Q: What if a person chooses not to believe in God? Does that alone make them a sinner and therefore not be allowed to go on after death?
Thanks so much for your question about believing in God.
We cannot presume to judge our fellows when they may reject the idea of God. Even though all of us have at our disposal the ministry of the inner Thought Adjuster, not everyone realizes this, or even cares to know about it. Not everyone is “God-hungry”; not everyone is willing to do the reflective, higher thinking that is required to find God for themselves, in their own experience. For those people, personal spiritual experience is lacking. And in the end, personal spiritual experience is really the proof that distinguishes the believer from the non-believer – in my opinion. At least this is true for me.
For the believer, it may be difficult to imagine a life lived without God. But for the unbeliever, it may be difficult to surrender to the idea of God as the believer has done. It can take hard work to make the decision to suspend disbelief if one is determined to believe only what their material senses can tell them. Taking that leap of faith may be very hard for some. God is, after all, a spiritual reality and can only be truly appreciated through the means of spiritual discernment.
On a planet such as ours – a planet that is darkened by sin and isolated by rebellion and quarantine, belief in God can seem outlandish and nonsensical, although even the most determined naysayer can easily find God if they will only seek him. And having once found him, it is very hard to imagine rejecting such a good and loving Father.
But we can’t decide that for others. Neither can we sit in judgment about anyone. Only God can rightfully read another’s heart. We know from reading The Urantia Book that all souls are given one, final chance to decide for God and eternal life. It can’t always be done in this one life on Urantia.
112:5.8 The governments of Orvonton and Nebadon do not claim absolute perfection for the detail working of the universal plan of mortal repersonalization, but they do claim to, and actually do, manifest patience, tolerance, understanding, and merciful sympathy. We had rather assume the risk of a system rebellion than to court the hazard of depriving one struggling mortal from any evolutionary world of the eternal joy of pursuing the ascending career.
112:5.9 This does not mean that human beings are to enjoy a second opportunity in the face of the rejection of a first, not at all. But it does signify that all will creatures are to experience one true opportunity to make one undoubted, self-conscious, and final choice. The sovereign Judges of the universes will not deprive any being of personality status who has not finally and fully made the eternal choice; the soul of man must and will be given full and ample opportunity to reveal its true intent and real purpose.
And even if a person may reject belief in God during this one life in the flesh, they may in all other respects be good and moral people. Their unbelief may simply be a matter of ignorance or disinterest. But regardless, everyone will be able to make a truly informed decision at some point…and only God can rightly know when that time is.
In the meantime, we would do well to pray for those who have not yet discovered God for themselves.
Thanks again for this important question. I hope that my reply is helpful.