Is That Your Final Answer?

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Clergy Corner

Susan Beckett | Dwelling Place City Church

A new game show hit our TV’s back in 1999 with Regis Philbin hosting. “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” was an instant success, with millions (no pun intended) turning in each week to watch one lucky competitor answer questions and win money. Lots of money! Maybe even getting the last question right and winning a million dollars. If you watched the show, you may remember that famous one liner – “Is that your final answer?” – at the end of each question.

Personally, I found it frustrating to sit on my couch and watch these contestants – I just knew if I were in the hot seat I could win the million dollars. How in the world could these people keep missing these easy questions while having lifelines & friends to call on for help? If you thought the same thing, let’s sample out a few of the questions.

The most watched TV episode of all time, the final episode of M*A*S*H, aired on February 1983, following what sitcom? A. Private Benjamin B. Square Pegs C. Alive D. Newhart (Answer: Alive).

The U.S. icon “Uncle Sam” was based on Samuel Wilson, who worked during the War of 1812 as a what? A. Meat inspector B. Mail deliverer C. Historian D. Weapons Mechanic (Answer: Meat inspector) [Sam was a meat inspector from New York. It was there that he supplied barrels of beef to the U.S. Army during the War of 1812.]

And just one more – which insect shorted-out an early supercomputer and inspired the term “computer bug?” A. Moth B. Roach C. Fly D. Japanese beetle (Answer: A moth was found inside the computer of scientist Grace Hopper.)

So – how did you do? It’s harder than we think to be smart. We usually tend to believe, as individuals, that we have all the answers. We don’t, of course, but there is one question that the Bible tells us to always be prepared to answer. In I Peter 3, we are challenged to always be prepared to explain the hope we have in Christ to everyone who asks.

I heard about a man who once had a conversation with a gentleman who was an atheist. ‘John’ – our guy – asked the atheist, “What percentage of total knowledge do you believe you personally possess? 50% 30%?” He replied he wasn’t sure, so John continued, “I heard that Einstein claimed to understand 5% of total knowledge. Let me ask you again: Of everything that can be known, what percent do you believe you know?” This time, he replied, “Okay – maybe 2 or 3%.” John responded, “Then isn’t it reasonable that in the 98% of knowable truth that you don’t know, that God could exist?” His response? “Yeah – I guess that makes a lot of sense.”

Hopefully, that wasn’t his final answer and our atheist friend went on to understand and know Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. The truth is, everyone gives a final answer in the end, and just like the show, that final answer locks you in. No do-overs!

In Matthew 16, we find Jesus asking His disciples an intriguing question: “Who do you say that I am?” After all – many folks in His day thought He was Jeremiah or Elijah come back from the dead. But good ol’ Peter steps up to the plate and knocks it out of the ballpark with this answer, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

This is a confession of faith that can serve as a model for anyone who would seek to make Jesus Lord of their lives. The correct ‘final answer’ might win you a million dollars on TV but there’s a much more important final answer that we all need to get right before our end. I’m 100% with Peter on this one: Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God – He is the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father except through Him.

I have always loved Henry Wadsworth Longfellow quotes (1807-1882) and my very favorite one is this: “Life is real! Life is earnest! And the grave is not its goal; Dust thou art, to dust returnest, Was not spoken of the soul.” And THAT was his final answer!!

Bob and Susan Beckett pastor The Dwelling Place City Church at 27100 Girard Street in Hemet, CA. For more information, you may contact them at DPCitychurch.org

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