“For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?”
and if it begins with us first
The “if” of this phrase means that God assumes the reality that judgment begins first with the church. God always begins with Christians. Judgment always begins with God’s people. God is in the business of raising children for eternity. He expects us to be a credit to Christ on earth. Our Lord does not want his children to bring reproach to the Bible. He expects us to be an example to those without Christ and an asset to the cause of the gospel.
God will sovereignly intervene in our lives to bring us back to himself.
If we stand in the way of people coming to Christ, God will do something about that. We may be obstacles to our relatives and neighbors becoming Christians. It may be that some people who know us reject the gospel because of us. They see the irregularities and inconsistencies in our lives. They see that our talk outruns our walk and that we have more lip than life.
Dear Dr. Grant,
I have really appreciated your articles on 1 Peter 4 ; 17 – the judgment of God starting with the people of God. I have recently been preaching a series of sermons on "the time" as we are seeing God do amazing things in our Church.
Over the last 12 months it has been a time of pruning – but now the time of increase is upon us! How glorious, but it was painful! I now feel it "high time" for the Church to wake up, and start preaching the truth of the Gospel. We have been fighting the good fight of faith as we have taken a stand against this wishy-washy "seeker sensitive" invasion of the Church and its dilution of the truth of God's Word. I believe from just reading this article that we are of like minds. Thank you! I look forward to reading much more of your work, which is so clearly put, and with good practical application too. Many will be blessed and encouraged to continue to "do good" as we labor for the King, and do what He has planned for us to do.
God Bless you in your work for the Master, David