Though I was aware of an ongoing discussion amongst Friends, especially those who are familiar with Friends United Meeting, and Western Yearly Meeting, concerning the price of grace. While there are a lot of folks out there who believe that a mighty god is always looking to take a pound of flesh from those who refuse Jesus as the way to postmortem bliss, I would probably find more agreement with those who believe in a more universal expression of God's love for creation. However, I do not believe in cheap grace, or find any reassurance that God might not be seeking real relationship with human beings but simply lets us drift through life without any real say in the matter.
A few years ago, my monthly meeting's book discussion centered on a book that suggested that God will not allow anyone to refuse grace, but instead gave non-theists any number of chances to repent and agree to some kind of fruitful relationship that might somehow make them better postmortem people. I wonder if this approach would work on my ex-wife.
Regardless, if there is no opportunity to refuse the grace of everlasting relationship with the Author of Life, then the relationship itself becomes meaningless. It would be a coercive act on the part of God if real choices were denied in the ultimate scheme of things. As so many cheesy popular music lyrics have suggested, you only truly love someone if you are willing to set them free.
My problems with the idea of an overreaching grace is that it implies that all relationships with God are, in the end, only truly engaged by God with no commitment to participation in such a relationship necessary for the created. Why would I want to be in relationship with someone who not only rejected my overtures, but refused to even engage in discussions concerning my shortcomings. I would never want to force someone to love me, though the pain of such rejection might be unbearable. I believe that God experiences unbelievable pain every time someone rejects the possibility, not only of a relationship with the Creator, but when we reject relationships with one another. Still, free will means we experience painful consequences, as our human propensity for broken relationships so often shows.
This is not to say that there are consequences for rejection of God. God stays faithful, loving and waiting and wooing humanity to love God and one another with all our hearts. There is no hell to be sent to because we don't love Jesus. Very simply, there is only death, and for so many of us, we look forward to a reunification with the Creator when God once again comes to dwell with humanity. (Rev 21) No I'm not suggesting we all go to heaven when its over, but I still hold out that full reconciliation with creation will be a reality for those who choose to be in relationship with God, and with one another. Perhaps, this even happens in a lifetime.