droomph, I find myself becoming more and more disturbed by the things you say. You seem to have ignored most of Barrels' points and just answered his summary questions as though he had said nothing. In any case, of all the things you've said, sticking to your lack of empathy is possibly the most disturbing thing of all:
What you're saying is that you have a lack of empathy for these people. Empathy for those less fortunate than yourself (as the people who are burning in eternal Hellfire undoubtedly are) is a key ingredient in morality - that is, it seems, unless the misfortune comes as a result of the action of God, at which point those people are unworthy of your thought or feeling.
So my question to you is, if you only feel selective empathy and are lacking a key aspect of moral and righteous thought, are you any better than those condemned to Hell? God's word notwithstanding and using only your own sense of morality as a guide, does your lack of empathy not mean that you should also be condemned to the same fate?
And on that note, is it not possible that God is testing you on this point? Would he want you to feel empathy regardless of his actions and be displeased that you don't?
People can accept gifts. People can also reject them. Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life. His gift of salvation is truly free, but accepting is something that a person must do out of his own will.
And as I stated before, God simply will not let sin go unpunished. Yes, he loves the sinner, but he must punish sin. And as I stated before, this is the reason why Christ came to earth: to make us clean from our sins.
And yes, God is the only all-powerful being. However, he gives everyone a choice. Imagine a world where people were forced to believe in him--a world where everyone was programmed to love God. God wouldn't be showing true love if he were showing forced love. No, because God truly loves each and every one of us, he gives us a choice. He wants us to be with him.
Now, on God's righteousness and judgment. Consider a judge. What does a judge do? He punishes evil and rewards good. He wouldn't be a good judge if he didn't do that. Imagine further if a loved one of his was caught in the act of murder. The judge wouldn't want to send him to prison, but because justice and righteousness must be upheld, he must give him his sentence. It doesn't make the judge love his friend any less, but the judge understands what is right and knows he must carry out justice in the name of righteousness--even if it brings him much sorrow to do so. Because God is holy, he cannot allow sin into heaven. He can't allow it not because he is following some rules that he must keep, but because it is his character. The laws in the Bible were created by him because he knows what is right because, as we mentioned before, he is the only all-powerful, omniscient being. God is righteousness in its truest form. Christ's sacrifice makes us clean, however, so we are given passage into heaven. But, as I said before, people need to make a choice.
I know I've been doing a lot of talking, but the main point I want to get across is this: God really, really does love you. As I have said before, he doesn't want anyone to go to hell. And as I mentioned earlier, God hates sin, not the sinner. His love is so real: and real love allows people to make their own choices out of their own will. I know that talk of hell can really scare some people, but don't let this conversation fool you into thinking that God is scary. He wants to come into your life and be, not only your God, but your friend. He did die for you, after all. The last thing I want to do is misrepresent him, and all he wants is for you to know that he loves you, and that he has made a way for all of us.
The truth is that none of us, Christian or non-Christian, deserves a place in heaven. We have all sinned. We have all failed God. God is proud of the good things that his followers do for others, but that doesn't make us any more deserving. Christ in us, Christ covering our sins, is the only reason we could ever dream of living in heaven with him someday.
Christians aren't any better than non-Christians. I want to make that point clear. We still make mistakes. We stumble. The only difference is that Christians have asked Jesus to come into their lives and hearts to change them. Our only hope is Jesus. Truly, it takes faith to believe that he loves us more than we'll ever know. It takes faith to believe that he will save us from hell if we only put our trust in him for salvation. In the end, it is by grace through faith that anyone is saved.