Holiness or Hell. There is no in-between. I grew up so fearful I was going to Hell. Every time there was an altar call, I would sit in my seat and do 12 Hail Mary’s (Church of God in Christ style). I am not bashing the denomination in which I received my foundation, however, I found myself serving God out of fear and not out of love. I wondered how these people lived a perfect life. I remember this older lady who would testify and say, “You can’t see any spots on my life.” I was like, wow, I’m definitely doomed to hell. Where do people go who have struggles? Do we have to be perfect to make it to Heaven? What if I make a mistake, will Hell be my forever home? Nope! Don’t believe that.
There’s this thing called grace that God gives every morning. Give your struggles over to God. Conviction is meant to be used as an alarm system that lets you know what you should and should not do. For instance, I felt so justified and warranted to talk about someone who lied on me. I only told my best friend but as I was telling her about the situation, I found myself adding, “and do you know this ‘Cushite’ had the nerve to say this and that and more??” Now, it’s one thing to tell the story but for me to add a derogatory description of the person was petty. I was releasing out of anger and hurt but that didn’t make it right! I had to repent! Who knows, the other person probably feels just as right as I do. I say, let’s reason together and if we can’t do that, it’s time to part ways, but let’s not put our mouths on that person. Things like this can hinder us and the anointing that’s placed on our lives. Let’s keep it moving and not give space to the enemy and chalk it up as a life lesson. Grow from it. That’s the grace factor. So yes, I grew up in the “Holiness or Hell” era, but we should work in the grace component before dooming people to Hell. God’s desire is that none would perish so that’s why He extends grace. He’s the God of love, mercy and kindness. Even in Israel’s wickedness God kept saying, come back to Me. Today is no different, He’s still asking you to come back to Him and receive His grace.
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”2 Peter 3:9