All good questions and ones that I could see a person who hasn’t read the Bible would have. Ironically and thankfully most if not all your questions are answered in the Bible. Hopefully my answers below will shed a little light for you and help.
If there was an all-powerful God that wanted me to know something, I'm sure He would have told me himself. Not through man-made stories. Don't you think that would be the logical way of doing things?
2 Timothy 3:16… “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”
So in fact God didn’t leave you to figure things out on your own. He gave us what he wants us to know in his word: The Bible. You must read it though.
Why would this God constantly "test" me?
God tests you for the same reason you would take a test at school; because you learn from being tested. The great part is that he gave you all the answers to his tests in the Bible.
Why would he give me life, free-will and then send me to hell if I don't follow his ridiculous rules?
First, God doesn’t want anyone to go to hell. If he did he wouldn’t have provided us an escape that doesn’t require us to do anything other than believe and confess. Second, we send ourselves to hell by not accepting his free gift of salvation. It would be no different that you committing a crime (which you were in fact guilty of) and the judge holding out a get out of jail free card. All you have to do is take the card and say thanks, but you refuse so you go to jail. Whose fault is it that you are now in jail?
2 Peter 3:9… “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
Why is there a hell anyways?
Mathew 25:41… “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels”
Hell wasn’t intended for us. It was created for the devil and his angels. The fall of man in the garden to sin destined us to hell without Jesus. Because God is Holy and just if we sin we must go to hell. If you would like me to elaborate more let me know, I’d be happy too.
Why in one small part of the world came a few religions that all are kind of the same?
It all started in the middle east with Israel as the center of everything. No different than today’s middle east. Their history in detailed in the first books of the Bible, tell who, what, when, where and why. The new Testament of the Bible tells the story of salvation and each of the first books is written to a different audience.
For example: Mathew is written for the Jews, so therefore it is written in a way that they would understand, using the things that were important to them. Don’t forget the first missionaries were the disciples of Jesus who after Jesus’ death spread out across the middle east and that part of the world to preach.
As far as the different religions that are all kind of the same. The Bible is the same today, tomorrow and as it was back then. The differences come from people who try to “interpret” what they either think it is trying to say, or what they would rather it said. If you look at a couple different of the larger none Christian religions out there, they both claim to have received a more accurate or current truth from an angel. Many forget that satan was an angel and is as a lion seeking to devour… this is a long subject that I could again elaborate on at a later time.
How come people all across the world didn't come up with these same revelations?
The new Testament details where the desciples of Jesus went, where they started churches and what they taught them. People across the world didn’t walk with Jesus. This is why there is the great commission to go out and spread the Gospel across the world. Aka…missionaries. I would be willing to bet that there are Christians on every continent of the world.
If you met a man from the jungles of the Amazon who knew nothing of current man and had no outside presence how come he has no idea what the @@# you are talking about?
Romans 1:20…For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse
We are born with a soul which longs for God. God tells us that we can know him by his creation. Just looking outside at the world God created we can and should be able to realize that something this marvelous (earth) could not just happen. I didn’t fact check this but I was once told that there has never been a remote tribe discovered that didn’t worship something, be it the sun god, or this or that. Why? Because even they know that there is a greater power out there. They may not understand what it is but they know.
Why aren't we born with these what seem like basic fundamental understandings of our God, his son and how we should worship him?
Did you ever wonder why we are all born knowing how to do wrong, but have to be taught to do right? A sinful nature comes to mind. We have to be taught almost everything after we are born, no reason why this is different. We are all born with the Holy Spirit inside us to guide us. We have to open our hearts and listen. You do have the choice to shut him out.
The world wasn't created in 7 days. Evolution exists. We're not the center of the universe. The only thing that orbits us is the moon (and space junk).
This has been discussed at length on this forum so I’m not going to start the debate again. The Bible though never says that the earth is the center of the universe.
Religion was created to answer the basic questions that we weren't able to or are able to answer yet. It was then used by the powerful to control the population. Hard to say 'no' when it would mean pissing off your God!
Mathew 7:15-20…15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
No doubt there have been terrible things done in the name of “religion”. But this is not or was never God’s intent. His word was given to us as a guide or instruction. A way to show us absolute right from wrong, and the way of salvation. It’s the best life guide around. Man, being sinful has perverted “religion” for his own power and wealth. But the consequences of this are also described in the Bible. If you read the Bible and know what God said then people such as these or religions such as these will not sway you. You will know the truth from the false prophets.
According to the CIA world factbook only 33% of the world is a form of Christian. Are you trying to tell me that an all powerful being can only garner 33% of the worlds population to believe? He's obviously a moron.
Free will my friend.
Mathew 7:13-14…13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Meaning that it is easy to follow the world and do what feels good, doesn't hold you responsible for anything and the what wrong today might be great tomorrow. That's the wide gate and leads to destruction. There is a lot of that going on today, America is a good example.
If that stat is true is doesn’t surprise me in these times. Although, places like China have had explosions in the number of people who are coming to God, so who knows.
I don’t claim to be a Bible scholar, but to understand the Bible you don’t have to be. Hopefully, I shed a little light on some of your questions. If you have more I would be happy to try and answer. I’m not here to try and convert anyone, I couldn’t even if I tried. All I can do is pass on the word of God and hope it works on your heart.