♪(Announcer)The following is a presentationofTomorrow’s World. Gambling is big business. Every year millions of visitors travel to Las Vegas or Monaco to test their luck.Casinos have sprung up all overthe United States and Canada,and betting has been a part ofBritish culturefor as long as I can remember.Television ads show happy facesand lavish lifestylesfor supposed winnersof government-sponsoredlotteries–and other currencies pour in.Internet gaming houses allowsports fans to bet on theirfavorite teams, and racetracksoffer opportunitiesfor sports enthusiasts to beton their chosen four-leggedanimals.Poker games are popular ontelevision–where playersbecome celebrities, thusenticing others to thinkthey too can find fame andfortune by their witsand a little bit of luck.There seems to be no end to theways people willinglygamble away their wages orretirement savings.Have you ever considered whycasinos have bright lightsand few windows?There’s an air of excitementinside,and you never know whether it’sday or night.The longer they keep you in thegame, the more they’lltake from you.Games are designed to throw afew shekels your way,but that’s to keep your hopesalive.Some rare individuals do seem to“strike it rich,” but again,all this is part of the illusionto keep people coming back.“Maybe it’ll be my time nexttime!”Oddly, every one of us is gambling in another way, and it’s betting on more than your wallet or your house. If you’d like to know what that bet is, stay tuned, because it’s the biggest bet you’ll ever make! ♪ Welcome toTomorrow’s World. What is it about our nature that drives us to do something that is clearly irrational? Why is it that we gamble with our hard-earned wages when deep down we know that the odds are not in our favor? Make no mistake. Casinos, betting houses, and lotteries are in business for only one purpose: to separate a fool from his money. But not all gambling involves money.When you marry, you’re gamblingthat this personwill be faithful to you asyour lifelong partner?When you get into a caror ride a bike,there’s an element of risk.When you board an airplane,there’s a slight chance–a very slight chance–thatsomething can godrastically wrong.But that’s very differentfrom playing a gamethat is stacked against you.Not many people would fly in a plane, if there were a 96% chance it would crash! We take chances all the time, but with the expectation that things will work out– and they most often do. There truly are rewards for making these choices. On today’s program, I’m addressing the greatest gamble you’ll ever make. And it’s a gamble you’re taking right now, and the consequences will be disastrous beyond your imagination if you are betting wrong. Whether you realize it or not, you’re betting– by your actions– on your future. Is there a God, and can He give you life after death? Today it’s fashionable to reject God, but since you really can’t prove thathe doesn’texist, isn’t it a high stakes gamble to reject Him without considering the evidence? Is it a smart bet? Right now you’re betting one way or the other. So I ask you: Are you choosing wisely or foolishly? Consider for a moment. We’re all going to die. That’s you and that’s me, but is that the end of all things? Is all that we have to look forward to the blackness of darkness forever? It’s simply not good enough to believe or not believe something so important based on emotion, upbringing, what your biology professor tells you, or simple wishful thinking. Emotion doesn’t change the truth. Neither can we rely on the way we were raised, because one person is raised an atheist, another a believer. Surely they can’t both be right, yet each believes he is. And wishful thinking is self-deception. Wishing something to be so, never makes it so. You may believe God exists, or wish that God exists, but neither believing nor wishing change the facts. Sadly, too few people are willing to put forth the effort to explore and answer this most important of all questions for themselves. How easy it is to be too lazy or too busy to find the answer! Most people, when they see the end approaching, want to know: Is this really the end of it all? Maybe there’s more to it.Lee Iacocca was one of the greatindustrialistsof the 20th Century,and he muses this way in hisbook, Talking Straight:Yes, people will gamble all their productive years that God doesn’t exist, or that even if He does, how they live, and the choices they make, really aren’t that important. However as the end draws near,there’s a change of attitude.Iacocca relates a humorousanecdote about oneof the early film actors, thelate W.C. Fields.He was a lifetime agnostic,neither believing in God,nor totally rejecting Hisexistence.As the story goes, he wasdiscovered on hisdeath bed reading the Bible,when someone asked,“What are you reading thatfor?”His reply?If the story were true, W.C. Fields would not be alone in looking for a last-minute loophole. …just in case. Some hedge their bets sooner, while others wait until they’re near death. But if God exists, do we really think that He’ll be pleased with that approach?Maybe Iacocca is correctwhen he wrote:Here on Tomorrow’s World weoften remind you not to believe us because we say it. Believe it because you can prove it for yourself! Have you ever considered that life after death is only possible if God exists!But how do you know there is areal being we call, God?The Real God: Proofs and Promisesanswers this question.Are you gambling as to whetherHe does or doesn’t exist?Is it worth the gamble?The Real God: Proofs andPromises gives you tangibleanswers to life’s biggestquestions.It’s free for the asking.All you have to do is pick upthe phone and call.or go to our website.And when I come back we’ll explore whether there’s hope beyond the grave. ♪(Announcer)To receive this program’s offerabsolutely free,or if you would like moreinformation,call the number shown or visitour website online atTomorrowsWorld.org.Or you can write us at theaddress shown.♪(Announcer)With this offer,you will also receiveyour free subscriptiontoTomorrow’s Worldmagazinefull of timely articlesand unique insightson today’s important issues.And be sure to go toTomorrowsWorld.org/digital.Have a digital subscription sentright to your email inbox.Faster than postal mail!Visit us online, now!Before the break, I said we’ll explore whether you can live beyond the grave. So where do we turn for the answer to this all-important question?Should we go to the bookstoreand purchase books describingtunnels and bright lights?What about the ideas of variousreligions?And surely science can cometo our rescue!Or can it?Life after death implies two important conclusions. First there must be an all-powerful force, intelligence, or Being that can cause a physical existence to transcend to a different form of existence. And secondly, such a supreme cause introduces the subject of purpose, which by its very nature lies outside of scientific discovery. Science can have no answers since by its own admission it deals only with the material. As the United States National Academy of Sciences has clearly stated: Yet some scientists hypocritically cross the line from science to religion all the time. For example, Cornell University biologist and science historian,William Provine, proclaims:Or as the outspokenevolutionary biologistRichard Dawkinswrote in “River Out of Eden”:Then there’s evolutionistStephen Jay Gould.Is he not crossing the linebetween science and religionwhen he rejects God without anyproof whatsoever?Is Gould correct? Is religion only a self-deluding comfort blanket? Is it all a giant lie to help us get through the week? Or is there substance to it? Does it have real answers to real questions, such as the question of life after death? How you answer these questions, and how you respond to the answers tells where you’re placing your bet. Gould, Dawkins, and Provine are gambling against God and against eternal life. What about you? Have you checked out all the evidence? Or are you merely accepting without question your background beliefs or floating down the stream of popular opinion? It may surprise you to know that religion hasn’t helped us with these questions. In many ways, Gould is correct when he describes religion as a self-deluding comfort blanket. Sadly, most of what we refer to as religion is nothing more than humanly created lies. I’ll explain what I mean in the next portion of this program, but I want to remind you of today’s offer: The Real God: Proofs and Promises. You need not gamble on this most important of all questions. Pick up the phone, go to our website, or write to us for your free copy of The Real God: Proofs and Promises. You’ll be ever thankful that you did! We won’t sell your name, so you have nothing to lose. I’ll be back in 30 seconds to explain why Gould is correct when he describes religion as a self-deluding comfort blanket. ♪(Announcer)Today’s offer is yoursabsolutely free,no cost, no obligation.Visit us online atTomorrowsWorld.org.Find us on Facebook, watch us onYoutube,and follow us on Twitter.A few minutes ago I read to you a quote from evolutionist Stephen J. Gould where he described religion as a self-deluding comfort blanket, a mere story we tell ourselves. Further, I said that he is correct, but now I’ll add, not entirely correct. I’ll go so far as to say that most religion is a giant fraud. Consider all the various belief systems that exist around the world. Can they all be correct? Another delusion that people have is thinking “all roads lead to heaven.” Have you ever tried to get to Detroit with that kind of thinking? How can all roads lead to the same destination when the destination being pursued is not even the same? The Bible is the most remarkable of all religious writings. All you have to do is compare it with all other so-called “holy books.” And in its pages, it tells us there is life after death. We can live forever, no longer suffering pain or sorrow. I think we all want that, but is it for real? Can we really have life after death? And if so, what must we do to attain eternal life, because while most people want it, the majority are betting, by the way they conduct their lives, that it isn’t for real.They’re betting the only thing that is important is the here and now. Planning for an uncertain future is not that important. The Bible claims to offer the one and only way to eternal life, but it reveals that if you choose poorly, only blackness and darkness awaits you. It’ll be as though you never existed.As it tells us in Ecclesiastes:And in verse 10:Now that contradicts popular belief. Haven’t you been told, that you have an immortal soul? And that after death that soul lives on either in heaven or hell, or perhaps another humanly devised doctrine, something called purgatory? But is this really what the Bible teaches? Consider Roman 6:23: Now that should cause one to think! Eternal life is here described, not as something we already have, but a gift; and the reward for living a life contrary to God is not burning forever in a lake of fire, but death. Consider further the golden verse of the Bible, John 3:16. There’s always that fellow in the stands at sporting eventsdisplaying it on a placard.But what is its message?It seems that no oneunderstands!Let’s notice it, but also the verses leading up to it. We’ll begin with verse 13: Here again we see a contrast between eternal life and eternal death. Considering the stark contrast between the two. Wouldn’t it be worth a modest amount of your time to research whether life after death is possible? And if so, is there something required of you to gain it? With so much at stake, why would anyone gamble away the better choice through laziness and neglect? But how can you know that what the Bible tells us is true? The question behind this is whether God exists! And without God, there is no hope for eternal life! I want to remind you one more time of today’s offer:The Real God: Proofs andPromises.It can be yours free of charge, just for the asking. Don’t be lazy and gamble away your life. If God exists, eternal life is possible, so go to the phone, write, or go online to receive your free copy of: The Real God: Proofs and Promises; and I’ll be right back to show you why there is hope for eternal life. ♪(Announcer)To receive this program’s offerabsolutely free,or if you would like moreinformation, callthe number shown or visit ourwebsite online atTomorrowsWorld.org.Or you can write us at theaddress shown.♪(Announcer)With this offer, you will alsoreceive your free subscriptiontoTomorrow’s Worldmagazinefull of timely articles andunique insights on today’simportant issues.And be sure to go toTomorrowsWorld.org/digital.Have a digital subscription sentright to your email inbox.Faster than postal mail!Visit us online, now!Recent research shows that people enjoy the ceremonies of religion, but not the doctrines. In other words, let’s sing, sway our arms, dust some incense about, but keep the sermon short and go away feeling good. But is this reality? Is this what the Creator of the universe, if He exists, expects of us? The speed with which strong faith in God is being abandoned in the western world is remarkable and it’s picking up speed. However the desire and fascination with the afterlife persists. Whole books are written about after death experiences, and ghost-hunting reality shows promote the idea of the spirit world. But how can this be? Consider this carefully. If we are the product of blind evolutionary processes, how does a spirit world evolve?These key findings appearedin a 2015 Angus Reid pollof Canadians regarding religionand faith:This survey sparked a number of news reports on the role of religion in Canada. One lengthy report on the CBC’s evening news, focused on the growing trend away from doctrinal absolutes and organized religion. One segment described an in-home funeral service, beginning with the lighting of a candle. The expectation was that there would be a religious basis to what followed; but as the one conducting the service spoke, it became evident that this service was for atheists. He boldly declared that the entirety of one’s life could be summed up in the time between conception and death. There was nothing before and nothing afterward After the service one of the organizers and a relative of the deceased, said she knew her dead relative was looking down on her at that moment. What a disconnect! But that’s a common disconnect. People want to believe there is no God, but they can’t accept that death is the end of everything. How is this possible?Another key finding in the AngusReid survey is that:A summary statement in the report describes how the ranks of the faithful are shrinking, leaving the largest category, 44%, in the middle, neither totally embracing faith, nor entirely rejecting it. One might say that these people are undecided or lazy about firming up their beliefs. Perhaps they have a “just-in-case” religion where they are hedging their bets in case God does exist.The report says the:One of the major personages inthe Bible is a man named Paul.As students of the Bible know,his original name was Sauland he sorely persecutedearly Christians,that is until he was supernaturally struck down while on a journey to Damascus,to ferret out Christ’sfollowers and take themto Jerusalem to be imprisoned.On his way he experienced what you might call, a near death experience. He met the resurrected Christ and it got his attention. Following this encounter, he began to understand the many prophecies that were fulfilled in Jesus Christ, and he became convinced, against his own will, that Jesus was the Messiah. He was so convicted, that Jesus did rise from the dead, that he became a zealous follower and was willing to die to tell others what he learned. The persecutor now became the persecuted, and he suffered many thing as a result. In defending himself against those who questioned his credentials as a minister of Christ, he wrotein 2 Corinthians 11, beginningin verse 24:Yet, Paul was a realist. He recognized that all that he endured, as a result of preaching that Jesus is the Christ, was for nothing unless there is a resurrection from the dead.Notice 1 Corinthians 15 andverse 32:Paul was not alone in changing his mind. We are told that Jesus’ own brothers did not believe in Him, that is until after He was resurrected from the dead. Two of them went on to tell the world their brother was resurrected from the dead. His own disciples fled from Him when He was arrested, but history and the Bible indicate that all but John suffered a martyr’s death. Think about that. Men will die for a cause in which they believe, but would they die for what they know to be a lie? They saw the resurrected Christ. They talked with Him. They even ate with Him! They were so convinced of the resurrection that they boldly put their lives on the line. The Apostle Paul records this in 1 Corinthians 15, beginning in verse 3: There are far more proofs than I have time on this program to give you, but we are offering our publication:The Real God: Proofs andPromises.It will be sent to you free of charge. So go to the phone and call toll free, or go to our website to receive this offer. It’s that simple. Don’t gamble away the most important treasure available to you – your eternal life! Be sure to come back next week when Richard Ames, Wallace Smith, and I, along with guest presenter Rod McNair will continue to share with you the inspiring teachings of Jesus Christ, the encouraging good news of the coming Kingdom of God, and the exciting end-time prophecies and their meaning. ♪(Announcer)To take advantage of today’sfree offer,or view today’s program nowor anytime,go toTomorrowsWorld.org.Find us on Facebook, watch us onYouTube,and follow us on Twitter.♪(Announcer)The preceding programis producedby the Living Church of God.