Fair. I’m spending this life, the one I know is real, with an open heart and generosity and love for the people around me best I can. I don’t burn a lot of mental energy on the unknowable or the unlikely. Cheers.
Which dovetails nicely with the OP. Its impossible to convince you Christ is the way the truth and the life in this life, because of everything that exist in the world against that belief.
Billions are in the same boat. God loves them. Before He created anything, He knew all things, and realized those who would love Him if “the fall” never happened, would die sinners. But if He didn’t create, then those free willed people wouldn’t exist.
The solution is elegant. Create the world, permit the fall to happen, but then rescue all He knows love Him, from being lost. Those who would hate God even if the Fall never happen, are destroyed. Their punishment according to their works, so some suffer in the lake of fire longer than others. As for Satan, Adonikam the Beast, the False prophet, pedophiles, blasphemers of the Holy Spirit, and all who accept the Beast’s mark:
9 A third angel followed the first two, declaring in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and takes the mark on his forehead or his hand,
10 that person will also drink of the wine of God’s anger that has been mixed undiluted in the cup of his wrath, and he will be tortured with fire and sulfur in front of the holy angels and in front of the Lamb.
11 And the smoke from their torture will go up forever and ever, and those who worship the beast and his image will have no rest day or night, along with anyone who receives the mark of his name.”
(Rev. 14:9-11 NET)
10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet are too, and they will be tormented there day and night forever and ever. (Rev. 20:10 NET)
In other words
God knew all things before He created, and saw two versions of everyone that would come into existence if He created, both angels and men. Those who loved God when their will was truly free, and those who did not, were known to Him. Those who loved Him were like BOLDED TEXT, they appeared before the others in His Omniscience. He “foreknew them”.
God realized if He created, Satan would rebel and the Fall would occur, resulting in many of these “God foreknew” to die sinners or ignorant of Christ. Therefore, God predestined these He foreknew, to be saved. Those not saved by the gospel of Christ in this life, are saved by that same gospel in hell, where they will repent. Because when they are in hell, their “free will” will again be truly free to choose, and they will revert to the version God foreknew before the foundation of the world:
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
Hell therefore, is an expression of God’s love. There the Elect who die unsaved are purged of the sin that would separate them from God forever, so they can enjoy eternal life with God they would choose, when their free will is truly free to do so:
For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. (1 Pet. 4:6 NKJ)
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,
** 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,**
6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved.
7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace
8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,
9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,
10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth-- in Him.
11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,
12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.
13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,
14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
(Eph. 1:3-14 NKJ)
I spent about 3 1/2 years in Iraq. I was an atheist then and I’m an atheist now.
Yeah I went to church 3 times a week until I was 18. I’m aware of this stuff.
But would you, after waking up in hell, refuse God’s offer of paradise? Eternal life with the Universe as your playground?
Not this, my proposal to reconcile the paradox of a loving God and billions who died unsaved, is new.
So god says, love me or suffer eternal punishment. I am so glad that the god that actually exists is nothing like the god portrayed in the bible.
To your point, everyone is judged according to their works. Eternal punishment is reserved for those who committed Eternal sins, like Satan, the Beast and False Prophet and all who accept the mark of the Beast, openly declaring their opposition to YHWH God.
But more to the point, God is Holy, cannot dwell with sin.
Just as water cannot inhabit the same space as fire, so God cannot share paradise with sinners. God is upfront about this, not hiding it at all:
Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matt. 5:48 NKJ)
Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy. (Lev. 19:2 KJV)
Our Holy God cannot dwell with sin. the willfully wicked will suffer eternal destruction:
Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; (2 Thess. 1:9 KJV)
God is infinite, sinners who refuse to repent will be driven from His presence. They will exist in the Lake of Fire, Gehenna a furnace of fire. That is the place prepared for them, for Satan and his angels:
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: (Matt. 25:41 KJV)
Its that simple, either love God’s righteousness, or suffer punishment according to one’s works. Some don’t deserve eternal torment, some do. God decides which is which.
Either its light, or darkness, evil:
9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor. 6:9-10 KJV)
That’s the choice all must make, in this life or in Hades:
For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spiri (1 Pet. 4:6 KJV)
Repentance in Hades-Sheol implicitly taught in the Old Testament. Compare the imagery in:
For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. (Psa 16:10 KJV)
For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell. Psa 86:13 KJV)
If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. (Psa 139:8 KJV)
I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes. (Hos 13:14 KJV)
And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice. (Jon. 2:2 KJV)