The path of one’s life is largely a function of life circumstances which are beyond human control. No decision or exercise of free will determines these many life factors. They just are, and no one can really explain what is behind them. To then try to ascribe a person’s eternal destiny as being a product of that person’s decisions is an obvious perversion of all reason. Too much of what happens in this life is simply random for anyone to reasonably conclude that a person’s free will can operate as the determining factor in the outcome in the next life. No, anyone’s casual observation of the vast variations in important life circumstances will force the same conclusion that Job drew: there is no apparent rhyme or reason to it all. Job made some personal decisions about his conduct and piety, but those decisions were not made in a vacuum. Those decisions were influenced by his upbringing, his cultural background, his personality, his mental state, and a multitude of other factors which even he could not enumerate or explain. Yes, the lesson of Job’s travail was this: life circumstances are in the hands of God and the “whys” and “wherefores” of them are not ours to know and understand. Only an absolute equality of circumstances and therefore opportunity would allow an individual’s personal decisions to be the determining factor in God’s acceptance of them.
Recognizing the tremendous disparity of opportunity in this life and then teaching a salvation based on knowledge and personal decision makes a mockery of God and whatever He has been doing with and through mankind during the course of human history. This is exactly what the church has done and continues to do to this day. They ignore the obvious lessons of human existence and boldly proclaim as truth that which cannot possibly be true. No wonder the skeptic and atheists become so apoplectic when they encounter the workings of the church. That is the very reaction we should expect. Quoting some scripture won’t explain or reconcile any of this, so they needn’t try. Absurdity is not explained away, no matter how many verses one references.