You can’t win Pascal’s Wager

Pascal’s Wager is an argument for believing in God even if you see no convincing evidence that he exists.  It was proposed by the 17th century mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal.

It is based on the premise that by the way we live we are betting on whether or not God exists.  If we bet that God exists and we are right we gain eternal life.  If we are wrong we simply cease to exist when we die and don’t suffer any penalty.  If we bet that there is no God and are wrong we suffer eternal pain.  If we are right we cease to exist at death and gain nothing.

Pascal’s conclusion is three fourths correct.  If there is no God it doesn’t matter whether or not we believe in him.  If we live as if there is no God and in fact there is one we will suffer eternally.  But if there is a God, simply living as if he exists is no guarantee that we will receive eternal life.

God demands that we have no doubt as to his existence.

Without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
Hebrews 11:6

Anyone who lives as if God exists in the hope of avoiding eternal punishment isn’t exercising this kind of faith.  If you are relying on Pascal’s Wager you had better hope that there is no God; if there is you have no hope of escaping punishment, either for unbelief or for hypocrisy.

Pascal’s Wager is based on the  idea that people can’t know for sure whether God exists.  In fact God has revealed his existence to everyone through creation.

What can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
Romans 1:19-20

Many people have rejected this knowledge and by doing so place themselves under Satan’s control.

If our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
2 Corinthians 4:3-4

Others seek God and are prepared to obey his will when they learn what it is.  Jesus promised that those who  make this decision will know the truth.

Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.”
John 7:16-17

If you want to have eternal life seek God with all your heart and decide now that you will obey his will when you find out what it is.  If you do this you will know God’s will and won’t have to risk your soul by betting on whether or not he exists.

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Posted on December 29, 2015, in salvation and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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