I win....

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I have never liked gambling. I believe this was instilled in me as a young child when, since my parents were serving in the Royal Air Force, I lived with my grandmother. She detested gambling.

Nevertheless, when we choose to follow a particular belief we are, in effect, gambling. Our soul being the wager.

As a Christian I know my gamble is on a winner. But those of other religions would claim to be equally sure - Mormons for example. So should I consider becoming a Mormon? Any gambler will look carefully at the odds before betting - let's do that.

There are only three options:

No other possibility exists. Both Mormonism and Christianity cannot be true since their beliefs are diametrically opposed.

Option 1.

Both Christianity and Mormonism are false.
We can quickly discount option number 1. If we are both wrong then some other religion is right, in which case we both need to find which it is and join it.

Since I believe the Lord Jesus Christ to be the only route to Heaven I could not even consider such beliefs as Hinduism, Buddhism, Muslim etc. I would need to believe in Christ as my Saviour. But is converting to Mormonism and accepting the Mormon Jesus, rather than the Biblical Jesus, such a good idea? Let's see.

Option 2.

Mormons are right - Christians are wrong.
The Mormon church teaches three heavens: The Celestial - reserved for worthy Mormons. The Terrestrial - for certain groups of people, and. The Telesital - where most people and real bad people go.

Since I am a person who is not too bad - I try to do what is right etc. Mormons teach that I will make it to the middle heaven, the Terrestrial, even should I die without accepting the Mormon faith. Mormon Apostle, Bruce R. McConkie wrote:

"Honorable men of the earth who are blinded by the craftiness of men and who therefore do not accept and live the gospel law" will achieve this level. (Mormon Doctrine, p. 784).
Whilst this may not be as good as the Celestial kingdom it is, nevertheless, not too bad, especially since according to D&C. 76:77, the Lord Jesus Christ will be there. So even though I lose my bet, and choose the wrong religion, I'm not too badly off.

Option 3.

Christians are right - Mormons are wrong.
Traditional Christianity, however, does not teach different degrees of heaven, but rather, one heaven and one hell. Biblical references to different heavens (for example, 2 Cor.12:2 etc.) are easy to explain. They do not support the Mormon view.

We have seen what happens if I lose my bet, I'm still OK. But what if the Mormon loses the bet? If Christianity is right, what's in store for Mormons? According to the Bible, heaven is the place where believers will abide with God for all eternity in His presence. Only true believers in Christ (the real Christ) can enter (Heb. 12:23; Jn. 3:16-21; Rev. 2:11; 20:6).
Where does that leave Mormons (and all other unbelievers)? The only other destination is hell - and it is a real place!

Hell is eternal separation from God in a final and painful state (Rev. 14:10-11; Thess. 1:9) It is, actually, a second death (Rev. 21:8). Those in this state include every person who did not have a true belief in Jesus - the real Jesus! (Jn. 3:18).

Despite the faulty interpretation Mormons have concerning baptism for the dead in 1 Cor. 15:29, Biblical Christianity leaves no room for salvation after death if Christ is rejected in this life.

To sum up:
If option 1. is correct: Both Christians and Mormons need to change to whichever faith is true.

If option 2. is correct: Christians do not have much to lose. In fact, all Mormons without temple recommends (and that's most of them) will find themselves in the same place as Christians.

If option 3. is correct: Mormons have everything to lose - from Temple Mormon to Jack Mormon they will all find themselves in the wrong place - hell!

A good gambler looks at the odds and bets accordingly. How good a gambler are you?

Jim Cowen
Good Tidings Ministry.