Summary: Ref to game show Deal or No Deal and how it relates to decisions we must make as Christians.
DEAL OR NO DEAL?
Hebrews 12:1-3, 11:35-40
Acknowledgments: Many thanks to Pastor Bruce Ball, who prepared much of the information used here in his sermon “Let’s Make A Deal”, and to Pastor Steve Malone for his illustration submitted to sermoncentral.com.
If you were here Wednesday night, you know that I told the kids that I’m a game show junkie. I don’t know if it’s the competitive nature in me or what – but I do love to watch game shows. There’s one in particular that’s on now that seems to be a big hit with a lot of people. How many of you have seen Deal or No Deal?
For anybody who hasn’t, they bring out 26 briefcases and each one has a dollar amount in it – beginning at one cent and going all the way up to one million dollars. The contestant comes on and has to begin picking cases – a few at a time – trying to work their way to the million dollars – BUT – after every few cases – there’s a banker who offers a certain amount of money to try to buy them out of the game.
The shows host, Howie Mandel, then looks at the contestant and asks the question, “Deal or No Deal.” The contestant has to decide whether to take the offer and end the game or keep playing. Some people have won some huge amounts of money – and some have walked away pretty much with nothing. It’s pretty interesting how you can watch and see how greed grabs a hold of the contestants sometimes and can cause them to make some very bad decisions. Along with each decision comes a gamble; gamble on turning one amount of money into much more, or maybe losing everything.
Now I didn’t go through all that to try to get you to watch the show, but what I want to do this morning is to borrow that basic concept, change it up just a little– and see how it applies to Christianity. And you know, it does apply – maybe more than we might think. This morning, I just want you to imagine something for a moment. Imagine that I have the power to offer you some really great deals.
Okay? Are you ready? LET’S PLAY! Now, here’s the first deal I want to make with you today – listen carefully – because I’ll ask you for your response. Here’s the deal: I’ll give you $100,000 – cash – for your car – today – right now? So I ask you – Deal or No Deal? Is there anyone in here who would turn that down? I know if somebody offered me that much money for my car, I’d take it so fast it would make their head spin!
Okay – so you take the deal – you give me your car keys and I give you $100,000 in cash. But now wait just a second – we’re not quite done yet. Before you leave and start to spend your new fortune, let me do something else. I want to make you another offer. Here’s the new offer. I’ll give you a million dollars for your car. But now, if you take it, you must do three things.
First, you have to give me back the $100,000 I just gave you. Second, you have to leave the car parked just where it is until next Sunday. And third, you have to wait until next Sunday to collect your million dollars. So I ask you again – Deal or No Deal?
Now think about that for a second. Would you take that offer? Would you be willing to go for a week without your car so that you could get a million dollars? I think most all of us would do that, because we all know other people that could take us to and from places we need to go, don’t we?
So would you take the second deal? (Show of hands) If you took the second deal, here’s what you’ve done. At first, you gave me your car keys and I gave you something really good in exchange – AND – I gave it to you immediately. That was a really good offer – but then – I offered you something much better.
But when I made you the second offer, the first offer became less exciting to you, didn’t it? Of course, the second offer had some requirements – or some strings of sorts – attached to it, didn’t it? I mean, you’d have to give the first offer back – you’d have to wait until next week to receive the second offer – and you’d have to do without your car for the week. But you’d still make the deal because it just looked so good – you just couldn’t refuse.