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Deal or No Deal?

I became a fan of the game show, Deal or No Deal, when it first aired in 2005. There is certainly a lot of drama on the show, as well as many ups and downs. As opened cases reveal either large or small amounts of money, the emotions and risks rise and fall. If I happen to be at home on a week day, I’ll click over to the Game Show Network at noon to watch reruns of Deal or No Deal. For some reason, I find the game just as entertaining today as I did when it first aired.

I’m constantly amazed at the amounts of money contestants turn down to risk a shot at a better deal. I am not a risk taker, so long before some of the contestants finally decide to make a deal, I would have taken the guaranteed money and run. I would always choose “money in hand” than the “hope” of more money. The other day, I watched one of those episodes in which the audience and family members goaded the contestant to turn down nearly $200,000 for the chance to open “one more case.” To take a chance to get an even bigger, better deal. If you’ve ever watched the show, have you ever noticed the people shouting “NO DEAL!” the loudest are those who have no personal stake in the money? They’re mostly interested in exploiting the drama and the suspense of the show. After all, it’s not their money on the line.

Anyway, with only a handful of cases still to be opened, I was yelling “take the deal,” while the non-contestants were hollering “NO DEAL!” In this episode, the generous offer was riding solely on one large amount of money still on the board. So instead of taking the sure deal of almost $200,000, the contestant listened to the majority, and she risked it all to open one more case. What’s the rest of the story? Unfortunately, the contestant picked the case with the large amount of money, and the offer dropped drastically. In the end, the contestant walked away with the grand total of $750. Basically, a small fortune was thrown away for the risk of acquiring more. The contestant not only got greedy, but her logic and thinking processes were influenced by peer pressure to opt out for a better deal. 

At the end of this episode, I couldn’t help comparing this show to how many people approach eternity. God has clearly offered everyone the “deal” to spend eternity in a glorious, beautiful dwelling place, in which no price tag or value can be assigned. Unlike the show, it doesn’t involve a guessing game of which case contains the best deal. God’s offer of eternal life is on the table for every “whosoever” regardless of how a person has lived his/her life, or what good or bad they have accomplished. The only thing God asks of each person is to believe on His only Son, Jesus Christ. 

Unfortunately, many people get influenced by friends and relatives who try to dissuade them from taking the deal God is offering them. Or, as many like to describe it, “getting religion.” Instead of making a decision to accept the sure offer of eternal life, they continue seeking out other opportunities to see if there is a better deal somewhere else. Or, perhaps they think they can do something to make themselves more worthy of gaining eternal life on their own.

This isn’t how the game is played. Contestants can’t make up their own rules. With God’s endorsement, Jesus made the claim to be “the way, the truth and the life.” Thus, salvation through faith in God’s Son is offered as a gift of God and through His grace. It cannot be earned or gained through any other means. Anything other than the truth of what God’s Word contains, is nothing but counterfeit. No one wants to be the recipient of counterfeit money, right? So, why would we risk where we spend eternity on a counterfeit belief?

While God is certainly not a game show host, there may come a time in your life when you sense His asking, “Deal or no deal?” When you do, what He’s really asking is, “Do you believe I love you enough to let my Son die in your place for your sins?” “Will you place your faith and trust in my Son so that you can be saved?” Because if you will believe that, the offer of eternal life and spending an eternity in heaven is yours for the taking. There’s no risk on your part. This offer is guaranteed. You just have to receive His priceless gift.

So, what will be your response the next time God asks you the most important question you will ever have to answer in your life, “Deal or No Deal?”


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