B: It is apparent, then, that if there is a God, which we’ve assumed there is, He wants us to develop faith in Him such that we are willing to do what He asks, even if it is difficult for us to do. He wants us to act and live in faith.
B: A natural question. For the answer, recall that what we’re after is God’s purpose for our lives. Shirley, God hasn’t sent us to live in this life to go have fun or do whatever it is we do and then forget about it all once it’s all over. There must be a reason; He wants us to develop into something, or to have some kind of experience: either way, He wants us to be different – presumably, “better,” or more “mature” in His eyes – afterwards. I mean, what else could it be? If we unavoidably end up the same as before, there would have been no purpose to it all. In short, in considering the whole of our existences – including this life and whatever goes on afterwards – God wants us to get from some point A to some point B (no relation whatsoever to the A and B used before). Thus, life can be thought of as a type of school for helping us along the path from A to B.
Furthermore, if by developing faith we can’t get from point A to point B the most efficiently, then why should God use the method of faith? Wouldn’t He use the most effective method, seeing as He loves us as though we were His own children, and He would want us to have the best schooling possible? It is therefore perfectly reasonable for us to assume that this development of our faith must be the most effective method available. (That’s one thing about being omniscient: why use some lesser method, even if it may be an effective one, when you know perfectly well there’s a better one out there? We imperfect creatures often have choices between good, better, and the best things. Even if we don’t always choose the best things, we’re still doing OK if we choose a merely “good” thing. With God, however, it’s never “good, better, best;” it’s always “best” or “not at all.”)
A: Why –
B: – do I bring this up?
B: Suppose you go through this life without bothering to do it God’s way (which is, as I was saying, by developing faith by living God’s commandments, even though we may not know He exists, etc.), hoping that somehow He’ll give you a pass – i.e., He’ll “beat (you) with a few stripes, and at last (you’ll) be saved in the kingdom of God” 1. You may be surprised to find that all of this “schooling” you should have been doing in this life – instead of goofing off during “class” the whole time – you’ll still be responsible for, but now you’ll have to go through it a slower, “less effective” way. In short, what you could have learned during the typical lifespan, i.e., in about 80 years’ time, you’ll perhaps have to go through a “remedial” course that may take you significantly longer – I don’t know, perhaps 100 or 200 years, or even more; who knows? It may not even be possible. Anyway, I imagine it may be more than a bit disappointing and frustrating for people to find out that they’ll have to go through a bunch of things in the next life that they could easily have – and worse yet, that they knew they should have – taken care of in this life.
But it must be this way, or similar; otherwise, this life would be rendered pointless, and those who go through life shamelessly rebelling against what they know full well to be God’s will would be mocking Him by saying, in effect, “look! We get the same reward as the others, and yet we avoided ever having to obey Your silly commandments!”
Don’t you think that God, being omniscient and everything, could foresee such mockery? It’s amazing how dumb God is apparently thought to be, especially for being omniscient.