Thank you all so much for your honest and thoughtful theological questions, I hope it has been helpful. You are always welcome to ask more- I love it! I just want to encourage you all to not take my word for it. Please continue to read scripture, pray for understanding, listen to sermons, go to church, talk to friends, and talk to your pastor to come to your own understanding. If you do not have a pastor and are not a Christian, that is so totally fine, keep asking your good questions and go to church, just to see...even go to a pastor- he would loooove with talk with you.
Also, I want to remind us that answers are not the point, they are a means to an end of loving and trusting Jesus more. Theology is good and we should seek it. But we cannot know everything, and this is where we trust in the goodness of God that we know is true because he sacrificed his one and only son for us. When we get lost in our questions, let's go back to what we do know, the good news:
5 he saved us, NOT because of works done by US in righteousness, but according to HIS OWN MERCY, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through JESUS CHRIST our Savior, 7 so that being justified BY HIS GRACE we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3: 5-7