Blaise Pascal reasoned that we should believe God exists because it is in our self-interest to do so.
If we don’t believe God exists, the worst case scenario is going to hell. But if we believe God exists, the best case scenario is going to heaven.
The problem with Pascal’s wager is that it is a weak wager, a false and misleading wager. Believing that God exists is not any better than believing He doesn’t.
“You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.” (James 2:19)
Many people consider themselves Christians because they have grown up in church and believe that the God of the Bible “exists”. But sadly, that is not what it means (or what it takes) to be a Christian.
“Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Heb 11:6)
But what is this thing called FAITH? And even more importantly, what is faith IN God? Is it merely “believing that God exists”? Is it “acknowledging that there is a God and He rewards those who seek Him”? Is it “believing that God is all powerful and the creator of the universe?” Or is it more?
“Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Heb 11:1)
Does this mean that faith is the abstract sense of assurance for things hoped for. If I really TRUST and sincerely BELIEVE God for the car I am HOPING for, is this faith? Is this all there is to faith? The Bible seems to show that faith is more complex than that. It is not just a Word of Faith.
“Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Rom 10:17)
So, it is not just about hearing abstract passages, promises and commands in the Bible and believing them. It is about hearing these passages, promises and commands in the Bible through the WORD OF CHRIST?
So what is this WORD OF CHRIST? What is this special message that reserves the right to be called the Word of Christ? Is it just any words spoken by Christ? Is it one of the parables? We can’t afford to get the wrong Word of Christ. So what is it? It is the one message about Christ that the Bible ascribes the power to save and transform people.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” (Rom 10:9-10)
Pascal was wrong, God is not looking for gamblers. He is looking for sinners. People who are conscious of their sin and broken by their offense against God. God is looking for people who will believe that He has provided a way to reconcile wayward men and Himself.
It is the Word of Christ, the Gospel, that we believe and are saved. You can take that to the bank.
For the fame of His name,