And 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, ESV).
I’m 98 percent certain that God exists.
Before you condemn me to the eternal pit of doubt for my confessed two percent uncertainty, let me explain how knowledge works. We can’t know anything with 100 percent certainty, and everything that we believe always has a modicum of doubt.
We might reason, “Well, I was there, I know that it happened.” Yes, it probably happened exactly as you think, but many prosecuted felons have been released because of reasonable doubt about eyewitness testimony.
We have been taught since first grade that two plus two equals four (it took me till the fourth grade). But I recently read an article that said, “It’s being suggested that we are guilty of Western imperialism if we insist that 2+2=4.”
None of us can know anything with 100 percent accuracy. We all must take steps of faith. So, when a decision must be made – we think, research, ask Siri for advice, and still worry that we made the wrong decision.
Our decisions all have a percentage of doubt.
My faith that God exists is 98 percent. Certainly good enough for me to live in obedience to Jesus as my Lord and Savior. And I’ve preached sermons for over 50 years telling others that they should do the same.
This brings me to what is known as Pascal’s Wager. No, this isn’t a new betting website, as Pascal lived in the 1600s, long before Al Gore invented the internet.
Blaise Pascal was a philosopher, physicist, and mathematician. His wager went something like this . . .
A rational person should live as though God exists and seek to believe in God. If God does not exist, such a person will only have a finite loss as in some pleasures and luxuries, whereas if God does exist, they stand to receive infinite gains and avoid infinite losses.
I like Pascal’s percentages. They are better than the odds-makers from Las Vegas.
No, we can’t be 100 percent certain that God created the heavens and the earth, was born of a virgin, and was resurrected. But if these topics are legitimately studied historically and scientifically, the doubt decreases to only a two percent chance that there is no creation, virgin birth, or resurrection.
I realize that I’m still taking a step of faith.
However, adversaries of faith in God must account for existence from non-existence, life from the inanimate, and thought from the unthinking while explaining the complexity of nature from the non-existent, inanimate, and thoughtless.
If you are an atheist hoping for the best or the worst or whatever is out there or not out there – you have worse odds than converting everything you own, buying lottery tickets, and hoping to win.
Not the best way to live this life or bet on eternity. I wouldn’t want to be an atheist upon hearing the trumpet of God and seeing Jesus returning in the clouds.
But I freely admit that I’m only 98 percent certain that God exists.