Q. If God knew that people would die without being saved, why did he give us free will? Wouldn’t it have been easier to skip straight to us all living in Heaven, as we will be when Jesus returns?
A. Your love for God and obedience to His word have no value to God unless you grant them willingly and voluntarily in an environment of clear alternatives. His goal wasn’t to populate Heaven with a bunch of “Stepford wives” but to have children around who chose Him as their Father out of their own free will. (John 1:12-13) The only ones who will die without being saved are those who were presented with His offer of salvation and refused it. It’s not that He chose to exclude them, but that they chose to be excluded.