Can I Take A Mulligan?

By Grant Phillips

I am the amateur’s amateur of golf. I seldom play, but even I know what a mulligan is. Every golfer knows the term. It is not “legal” under the Rules of Golf, but is sometimes used during “friendly” play with your buddies. In easy to understand language, a mulligan in golf means simply, “I hit a bad shot, so I am calling a mulligan and replaying the stroke (doing that shot over).” Many people live their lives in this fashion. However, the “Rules of Death” allow no mulligans.

I simply cannot understand why anyone would gamble with their eternal destiny. The scriptures say, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” (Hebrews 9:27)

Only if we belong to Jesus Christ, are we not condemned, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1) A closer examination of this verse reveals that the opposite is also true, i.e., if we are not in Christ Jesus, and do walk after the flesh but not the Spirit, then we are condemned. Compare John 3:18, which says,  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” You can’t get any clearer than that.

Perhaps you have witnessed to someone about Jesus who has told you something along the lines of, “I’ll take care of that later”, but “later” never comes. Many excuses are offered, but perhaps the underlining thought for most people is that they think God will reconsider their plight, and “let them through the pearly gates”. In other words, they’re banking on being able to take a “mulligan” after death when standing before God.

There are many people who do not believe in God at all. There are others who think there might be a God, and if there is, “He would never send anyone to Hell”. Let’s get one thing clear. God has made every provision for anyone and everyone to avoid the judgment of Hell. Those who wind up there, have chosen that place as their eternal destiny. Read again, John 3:18. God came to earth as Jesus, to provide a way of escape from eternal damnation. But those who reject Him will find themselves in the lake of fire. “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:15) There are no mulligans for the Rules of Death. When our eyes close in death, there are no second chances (mulligans).

Children usually disobey their parents because they either think they won’t get caught, or they will be able to talk their way out of any punishment (mulligan).

Criminals probably commit crimes for the same reasons. They think they won’t get caught, but if they do, the punishment can be avoided. Perhaps their guilt will not be sufficiently proven, or they will receive a light sentence (mulligan). Often this is true, in our humanly designed, liberal court system.

God, being God, knows all things and is absolute justice. Nothing is hidden. However, the real issue is this. Did you accept His Son Jesus as your very own personal Savior or not? If you did, your name will be written in the book of life, and you will enter His glory. If you did not, your name will not be in the book of life, and you will be cast in the lake of fire. Period. No mulligans. Just one simple question. Will your name be in the book of life? The only way it will be there, is if Jesus Christ is your personal Savior.

Many areas of our lives are approached with the attitude of “I’ll call a mulligan”. If I get pregnant, I’ll just have an abortion (mulligan). If this marriage doesn’t satisfy me, I’ll get a divorce (mulligan). I’ll try this ______ (fill in the blank), and if I don’t like it, I’ll quit (mulligan).

We may get “lucky” and be able to mulligan (or second-chance) our way out of some choices we make on earth, but once our eyes close in death, the decision has been made, and it will stand for all eternity. There is no going back. The most important decision we will ever make while we are alive upon this earth, is “what are we going to do about Jesus Christ, the Son of God”. There are only two choices; (1) we call upon His holy name for eternal life, or (2) we do nothing. Many choose to do nothing, and by that choice, choose Hell.

Does it make any sense to purchase a house, a car, or a business without getting all the facts before signing the contract? Would not one get all the facts before undergoing a serious operation? How many have turned their noses up to God’s Son, and haven’t even bothered to hear what He has to say about their soul? It never ceases to stagger my mind at the number of people who have their minds made up and are self-appointed experts about spiritual matters, but have never really listened to the facts about their eternal destiny, from the only One who actually knows … God. That, my friends, is the epitome of stupidity. Maybe they are relying on that “mulligan”.

I mentioned earlier that mulligans are not legal in the Rules of Golf for professional play. That is true. That reminds me though, that we readily adhere to the rules of the sports we play, whether it be golf, football, basketball, etcetera. One requirement for winning the game is to follow the rules to the letter, or be disqualified. God has one rule if we want to spend eternity with Him, and that is, we come to Him through His Son Jesus Christ before we die physically. The alternative is not a mulligan, but eternal damnation in hell and the lake of fire. Choose wisely.

Grant Phillips

Pre-Rapture Commentary