For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 6:23)

BLAISE PASCAL WAS A GENIUS. In the seventeenth century, he invented a forerunner of the computer! He also pioneered the study of probability. And Pascal had a powerful conversion experience that made him passionate about Christianity. He used his studies of probability to explain to doubters the value of faith in God. His explanation is known as Pascal’s Wager.

We’re all gamblers, Pascal claimed. We bet our lives on whether or not God is real. Suppose we wager that God isn’t real and live for ourselves. If we’re right, all we’ve gained is a few years of having our own way before we die. If we’re wrong, that brief happiness won’t make up for an eternity separated from God. But suppose we wager that God is real and live for Him. Even if we’re wrong, we’ll have lived a good life. And if we’re right, we’ll live with God forever. When placed in those terms, the choice seems obvious. Pascal concluded that it’s a win-win wager to gamble on God.

Like Pascal, the apostle Paul described the short-term and long-term consequences of our choices. If we choose sin, it ends in death. If we choose God, we gain holiness now and eternal life later. What will be your choice? Choose wisely, for the consequences are eternal.

Use Pascal’s Wager to remind someone of the benefits of living for God.