Why does something that is clearly mandated in scripture offend so many christians?
Most all christians claim to be saved. And yet, even they admit that some of those who make such a claim are not actually born again. So, how is one to determine whether someone who claims to be an adopted child of the Almighty actually is?
Well, many christians believe that it’s not up to a mere mortal to make such an assessment. In fact, generally, most christians take the claim at face value—and then, if such a claimant makes doctrinal statements with which another christian disagrees, they will both usually say, “Well, as long as we agree on the ‘important stuff’,” as if it’s not all important, and as if the things they agree on are actually truth.
One christian standard for evaluation is how the claimant lives. If someone claims to be saved, but then doesn’t live up to accepted “christian standards,” it’s typical for christians to assert that such a person is not actually saved, as if his works are what determine whether he is saved (which is a false works-based salvation, even though most christians won’t admit that’s what it really is).
Most often, christians tend to get highly offended when they are asked for actual evidence they have been given that they have been born again. They will claim everything from “It’s none of your business” to “That’s between me and my God only.” Such “privacy in salvation” appears nowhere in scripture. And, since scripture is clear that those who are asked ARE to give an answer, that defensiveness against answering is likely an indication of something.
1 John 4:1 is given in the Greek as an imperative, which means it’s not merely a suggestion. And, being so mandated, that means such an evaluation can usually give a fairly good indication of who is of Yah, and who is falsely claiming to be of Yah.
Works not being the basis of justification, and written words being unable to confirm anybody’s salvation (even though christians often try to cite passages of scripture, as if their names appear in them), the only legitimate way to ascertain whether someone is actually born again is for them to provide the EVIDENCE they have been given by the Holy Spirit that they are children of Yah (Romans 8:16, 1 John 5:10).
The Holy Spirit is the Witness who gives the testimony that one has been saved—and, He does not give that testimony in writing, He is not a feeling, and it has nothing to do with how one is living his physical life.
In Acts 2:17, Peter declares what happens when the Holy Spirit is “poured out” onto somebody, and to this day, the Holy Spirit has not changed. In Genesis 40:8, Joseph explains the source of dreams, and who owns their interpretation. Satan has access only to our conscious thoughts, but not to our subconscious minds. So, that communication from the Holy Spirit cannot be counterfeited, but there can false interpretations by those who do not have the Spirit.
The true test of 1 John 4:1 is something that usually offends most christians, because, when they are told that there is no scripture in existence that can confirm their salvation, and that nothing they have prayed or decided is the evidence of being born again, and that their moral “churchian” living proves nothing regarding their justification, they then have two options:
1. Hear the truths of the Holy Spirit, repent of their unbelief that is confounded by their false beliefs, and seek to receive the covenant, which only the Holy Spirit can confirm in them.
2. Accuse the messenger of being a heretic, fight incessantly to prove that one’s false beliefs are true, cite endless scriptures trying to prove that they say things they don’t actually say about them personally, and either run away from the messenger (block), or try to overwhelm the messenger with false “proof,” even after being told what the true evidence actually is.
Sadly, from my experience, most usually pick Option #2.
The messenger of the truth is either providing food for Yahoshua’s sheep, or evidence for someone’s judgment to show that they rejected Yah’s truths.
For more information: How Do You Know You Are Saved?