Are you making a sucker bet with your life? If I asked you that on the street you probably would be incensed and punch me in the mouth. But how would you answer the question?
Let me put it another way by making you a hypothetical wager. I will give you a million dollars – it’s yours to keep no matter what – I can’t take it away from you. It’s yours to do with as you see fit. The only string attached is this; you must make me a wager.
The wager is on the toss of a coin and we will assume that the toss will be truly honest. In other words, a true fifty/fifty chance of winning or losing. If you win, you get to keep your million dollars but if you lose, you must report to prison when your money is gone and serve fifty years at hard labor with torture for sixteen hours of the day. It will be arranged that you will be tortured just short of killing you so that you cannot escape the punishment by dying. Would you take the bet?
Let’s look at what the possible outcome of the bet would be. If you win the toss, you get to keep what you already have but if you lose, you really lose big! You say you don’t like the odds on that bet? But isn’t that exactly what you are doing with your life, if you are not saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, except the results are much more tragic than merely prison!
The bet that the nonbeliever is making in real life is that the Bible is either right or it’s wrong. One or the other, there is no half way point on this matter. If any part of the Bible can’t be trusted, then how can you say any of it can be. The million dollars part of the bet is your life.
You have been given your life free of charge, no questions asked and you can spend it in any way you choose. If you are betting that the Bible is wrong and you win that bet then when you die that’s it, there is nothing after that. You have won what was already yours, your life-big deal. But if you lose the bet and the Bible turns out to be right after all, then you have lost in the worst way possible. Not only have you missed out on heaven, eternity in paradise, you have won eternity in hell with
the torment that goes with it. The Bible says it is a place of fire, torment, wailing and gnashing of teeth and it goes on forever with no hope of ending. This is your prize if you lose your bet.
Let’s look for a moment at the same bet from the born-again Christian’s point of reference. The odds and the wager are exactly the same. If the Bible is wrong, then you have won what you already have, your life. If it is right though, you have won the biggest prize possible – eternity in Heaven with God the Father! Even if you lose the bet you win. Ask any born-again Christian how his or her life compares with what it was before they accepted Jesus and they will all tell you that there is no
Life with Jesus as your saviour is a million million times better that without Him. Maybe not in any material way but in ways that can’t be measured by worldly standards. What value can you put on a truly peaceful heart and spirit? How can you price a friend that is always with you and will never leave or abandon you, no matter what the circumstances? Jesus has told us through His Word, the Bible, that all things are possible through Him. So the believer has a direct line to the Creator of the universe; can you beat that for friends in high places?
My point is this: a believer in Jesus Christ wins the bet no matter what! If the Bible is wrong and we all believe in a fairy tale, our lives are so much better than before that it is worth it, even if we are wrong. But if we are right, then we have won Heaven for eternity. The best outcome that the nonbeliever can expect, on the other hand, is to win what he already has and nothing more. So you can’t say he or she wins either way; the best outcome is a draw.
What it all boils down to is this: is the Bible right or wrong? Every time the Bible has been put to the test it has proven itself accurate. Archaeology has never disproven anything in scripture, just
Go down to B. Dalton and find me another book that was written over a period of several hundred years by several authors and is still on sale nearly two thousand years later. The prophecies in the Old Testament regarding Jesus’ life (over 300) alone should convince anyone of its accuracy.
So the overwhelming evidence available is that the Bible is accurate and that Jesus was really who He said He was. If you are interested in reading further, read some of Josh McDowell’s work in this area.
If the Bible is correct, as the evidence leads us to believe, then any bet you make with your life as a nonbeliever is a true “sucker bet”. If you are a true gambler, then you will always go with the odds and in this case, the odds are all with the Bible and Jesus Christ!
This has been a short and rather clinical look at the issue of believing in Jesus and trying to show the situation rather dispassionately but you will find that once you accept Jesus, there is so much more involved that you can’t believe what is happening! The inner peace and joy you will discover will cause you to wonder why on earth you wasted all that time floundering in the world when the answer was in front of you all along.
If you are a nonbeliever and have read this far and are still not convinced, I encourage you to find a good, active church and check it out for yourself before you lose the bet. If you have chosen to
accept Jesus as your Saviour, then praise the Lord and welcome to the greatest adventure you will ever know! When we meet in Heaven some day find me and we will sing praises together. God bless you.
Sheldon F. Crook