A young man asked a wealthy, older gentleman the secret to his amassed fortune. The man replied, “During the Great Depression, I only had a nickel to my name. I bought an apple and spent a whole day polishing it. The next day I sold it for twenty cents. I bought more apples and kept doubling my money until I had about ten dollars.” The young man eagerly waited for the climax to this intriguing story.

He concluded by saying, “Then my wife’s uncle died, and we inherited $2 million.” He owed his fortune, not to his entrepreneurial expertise, but to his inherited wealth. Many times we list the same nonessentials when others ask the secret to our spiritual fortune: “I’m a good person,” “I’ve been baptized,” or “I read my Bible.” Polishing these “apples” didn’t secure our fortune. Friends, we need to get to the heart of the matter! We owe our salvation, not to our merits, but to God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ, period.

Perhaps someone has asked you recently if you knew where you would spend eternity, but you were unable to answer the question. Maybe you think that if your good deeds outweigh your bad deeds, you can make it to Heaven. Our good works—polished apples—won’t secure our eternal fortune. Jesus died and left an inheritance for you. Accept His gift by faith today.

Click here to see the gospel message illustrated by Dr. Scudder.

Anyone can devise a plan by which good people go to Heaven. Only God can devise a plan whereby sinners . . . His enemies, can go to Heaven. — Lewis Sperry Chafer

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.