Just the other morning I asked for the Lord to make me a “characteristic example of a life centered on God.” But as soon as I prayed that prayer, another thought came into my mind.
Maybe being “God-centered” is not enough.
You may be asking, “What is wrong with that?” Well, there is nothing wrong with living a God-centered life, generally speaking. On the other hand, there is more to being a Christian than being “God-centered.”
“Outrageous!” “That’s blasphemy,” you say. Well, is it? Stop and think about it for just a moment. Start with thinking about what being “God-centered” actually means.
Does someone have to be a true Christian in order to live a God-centered life? You may think so, at first, but there may be a few church folk fooling themselves. Don’t believe me? Read what Paul wrote to the Church…
“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” – 2 Corinthians 13:5 KJV
Why would the Apostle tell church people to “examine” and “prove” whether or not they were in the faith? Could it be that there were some who were going through all the motions, but were never converted, never born anew? Could it have been possible that there were some doing all the right things, for the right reasons, but not right with God? He says that the answer to the test will be whether or not “Jesus Christ is in you.”
Can people live God-centered lives and still be lost? To help answer this question, consider the following people (names are fictitious). Do their actions guarantee salvation?
- Bob goes to church every day the doors are open, including every other function on every other day
- Henry gives 20% of his income and 10% of his time to the church. If there is a need, ask Henry for help.
- Margaret goes to a Fundamental church, has the right translation of the Bible, and never wears pants – ever.
- Mary would never say a dirty word, tell an off-color joke, or even permit foul language in her presence.
- Sharon put aside marriage and gave her life to helping orphans on the streets of Mumbai, India.
- Scott and Karen have Bible studies in their home, take the kids to Sunday School, and even have gold crosses in every room of their home, not to mention on their necks.
- A rich young ruler keeps all the commandments (not just the Big 10) from his youth.
If these people were to examine themselves, as Paul asked, what might be missing? Colossians 3:23 says, “And whatsoever ye do, do [it] heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” Is it not possible that someone could do everything for God’s glory (live a God-centered life), but still die without Christ?
What are your thoughts?
Have you “proven” whether you “be in the faith?”
Do you know of Scripture that supports a “God-centered” life being proof of salvation?