Pascal’s Wager, You Bet Your Life
By Pastor David Asscherick
Part of David’s “Eleventh Hour Evidence” Series
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=Dnt5dqQFznE&NR=1 52 minute sermon
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgwNNyXR7Js 9 minute short
David Asscherick is Director of the ARISE Institute.
Blaise Pascal’s Wager is summed up in his 1660 book, Pensees meaning to think. This book, translated by W.F. Trotter, can be found here: http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/phl302/texts/pascal/pensees-a.html
The following is just my notes from listening to the above sermon:
Synopis: Yahweh either exists or He doesn’t. Based on the natural revelation and special revelation of the Word, it’s safe to assume that He does exist, since we will gain eternity or infinity. So live as though He does exist. Only a fool would choose the godless life. We will gain everything and lose nothing. Better to err on the side of intelligence than to err on the side of ignorance.
3 Factors in deciding to make an intelligent wager or not:
1 – size of the prize
2 – size of the risk
3 – probability of actually winning – what are your chances
You have more of a chance of being hit twice by lightning than winning the power ball lottery!!
John 3:16, “For Yahweh so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever (100% probability of winning) believes in Him should not perish (zero risk) but have everlasting life (infinitely great prize).”
1 – the size of the prize is infinitely great = eternal salvation
2 – ZERO risk, no risk, just submit to the Gospel
3 – Chances of winning = 100% if you’re a whosoever!! – all people can win
Mark 10:17-30, “Now as He was going out on the road (street preaching), one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”
18So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 19You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’”
20And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.”
21Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”
22But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
23Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” 24And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! 25It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
26And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, “Who then can be saved?”
27But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible (100% probability of winning the infinitely great prize of eternal life).”
28Then Peter began to say to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.”
29So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, 30who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life.”
Peter’s inferred question: What’s in it for us? Yeshua, take note of us, we’ve left all to follow you!!
Yeshua gave a 2-tiered answer to Peter. Have confidence, be sure, assured. Leave all and get 100-fold better life NOW, then in age to come eternal life. 100-fold more satisfying and fulfilling life now in this time, or life, then get eternal life.
The size of the prize: infinite, eternal life
The size of the risk: non-existent, with an actual benefit just for entering into the wager! Taste and see that the Lord is good! Evaluate the earthly life’s benefits. One minute with Yeshua is better than a lifetime without Him.
The probability of winning: 100%
1 – 100-fold better life, with persecutions with assurance of eternal life, a safe landing
2 – In the age to come, eternal life
If your experience resistance in your life, it’s a good indicator that you are on the right path.
1 Timothy 4:7b-8, “and exercise yourself toward godliness. 8For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.”
Yeshua and Paul agree on these two points. Godliness is profitable for all things, a promise for this life and a promise for the life to come. 2-tiered benefits!!
Romans 13:11-14, “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.”
1 Peter 3:13-17, “And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? 14But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.” 15But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense (an apologetic) to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. 17For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.”
Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Faith is reasonable, must be based on evidence. It is scientific, not a leap into the dark, but a step into the light.
Good book to read: Steps to Christ.