by Roger Thomas

This content is part of a series.

Getting a Grip on Becoming a Christian (2 of 7)
Series: Strengthening Your Grip
Roger Thomas
Acts 2:36-41

Introduction: Walter Scott's success surprised even his most enthusiastic supporters. Everybody recognized his preaching abilities. That was why a group of churches in Western Pennsylvania had appointed Scott as a traveling evangelist for the region. After his first year, Scott reported that membership in the churches had doubled. He had baptized hundreds. In fact, more converts had accepted the gospel than there were congregations to receive and teach them. Everyone wanted to know Walter Scott's secret.

When all of this happened one hundred seventy-five years ago, Walter was a young Scottish immigrant. He was a schoolteacher by training. His sermons, always clear and well organized, reflected that background. Even children could understand his talks. In fact, if he had a secret that was it. When Scott came to a new town, he headed straight for the school. At lunch or during a recess, he would gather children around him and announce the revival meeting that would take place that night. He would encourage the kids to tell their parents and their neighbors. But before he dismissed the kids, he would teach them a little lesson.

Scott would have each child hold up his left hand. He would say, "I want to teach you a five-finger exercise. I want you to remember it and tell your folks about it when you get home. When you show this to your mom and dad tell them I said this is the secret of going to heaven."

Scott would then start with his thumb and repeat five words or phrases. He would go over it again and again with the kids, faster and faster each time. In town after town he did the same thing. The result was always the same. The kids would go home and with great enthusiasm show their parents the five-finger exercise. A packed house would gather that night to hear Scott preach a straightforward gospel message based on those five ...

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