Now I’m reading C.S. Lewis’ THE GREAT DIVORCE: a Christian apologetic for the idea of Hell (basically positing that souls can escape from Hell, but they don’t want to!) There ought to be no way to make this work (because how can anyone know?) But the core of the book is Lewis defending the idea that all humans are sinful, that all human works are ultimately empty except insofar as they lead us to God, and that faith alone can provide salvation.
In the story he shows us a series of specters who’ve been brought to the anteroom of Heaven, and then he shows us the earthly thing that they’ve chosen to cling to–art or reputation or pride in their own worth–and the way in which holding onto that thing is keeping them from proceeding further. It’s a great performance.