For the most part, people expect heaven to be full of good people and hell to be full of bad people. But really “good” people are kind, compassionate, merciful, forgiving, caring not willing that any suffer, especially suffer eternally. People of heart could never be happy seeing billions of fellow human beings in torment forever and ever. For people of compassion, heaven would become a hell….if there was a hell. If the kind of place described by religious folks as hell existed, the compassionate people populating heaven would be miserable, heaven would become a second hell.
In Jesus’ day, who was it that Jesus warned of being thrown into Hell (Gehenna, literally Jerusalem’s city dump)? Was it street sinners? Gentiles (that is non-believers)? Or was it religious holier than thou people who liked the idea of eternally being separated from the riff-raff that they considered beneath them? It seems to me, those who exalted themselves above others, who were sure their righteousness earned them a heavenly destiny were the very people Jesus warned that they would be the last to enter the kingdom of God. Speaking to religious folks quite assured of their salvation and the damnation of many others, Jesus said, “Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you. (Matt. 21:31) Jesus didn’t say these self-righteous WOULDN’T be allowed in, He said they would be last. “The first shall be last.”