I say daily prayers with The God Who Is There and as I get older, I feel a sense of urgency to encourage others to consider the claims of Jesus and what that could mean to their lives.
My mother used to scold me when I would use the phrase, “Well, I’ll bet that . . .”
“You should never gamble; do not bet!” would be her retort. But here is a bet which I’ll bet even she would approve 😉.
Consider “Pascal’s Wager.” (https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pascal-wager/) In its simplest form it is the challenge that one who seeks to believe that God exists and lives as such will have lost very little if he is wrong compared to one who does not seek to believe in God and will miss Heaven if he is wrong. In contrast the former will gain Heaven if he is right, and the latter gains very little if he is right.
Of course, Pascal’s Wager does not address the issue of whether one truly believes God exists or genuinely submits his life to a Creator. (See Hebrews 11:6 and .)
This blog is not out of any sense of being “holier-than-thou” or having any advantage. Very few of you know anything about my life before Anita, and frankly, I plan to keep it that way. It was not a good time in my life, and I was not a very good person. But Someone got hold of my life and led me to changes that have showed how much He loves even the worst of sinners. (Romans 5:7-8; 1 Timothy 1:15)
The wonderful thing about Jesus is His exclusiveness and His inclusiveness.
He is exclusive in that He claims to be the only way to get to know the Creator God. He is inclusive in that anyone (even I!) can get to know the Creator God.
One of the strongest arguments against following Jesus is that He only appeared to His disciples, people who might have a vested interest in proving He arose from the dead. However, all of them suffered immeasurably and most were killed because they would not renounce their claims to have seen Him alive after His crucifixion. This lends credence to the idea that they believed what they had seen.
Chuck Colson, Nixon’s ‘hatchet man’ went to prison for his crimes and there met Jesus. He says of his experience: “I know the resurrection is a fact, and Watergate [the criminal enterprise for which he was in prison] proved it to me. How? Because 12 men testified they had seen Jesus raised from the dead, then they proclaimed that truth for 40 years, never once denying it. Every one was beaten, tortured, stoned or put in prison. They would not have endured that if it weren’t true. Watergate embroiled 12 of the most powerful men in the world – and they couldn’t keep a lie for three weeks. You’re telling me 12 apostles could keep a lie for 40 years? Absolutely impossible.”
The attached page (https://wordpress.com/page/capost2k.wordpress.com/16919) gives more perspective on this issue in that it details views of skeptics who do not believe in Jesus, but grudgingly admit that the disciples saw “something” though they admit they do not know what.
So I’ll bet that if you try Pascal’s Wager, you may find more that you bargain for.