Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” (Revelation 21:1–8, NIV 1984).
My Musings – Why was atonement (reparation for a wrong or injury, the reconciliation of God and humankind through Jesus Christ) necessary for people to go to Heaven? Why must those who refuse it (atonement), be banished from it (Heaven) forever? Why not let them in too (universalism)? Because Heaven would no longer be Heaven. God would not be able to dwell there any longer with “the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars.”
There were only two solutions for man’s sin problem. The cross, which extends God’s grace and mercy only to those who believe and receive, and justice to those who do not. Some would be saved. The other option? No cross. No atonement. No one would receive grace and mercy because no sins would be paid for. No one would be saved. All would receive justice.
My Advice – Do you desire mercy or justice? Choose mercy. It was dearly bought.