"God extends an invitation to us,
and we are free to do with it is as we please.

"Saying yes will take us in one direction;
saying no will take us in another.

"God is love,
and to refuse this love moves us away from it,
in the other direction,
and that will,
by very definition,
be an increasingly unloving, hellish reality.

"We do ourselves great harm when we confuse the very essence of God, which is love, with the very real consequences of rejecting and resisting that love, which creates what we call hell.

"Second, another distinction to be clear about,
one between entrance and enjoyment.

"God is love,
And love is a relationship.
This relationship is one of joy, and it can't be contained.

"Like when you see something amazing and you turn to those you're with and say, 'Isn't this great?' Your question is an invitation for them to join you in your joy. The amazement you are experiencing can't be contained; it spills over the top; it compels you to draw others into it. You have to share it.

"God creates, because the endless joy and peace and shared life at the heart of this God knows no other way.

"Jesus invites us into that relationship, the one at the center of the universe. He insists that he's one with God, that we can be one with him, and that life is a generous, abundant reality. This God whom Jesus spoke of has always been looking for partners, people who are passionate about participating in the ongoing creation of the world.

"So when the gospel is diminished to a question of whether or not a person will 'get into heaven,' that reduces the good news to a ticket, a way to get past the bouncer and into the club.

"The good news is better than that."