It’s not that God forces my confession. Rather, suddenly face to face with the awesome reality of God, I can no longer hide behind the barriers of physicality and flesh that sometimes blind us to God. I am confronted by reality. How will I respond? I see two options:
Imagine that, during this all-too-brief earthly life, you have experienced such a distorted version of Christianity and the gospel that you rejected God’s grace. After death, you are jolted with the realization of who God actually is and what Christ actually has done. You finally regret your wasted life and desire to repent and embrace God’s love and grace. Will God tell you it’s too late and turn away?
I can’t imagine that anyone who finds himself before the throne of Almighty God could continue to rebel against him, but I suppose it is possible.
Our starry-eyed universalist raises an interesting issue: what is the impact of God’s presence on sinners?
i) Here’s one example:
“Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb’” (Rev 6:15-16).
Doesn’t look like the presence of God led the wicked to repent and embrace the Lord.
ii) But there’s a deeper issue. There’s a large class of rational creatures who, in fact, stood before the throne of God Almighty. What happened?
About a third of them fell from heaven. The fallen angels.
If a holy creature can become a wicked creature while standing in the presence of God, what makes the universalist think a wicked creature can become a holy creature while standing in the presence of God?
To the wicked, holiness is hateful, repellent. If the original apostasy took place in heaven, there’s no reason to think that God’s presence, in and of itself, turns evil into good.