When people used to preach to me that 'God loves me' BUT....He will only let me goto heaven IF i believe in all kinds of things which my human mind found it hard to let me believe without any proof, namely 'miracles', 'demons' (I had a big problem with demons at one time, it seems everytime Jesus stepped out his front door there was someone dashing around the place foaming at the mouth possessed by a demon), I found that hard to digest, and also of course the miracles that someone walked on water long ago who I didnt know and more than this, the stories about that man were written by people i didnt know 200 years ago and the original words were lost in translations etc etc....Talk about faith!
Anyway, when these preachers would say all this stuff I was a bit hesitant to say the least to listen to them, i actually thought they might be insane. More than this, the thought of a God that loved me, but would burn me in hell for all eternity if i DIDNT believe conjured in my mind a really pretty shallow character which i wanted no part of. On top of all this i was left feeling guilty that someone had 'paid my fine' by dying one of the most despicable deaths in history because he 'loved' me?
Preachers would say to me
"Imagine you murdered someone and then just as the judge (God) proclaimed you GUILTY, someone came into the court room and said"
"I will pay his fine for him".
Now, that sounds all good and well, but if i kill someone, then I want to be punished for it, why should someone else do my sentence for me and bear all my guilt?
Is that fair? I mean if Hitler was captured and tried and found guilty and someone walked in and said -
"Hey everyone, look, ill pay the price for Hitler, hang me instead"...is that justice?
I was left wondering "What is the the GOOD news?"
What i want to know is this...When you guys preach universalism, what kind of response do you get from people? How is it 'different'?