Jack, thank you so much for your speedy response! That is pretty much what I told my parents…that God gave us free will and wants us to CHOOSE to love and obey Him, rather than FORCE us to.
Just something else to be clear about…this is something my mother asks me all the time and it stumps me, as I am fairly new to all of this (studying the Bible). She says that since the Bible says God created us in His image and we are sinners, that must mean God is a sinner too (I feel terrible even writing that because I know God is perfect and without sin). Again, many thanks!
Actually we’re not created in God’s image. Only Adam and Eve were, and when they sinned they became different from God. That’s what it means to be fallen. All the rest of us are created in Adam’s fallen image (Genesis 5:1-3) God sent His only Son to die for us so that we could be conformed to His image (Romans 8:29) but it won’t happen till we die and then it’ll only happen for believers.