Grace Alone

A man dies and goes to the pearly gates where he is met by, you guessed it, St. Peter. Peter says, "It takes 1000 points to enter heaven."

The man puffs up and says, "That should be no trouble. I am a Presbyterian elder who has been faithfully married for 60 years." St. Peter says, "That will give you a point."

The man is troubled but unruffled and says, "I am a staunch Republican and have never missed voting in a national election. I was a Scoutmaster for 25 years and never missed Sunday school for 50 years." St. Peter says, "Good, that will give you another 2 points."

Now the man is beginning to show the first signs of deep agony. "Well, I have tithed my GROSS income, not "net" like many others on the Session. I have never declared bankruptcy and I have always paid my bills on time. I've been a good father and an ardent lover to my wife. So there." St. Peter says "Good for you. That will give you another three points for a total of six.

The man is sweating and on the verge of serious arguing. Finally he collapses in the arms of St. Peter with the words, "I guess I'll just have to throw myself on the mercy of God.

St. Peter, calmly replies, "That will give you an additional 1000 points. Welcome to the heavenly kingdom!"

Addendum -- Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV) "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -- and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God -- not by works, so that no one can boast."

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