You don't have to know me long to realize one of my passions is teaching evidence of salvation. When about 75% of Americans call themselves "Christian" (Less call themselves Christian - cnn article) then wouldn't we be a "Christian" nation. However, Jesus says in Matthew 7 that not all that say Lord Lord (emphasis in scripture ... Lord you are Lord!!!) are saved. Matthew 7 also teaches that the way is narrow and FEW find it. Again Matthew 22:14, many are called but FEW are chosen. This is consistent with a remnant being saved throughout the Bible. Even among the Jews, many were called out of Eygpt... not all of them were chosen. Many died quick deaths choosing idols over God ... even more never made it to the promised land.
However, in America if you say a prayer you are saved. No! Not biblical. The Bible consistently in all scripture teaches change of life with salvation. Though I will not go into that in this post, I have touched on it in other posts. So do I think we need to go around and check the fruit of everyone we meet. No I would never want that. I do think there are instances when we need to look at the fruit in someone's life and respond to it. Unrepentant sin is one of those times. Everyone sins. Believers walking in the light are repentant about sin brought to their attention. The Spirit that dwells in us cannot allow us to live comfortably in sin. Thus God disciplines those He loves. If in love, we approach, with much prayer, a confessing believer about sin and through much prayer and council that believer remains hard-hearted, we are commanded to expel them from the church and not fellowship with them. Why? God demands purity in the church. Look at Ananias and Saphira. Just because God doesn't strike people down as dramatically as He did then (and honestly I am sure God does still remove people from the church in His way, possibly even with death) (1 Cor. 11:30) God still doesn't change. He desires the church and us to be holy. Why judge blatant sin? Because it is love for a person leaving God's will and love for the purity of the church of God. God's long suffering with us is in no means justification for lowering our standards.
Do a search on the words reprove and rebuke in the Bible.
Two: We are to judge those in leadership. They are to to be mature spiritually. People in the church should clearly see that maturity. It is a judgment call to look at their lives and determine whether or not they are worthy to fill a position of authority in the church.
Third: We are judge people's live to determine those we should join up with. We are told not to be unequally yoked. This goes for marriage, business or any kind of close friendship. The lives we choose to be close influence in our lives calls for careful discernment. (1 Cor 15:33)
Fourth: Most important, we are to judge ourselves. We have a holy calling and commanded to be holy. (To be continued)