A hypothetical line of reasoning for a discussion with an atheist popped into my head around 3 a.m. I am looking to utilize as many different approaches on the rationality of one’s reaching out to Jesus Christ for eternal salvation, as opposed to the biblically promised consequences of going to hell for rejecting Him. I would call this the “Gambler’s Approach,” the logic of which might be effective with someone who has yen for wagering (pun intended).
It would be established that I believe in Christ and His promises of eternal life in heaven after earthly death, and that as an atheist, he does not, presumably believing that earthly death is the end of all conscious reality forever — like going to sleep and never waking up (minus any dreams). I will also explain my biblically-based, Christian belief in an actual hell, where the bible declares nonbelievers will be tormented forever and ever, without end. Presumably, he does not believe in a literal hell.
And…as a believer, I eagerly look forward to my earthly death with excited anticipation. I have absolutely NO fear of my eventual death! Conversely, it is beyond well-documented that many people, if not most unbelievers, have fear — if not outright terror — over the uncertainty of what might follow after their earthly death, especially if they believe their death is imminent.. (“What if all those Christians were right?)
In this town with its gamblers’ mentality, I’m thinking the following presentation might strike a resonant chord with someone who likes to wager occasionally.
(Here’s my likely presentation)…..
“If I am right in my beliefs about Jesus Christ and heaven, I win! Joyous eternity in heaven with God awaits me!
“But, if I am wrong (and there is nothing after death), I lose nothing.”
“If you are right in your beliefs that there is no God or afterlife, you lose nothing.
“But if you are wrong (and there is, indeed, an eternal hell), you lose EVERYTHING! Eternal torment and suffering in hell is your irreversible destiny.”
What are the possible outcomes?
“I will either go to heaven, or have no idea I was wrong (if there is no life after death).
“YOU will either have no idea you were right (if there is no life after death), or you will go to hell forever.”
WE ARE BETTING OUR LIVES! EACH OF US HAVE TWO POSSIBLE OUTCOMES…..
“Right or wrong, I’m making a bet I can either win or break-even (if there’s no life after death), but it’s a bet I CAN’T LOSE!
“Right or wrong, you’re making a bet you will either lose or break-even (if there’s no life after death), but it’s a bet YOU CAN’T WIN!
If you are wrong, is the potential outcome worth the massive risk you are taking, especially considering that no matter which way it goes, YOU CAN’T WIN?
A smart gambler hedges his bets when opportunities arise to give himself the best chance of winning. You can do that,right now, by inviting Jesus Christ to be your Savior and Lord with this sincere prayer…
“Oh God in heaven, I turn from sin to You. I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ died for my sins and rose again. Jesus, please come into my life and be my Savior and Lord. Thank you for saving me. Today I am born again! AMEN!”
If you just prayed this prayer, congratulations!. You have just made the biggest — and the wisest — bet of your life!