The god of Armstrongism has always been a testy guy. Nothing you could ever do would be quit good enough and you were assured you were bound to fail. From the moment you are born to the moment you die, that god was pushing you to your limits to see if you would sin. This god has spent all of its time testing you over and over and over. Its no wonder so many have become weary of that kind of god and walk away.
God is training us, but He is also testing us. As merciful as He is towards us individually, He cannot afford to let someone into His kingdom who is not wholly committed to His way of life. He needs to find out if we really believe in His way of life, or if we only want the rewards of eternal life but only kid ourselves that we believe God's way of life is best. If we tell ourselves and God that we want to be in His kingdom, but our hearts are not really with God, then His mercy towards His whole family will override His mercy towards us individually, and He will not let a potential rebel into His kingdom.
This is serious business.
So God has to test us throughout our lives. He gives us a variety of circumstances, sometimes peacefulness, sometimes trials and turmoil, to see how we react.
How well we pass these tests depends on how well we prepare, and the preparation comes before the trial if we are to get through the trial the best possible way. It is during times of relative peacefulness that we need to be "redeeming the time" (Colossians 4:5) to draw close to God.