1 Peter 4:17-19
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us…
I. THAT THE CONDUCT OF GOD TO HIS CHURCH IS SUCH, THAT "JUDGMENT" MAY BE SAID TO "BEGIN AT THE HOUSE OF GOD," AND "THE RIGHTEOUS" TO BE "SCARCELY SAVED."
1. The Church is here often subject to persecution.
2. The Christian life is a painful course of exertion and warfare.
3. Many serious apprehensions and fears are felt by the people of God respecting their final salvation.
4. "The righteous is scarcely saved," as, to be saved, he must endure to the end.
II. We proceed to THE SOLEMN INQUIRY, which the apostle infers from such a conduct of the Lord toward His servants; "What shall be the end of those who obey not His gospel? where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear; if judgment begin at the house of God; if the righteous be scarcely saved?"
1. Now if these require such a process of afflictive correction and purification, what shall be the doom of those who experience none; those who live without God? If His corrective dealings were so severe, what will be His severity, when justice alone, without mercy, shall preside?
2. The saints are prepared for glory by a course of privations and endurances; by learning to deny themselves: what then may be expected by those who never aimed at following the will of God as their rule? those that live at large after the desires of the flesh and the mind.
3. If the righteous had so many fears and anxieties regarding their state; what then shall be the portion of those who had no such fears, who lived in a reckless disregard of all that is most serious?
4. The followers of Christ, in the midst of all their difficulties, endure to the end: but if thus only are they saved, what shall be the doom of those who persevered in an opposite path? acquiring only, at every step, fresh degrees of obduration, a more fixed habit of resistance to the will of God! "Where shall they appear?"
(R. Hall, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?