1Pe 4:17-19 “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? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.”
The statement that is made in verse 17 is just as true today as it was the day it was written down. Judgement (the function or effect of a decision – see Strong’s) must begin with the family of God. This is not instruction for us to sit in judgment of mankind. We need to be looking at ourselves and deciding if we are going to truly trust and follow the Way.
It is not possible to live like the world and still be a Christian; God will not allow it. We must make a decision to either walk godly or to follow our own thinking, but we cannot do both. If we decide (judge) to be willfully disbelieving (obey not) the good message of Jesus, what does the scripture tell us the result will be? The end of trusting in ourselves is death (Pro 14:12).
There is salvation (deliverance) in being obedient to the good message of Jesus Christ. This deliverance is not about where we will spend eternity. That was sealed by Jesus on the cross according to the will of the Father, which was purposed before time began. The deliverance that comes through our right decision-making saves us from the ruin of willfull disbelief in the counsel of God. Right judgment is not an easy thing, since it requires that we place our full confidence in Him to do what is best in our lives. We become submissive to His will and place all out trust in Him.
The word “scarcely” does not indicate that we barely made it; the connotation here refers to the difficulty men have in yielding to the teachings of Jesus. Jesus stated it was easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle (Mat 19:24-26). When the disciples asked Him who could be saved (delivered), His answer is our guide in looking at these verses; with man it is impossible, but with God all things are possible. It is God who makes it possible for us to submit to the teaching of the gospel and find the joy of that way.
Do we believe that God is a faithful creator? Only in judging Him faithful can we be willing to suffer according to His will. Believing that He is the able keeper of our souls is key to overcoming the world.
May God grant us the grace to realize that we are His house, and judgment must begin with us rather than from us!