My younger two sons, ages 14 and 7, have begun a new pattern this summer vacation – watching the network game shows “Let’s Make a Deal” and “The Price is Right”. David (14) told me he likes “Let’s Make a Deal” better – a contest based purely on chance. Joshua (7) prefers “The Price is Right” – a contest requiring skill and just a bit of luck. The boys are captivated by Wayne Brady and the contestants dressed in crazy costumes choosing an envelope, a box or a curtain; they could win cash and prizes or they could be ‘zonked’. The boys also like to play along with Drew Carey and the t-shirt clad participants in the pricing games; based on their knowledge of the value of groceries and appliances they could ultimately win the showcase showdown.
It seems to me that the premises for these two game shows are the two predominate ways we deal with our eternal futures. First, there are “Let’s Make a Deal” people. If we think about life after death from this perspective, we think that there are a myriad of options for us to choose – it appears to us, at center stage, that some options produce modest gains, some produce great gains and some produce disappointment. If we maintain a “LMAD” attitude toward heaven, we cross our fingers and hope for the best, but we never have any guarantee that our choice is the right one until it is too late to change it.
Second, there are “The Price is Right” people. If we think about life and death from this perspective, we have a certain knowledge base which will allows us to make beneficial choices. We know the value of the prizes and we make the most of the opportunity. If we maintain a “TPIR” attitude toward heaven, we recognize the riches before us and state their value, knowing with certainty that what is presented to us will be ours.
All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. Isaiah 64:6
Obviously, I believe we should be “The Price is Right” people. What if there was a cosmic game show set somewhere in the heavenlies? I might hear Drew Carey say that our first item up for bid is our personal acts of righteousness. We rightly state that the actual retail value of that “prize” is $0. We advance to center stage and are offered eternal life if we can correctly price a number of items. We know that our family connections are of no value before God and that our modest Bible reading is likewise worthless before Him. We do, however, declare that the cross has a price beyond measure. We are then, being correct, given the keys to the kingdom.
Life, this one and the next, is so much more than a game show. We ought not to leave our eternal future up to chance where we hope (wish with uncertainty) for the best. We ought to know the truth that we have sinned, that we have fallen short of God’s glory and that our righteous deeds are akin to filthy rags. Our only hope (promised certainty) is the indescribable gift of Christ’s willful death and resurrection which conquers sin, death and the world.
So, ‘come on down’!