who died so that we might be able to live as God wants us to. All you need to do now is, pray to God, asking Him to forgive you of your sins, save your soul through Jesus Christ, and accept you as His own. Ill give you a few seconds to do that now.

Let us pray!