“Could it be that the very light that seems beautiful to you would seem blinding to him? Could the very warmth of the love of that place that to you is so perfect seem to him horrible? Could the acceptance and love and trust and openness that welcome you seem to him disgusting, weak, terrifying, insipid, or repulsive? Sometimes I wonder if we have it all wrong. Maybe it’s not that there are two places beyond the door of death, heaven and hell. Sometimes I wonder if hell is just what heaven feels like for those who haven’t learned in this life what this life is intended to teach.”
— Brian D. McLaren, “A New Kind of Christian”, p 91
Note from Tim: I realize that there are a number of Scriptural passages that would tell us that heaven and hell are not in the same place. That’s why I titled this “Would Heaven Feel Like Hell to Someone Who Doesn’t Love God?” Even the book author posed it as a question (and it is by a fictional character). The main reason I included this quote is that universalism has become a lot more popular these days in Christian circles, in part due to Rob Bell’s book, though Rob Bell perhaps was simply reflecting what is going on in the Christian culture. And the underlying issue that makes universalism appealing to many people is their trust in God’s love. I certainly trust God’s love (though I do not believe in universalism). Traditional Christian views tell us that God’s justice balances God’s love, but that doesn’t always sit right with people. God is love, Scripture tells us. That is who He is. God is just — that is a characteristic. So the idea that people that have chosen to reject Jesus would feel miserable if they were in heaven is a thought worth considering. Is it even God’s love for them that prevents them from getting into heaven?