1 Peter 4:17 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Peter 4:17, NIV: "For it is time for judgment to begin with God's household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?"

1 Peter 4:17, ESV: "For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?"

1 Peter 4:17, KJV: "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?"

1 Peter 4:17, NASB: "For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?"

1 Peter 4:17, NLT: "For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God's household. And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God's Good News?"

1 Peter 4:17, CSB: "For the time has come for judgment to begin with God's household, and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who disobey the gospel of God?"

What does 1 Peter 4:17 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

God does, in fact, judge His children on this side of eternity. That's a hard idea for some of us, but it is what Peter is saying here. The writer of Hebrews also makes clear that our God is a Father who disciplines His children (Hebrews 12:3–17). We must understand this carefully, however. This is a not judgment for the purpose of punishing our sins, or making us worthy of heaven. Peter has made clear in this letter that Jesus was our substitute on the cross (1 Peter 3:18). He was punished for all of our sins. That judgment is complete.

The judgment Peter refers to here is for the purpose of purifying our faith (1 Peter 1:6–7). It is meant to draw us to trust God more deeply, to abandon our hope of finding satisfaction in anything apart from Him. It's our faith, our trust in Him, which our Father values in us. He values it so much that He is willing to allow us to experience great suffering to help us grow fully dependent on Him.

Peter further makes a sobering point regarding God's judgment. God is willing to allow His dearly loved children to suffer under his judgment, in order to purify and rescue them. Consider then, that those who fully reject faith in Christ, declining the gospel, will experience far, far worse.