|Re your first point -- if the consequence of failing to accept Christ as one's personal savior is to writhe in flames forever, then no, we are not disposible, but indispensible: as object lessons of What Will Happen To Unbelievers. This is a value which is far worse than being of no value!
NO. I don't think it is like this. I believe that if you make a choice to be without God, then that is also your destiny. It is not punitive, IMO. And I believe that God mourns the loss of souls who choose not to be with Him. Much like a parent who's children turn their backs on him.
Zina -- You have some good questions, but I think you'll find it is an areas where Christians disagree, and the answers depend on Biblical interpretation. There is the verse that says "For God so loved the world that he gave his only son that all who believe in him shall not perish but have everlasting life." But that verse does NOT say that everyone who does not believe will perish, only that those who do believe will not. There are also verses that talk about Jesus being the only route to God -- but do not reference any condition of belief. It seems possible to me, that the route opened up on the cross by the actions of Jesus could apply to everyone, making him the way to God whether we recognize it or not. Make any sense at all? I don't know for sure, and I think I'll do some reading over the next few days. You are correct though -- many Christians preach that you will not go to heaven unless you believe in Jesus, repent, etc.. I'll have to read from a different perspective to figure out what the BIBLE says though.
And I have no doubt there are Christians on these boards who might suggest I am stepping over some boundries into heresy. Maybe so. But my heart is open to God's instruction, so I'll figure it out eventually.
Oh, and there are verses about God separating "sheep from goats" and accepting some into heaven and sending others away saying "I never knew you." But there are also analogies to Christ as a shepard -- who would leave his 99 sheep in order to go search for one who was lost.
CS Lewis has some interesting views about all this that I really like. In the last book of his Narnia series there is a man who finds himself in heaven even though he spent his life worshipping a false god. Aslan (representing Christ) said that based on the intentions of the mans hearts, the goodness and truth he spent his life striving for, He was accepting the homage paid to the false god as if it was paid to Himself. I love that idea, though I don't know if there is a Biblical basis for it.
For myself, I believe that by rejecting Christ at this point in my spiritual walk, I would be condemning myself to "hell." Because I believe in Him, and have accepted his offer of Grace -- to walk away would be to consciously reject Him.
And analogy might be the idea of "life support." If I am in the hospital depending on some sort of life support system, and I make a conscious decision to shut it off, I will most likely die. But perhaps there are people in this world who do not profess Christ as Savior, but who He still keeps on spiritual life support without them even knowing it. But I believe it is a different story when a person KNOWS and they say "no." Like a person deciding to jump out of a plane with no parachute, trusting in his inate ability to fly.
But I can't emphasize this enough -- I will NOT look at the lives of various individuals and try to judge who is saved and who is not.