I care about God and the afterlife because certain views on this subject impact one’s view of God. If God really tortures people forever for choices made here on earth, one can understand why some may not be interested in such a God much less be able to explain such a God to others. Why would we risk turning people away from God unnecessarily because of unproven views?
Is a perfect, loving God really that much different than a perfect, loving parent?
The truth is we cannot know for sure what happens after death when we meet our Creator in person. Bible scholars have used certain verses to lean on either side of the fence about whether God gives second chances or not. I suggest therefore we take a stance based on an understanding of a loving God. All have some inclination what a good God would do when it comes to second chances after death just as we know how a loving parent should respond to a child in such circumstances.
Why would God have a complete character lobotomy after we take our last breathe here on earth?
Most believe God’s forgiveness here on earth is unconditional when accepting our wrongdoing. There are consequences due to actions but most agree nothing we do here in this life would deprive us of God’s mercy. God can’t stop being God somehow after our last breathe by refusing to forgive any offense. I cannot imagine even imperfect human parents ever cutting off a child when finally accepting responsibilities for their actions.
Why would God pretend that every reason for a person refusing God in this life is equal?
Does God really forgive a serial killer who may have warning of their last breathe but not others, who commit far less heinous actions in this life, killed suddenly in a car accident? Is a thief going to enter Paradise but not others with lesser sins because they weren’t next to Jesus hanging on Cross right before their last breathe? Some rightly despise their Heavenly Parent because of the abuse suffered by their earthly parent. Some have numerous opportunities to respond to God while others have very few times. Is God’s grace dependent on circumstances or God?
One may argue why then even bother living a good life here on earth since all is eventually forgiven.
This supposes God’s advice is for selfish reasons. Parents don’t deny their children of freedom for ego reasons. Encouraging sacrifices in relationships leads to true fulfillment in the long-run. I can die with my toys or in the arms of others. But, for the love of justice! No punishment wipes away memories of abuses by parents or friends. True justice is understanding your victim’s pain and accepting the harmfulness of your actions. After death God may bring to memory every action of betrayal and how it felt to their victims. The cleansing and educative effect may take longer for some than others.
There is hope for our loved ones who had their reasons for not accepting God in this life, or we question if they did accept God.
If they denied God to justify a self-centered life, they missed out on this earth and will experience regrets in the life to come. We shouldn’t assume people will magically change character after death. Some constantly justify harmful actions toward others despite the consequences and advice of others. The more we justify actions in this life, what keeps us from becoming set in such ways after our last breathe. Be careful for what you wish for! For the rest, God and not circumstances or chances determine our final destination.