If I were a betting man …

Good morning everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Living by faith”
Our Bible verse for today: “Simon Peter answered, ‘Lord, to whom will we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.” John 6:68-69 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “If I were a betting man …”
I don’t know if Blaise Pascal was a gambling man or not, but I do know he is famous for something known as “Pascal’s Wager”. Blaise Pascal was a famous French mathematician, philosopher, physicist, and theologian who lived in the 1600s. He was a great Christian thinker and he wrote many books, articles, and pamphlets designed to make the case for Christianity, and to help strengthen the faith of believers.
His last great work, which was published after his death, was titled “Pensees” (Thoughts). It was a collection of his notes and thoughts about probability theory (which helps us to decide if something is probably true or not, and if it is likely to happen or not). In that work Pascal applied probability theory to the question of whether it makes sense to believe in God or not.
When applying probability theory to that question Pascal concluded that a rational person should live as though God exists and should seek to believe in God. They should do so because if God does not exist, such a person will have only a finite loss of some pleasures and luxuries in this lifetime. Whereas, if God does exist, the person stands to gain an eternity of blessings and rewards (as opposed to an eternity in hell).
That line of thinking has become known as “Pascal’s Wager”. It makes more sense to wager on God’s existence and to live accordingly, than it does to deny His existence. If I’m wrong and God doesn’t exist, so what? But if I’m right and He is real, then yay for me! I won the lottery.
As we’ve learned in our devotionals in this series up to this point, God has gone to great lengths to convince us that He is real and that we should have faith in Him. He created us with eternity in our hearts; He has shown Himself in the wonders, splendors, and complexity of His creation; He has gifted us with the miracle of the Bible which, as Luke tells us in Luke 1:1-4, is a thorough and orderly account; and now we learn that believing in Him is a better bet than not believing. What you lose for being wrong is miniscule compared to what you will gain if you are right. So, when it comes to living by faith, we choose to put all our chips on God.
Tomorrow we’ll begin exploring what this “living by faith” looks like in actual practice in everyday life.
God bless,
Pastor Jim  
Copyright © 2022 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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