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17For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God; if it begins with us, what will be the end for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

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17. Another ground of consolation to Christians. All must pass under the judgment of God; God's own household first, their chastisement being here, for which they should glorify Him as a proof of their membership in His family, and a pledge of their escape from the end of those whom the last judgment shall find disobedient to the Gospel.

the timeGreek, "season," "fit time."

judgment must begin at the house of God—the Church of living believers. Peter has in mind Eze 9:6; compare Am 3:2; Jer 25:29. Judgment is already begun, the Gospel word, as a "two-edged sword," having the double effect of saving some and condemning others, and shall be consummated at the last judgment. "When power is given to the destroyer, he observes no distinction between the righteous and the wicked; not only so, but he begins first at the righteous" [Wetstein from Rabbins]. But God limits the destroyer's power over His people.

if … at us, what shall the end be of them, &c.—If even the godly have chastening judgments now, how much more shall the ungodly be doomed to damnatory judgments at last.

gospel of God—the very God who is to judge them.