This idea that horrible people who have had the opportunity to know God but have purposefully turned their backs to Him will enter the gates of heaven really upset me. I went on a quest to prove my friend wrong, so here's what I came up with:
In Luke 16, Jesus tells the story of the rich man and the poor man. The poor man, Lazarus, "died and was carried by the angels to be with Abraham." And the rich man "also died and was buried, and his soul went to Hades." Jesus goes on to tell of the torment that the rich man endures saying, "I'm in anguish in these flames!" To me, this clearly tells of heaven and hell: two separate places that the soul can go to after death.
In 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 it says, "Don't you know that those who do wrong will have no share in the Kingdom of God? Don't fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, who are idol worshipers, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, abusers, and swindlers -- none of these will have a share in the Kingdom of God. There was a time when some of you were just like that, but now your sins have been washed away, and you have been set apart for God. You have been made right with God because of what the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God have done for you."
Again, CLEARLY stating that people who have not made themselves right with God and Jesus will not inherit the Kingdom of God. I can already hear my friend's rebuttal to this: "But Mary, that says "the Kingdom," not heaven. Those are two separate things."
Are they???? Looks like I have some more research to do. And you know what, my research will never be done. And that's a good thing! No one will EVER know it all! Only He does. :)