Loving Jesus is the life itself but why is it almost a quiz from the time we were born, that we fail or succeed eternally. It seems both as if we have a choice but we do not have a choice. Help!
A - Thanks for the questions. I can tell that you are wrestling with these quite a bit and that is a good thing.
- God is the source of all good. God does not create evil (which isn't really a "thing", but rather an absence of a good).
- God cannot act in a way that is not good (evil).
- God allows humans to choose to do good or evil. We have free will. It is possible to reject God's grace.
- God wants (wills) all be saved.
Love doesn't always equal nice, clean and pretty. Love isn't about feeling good. It is about what is best for the other, despite the cost to myself. As a parent this is certainly the case. I see parents make the common mistake of being a friend to their children and end up not disciplining them, which leads to spoiled brats. They then ask how they could have turned out as they did. I remember the first time I punished my oldest child. I cried more than she did. But, I did it because I truly love her.
God wants what is best for us - that is freedom to choose to love Him. Without the option to choose something else, it wouldn't be true freedom.
Thus, the Catechism says:
1036 The affirmations of Sacred Scripture and the teachings of the Church on the subject of hell are a call to the responsibility incumbent upon man to make use of his freedom in view of his eternal destinyUltimately, hell is being separated from God for eternity. Since we are created for union with God, it is unnatural for us to be in Hell. But, God never stops loving us. We are the ones who stop loving Him. He cannot stop loving us, because by his nature, God is love.
Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love. In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him. - 1 John 4:8-9.God values one of us more than all of the rest of His creation added up. Christ died on a cross and rose again so that we might have life eternal with Him. He didn't die for the stars, the mountains, the animals, the planets, etc.
He died for you and me.
The Catechism says:
220 God's love is "everlasting": "For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you." Through Jeremiah, God declares to his people, "I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you."To be loved by God does not mean He won't allow us to choose not to love Him - even eternally.
I hope this helps.