An old tale speaks of a man who died and faced the angel Gabriel at heaven’s gates. The angel said, “Here’s how this works. You need a hundred points to make it into heaven. You tell me all the good things you have done, and I will give a certain number of points for each of them. The more good there is in the work that you cite, the more points you will get for it. When you get to a hundred points, you get in.”
“Okay,” the man said, “I was married to the same woman for 50 years and never cheated on her, even in my heart.”
Gabriel replied, “That’s wonderful. That’s worth three points.”
“Three points?” said the man incredulously. “Well, I attended church all my life and supported its ministry with my money and service.”
“Terrific!” said Gabriel, “that’s certainly worth a point.”
“One point?” said the man with his eyes beginning to show a bit of panic. “Well, how about this: I opened a shelter for the homeless in my city, and fed needy people by the hundreds during holidays.”
“Fantastic, that’s good for two more points,” said the angel.
“TWO POINTS!” cried the man in desperation. “At this rate the only way I will get to heaven is by the grace of God.”
“Come on in,” said Gabriel.
Citation: Bryan Chapell, Holiness By Grace (Crossway, 2001), pp. 22-23; used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org
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