Why Judgement Begins In The House Of God: Facing The Ultimate Consequence Of Sin

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Published by Shannon Jacobs

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The phrase “judgement begins in the house of God” is a biblical expression found in 1 Peter 4:17, which reads, “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?”

The Bible contains several predictions about the Lord’s return to carry out divine judgment [1] in the end days, as those familiar with it already know. In the context of the chapter, Peter was addressing believers in the early church who were facing persecution and suffering, reminding them that judgment is coming and that it will begin with those who claim to be followers of Christ. But what does this mean for us today?

Key Takeaways

  • To say that judgment begins in the house of God is to believe that God’s judgment starts with believers, encouraging them to live holy lives devoted to Him and setting a high moral standard.
  • Believers face trials and sufferings not as punishment, but as a means to purify and refine them.
  • The final judgment for believers, known as the Bema Seat of Christ, evaluates their earthly deeds for Christ, rewarding faithful service and motivating believers to live in obedience to the gospel.

What Is The House Of God?

Before the trial begins, believers will be taken to heaven to be with the Lord. The second half of the Tribulation, which will span seven years, will be worse than the first. This horrific catastrophe will continue unless Jesus Christ arrives, overthrows the antichrist, and establishes His thousand-year reign on earth.

This demonstrates how God’s house is where eternal judgment starts. How does this judgment begin? Immediately following the rapture is when we will be judged. In the eschatological timetable, the Great White Throne Judgment, which will occur for unbelievers, will not happen until later. In actuality, this is the final verdict.

We must understand the gravity of the judgment that will befall us as Christians. This should inspire us to live lives devoted to God, our faithful creator, and to give Him our utmost effort. We shouldn’t use our salvation and forgiveness as an excuse to sin. Instead, we ought to serve and glorify God with our thoughts, bodies, souls, and emotions.

As Christians, we don’t need to fear this judgment, but it should spur us to act morally. It must motivate us to spread the good news and aid in the salvation of others. There will be a terrible judgment at the Great White Throne Judgment, full of suffering, sorrow, and anguish.

For people to have a better opportunity to embrace the Lord Jesus as their Savior and Lord, we need to communicate the gospel with them. Sharing the gospel might be intimidating, but it is crucial and can assist more people in realizing that heaven, rather than the lake of fire, is where they will spend eternity.

What Does It Mean That Judgement Begins In The House Of God?

The context of 1 Peter 4:17 sheds more light on the beginning of the judgment in God’s household. In this chapter, Peter encourages the suffering church—the house of God—to be steadfast. The believers were likewise having trouble letting go of the old worldly sins that had held them captive.

Peter warns them that while God will judge the wicked, Christians now must hold themselves to a higher standard than they did in the past. They were to be refined like gold by the “fiery trials” they were going through.

God permits trials and suffering in His people’s lives to purify them. We share Christ’s sufferings when we are persecuted for His sake (1 Peter 4:13–14). We also get to know Him better when we experience His sorrow (Philippians 3:10).

If we are children, we are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ; if we partake in His sorrows, we may also share in His triumphs. Paul reiterates this subject in Romans 8:17. Physical hardship is a component of God’s judgment for sin.

When His children go through such hardship, it is not to hurt us but to refine us into the image of His Son. For God’s children, judgment can be viewed as a punishment (Hebrews 12:4–11). Its purpose is to eradicate sin from our lives and instill obedience in us.

picture of the house of god during sunset and judgement begins in the house of god

Why Does Judgement Begin In The House Of God?

According to 1 Peter 4:17, judgment starts in God’s temple. The believers are referred to as the house of God here. Every believer is a part of God’s household. We are wiser than the lost because we know Jesus as our Savior and Lord. The Holy Spirit of triumph and God rest upon you if you are derided for Christ’s name, which is a blessing (1 Peter 4:14–16).

We must try not to sin because we know what sin is and the suffering, hurt, and anguish it brings. Even though we will all continue to sin, we should use this as motivation to try not to. Sin is a grave violation of God’s moral law, and it leads to negative consequences both in this life and in eternity.

“The god of this age has blinded unbelievers’ minds, preventing them from seeing the gospel’s light, which reveals the glory of Christ, who is the image of God,” Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:4, referring to the spiritual battle that believers face in spreading the gospel message. Since the lost are blind to the truth of the Bible, they do not know any better, but because we are conscious of our misdeeds as believers, judgment, therefore, begins with us.

When we sin and do wrong today, God still punishes us. He disciplines us, not out of malice but for our welfare (1 Corinthians 11:32). God’s purifying discipline will increase our propensity to act morally and abstain from sinful actions. God, our Heavenly Father, continually shapes us to resemble His Son during our entire lives before the final judgment.

We become more like Him due to every suffering, heartbreak, and hurt. We correctly act when we use suffering to build and become more like Him. We must continue to praise God and never let suffering turn us into bitter people who have given up on life.

The Bema Seat of Christ, which will serve as the believers’ last judgment, is coming. The sole participants in this judgment will be believers. It is a judgment on what they have done for Jesus during their earthly existence rather than whether they will enter paradise or hell.

As Paul states, “Because we must all face before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may get what is owed to us for the deeds done while in the body, whether good or bad. Each of us will stand before God at this judgment (2 Corinthians 5:10). Given that this is accurate, we are confident that we shall receive what is just at Christ’s seat of judgment.

Once more, this judgment does not imply that anyone’s eternal salvation is in danger. A person is eternally saved if they have put their faith in Jesus. Nothing they do or whatever God does will ever be able to remove their salvation.

Instead, your actions in support of Jesus will be evaluated at the Bema throne of Christ. Some will be rebuked for what they did not accomplish for Christ, while others who have contributed significantly will be rewarded for what they have done. This should inspire us to live for Christ, offer our best to serve Him and live obediently for the gospel.

How Does Judgement Begin In The House Of God?

God permits difficult situations in His own household’s lives in this age, not to condemn but to mature, convict, and produce repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10). Suffering teaches us patience (James 1:2–4). This criticism is meant to motivate us to give up our ego and get closer to Him (James 4:8). Unbelievers will experience eternal isolation from God, life, and all that is lovely and good as their final, ultimate punishment.

Church discipline is a part of the judgment that starts in God’s household. Church discipline is for Christians, not for unbelievers: “What business do I have to condemn those outside the church? Are you to condemn those inside?” (1 Corinthians 5:12). 

It is expected of believers to assume responsibility for other followers of Christ who may be sinning or on the verge of doing so. 1 Corinthians 5:11–13 encourages us to shun communion with anyone who claims to be a Christian sibling or fellow believer but who persists in leading a sinful life. In Matthew 18:15–17, Jesus outlines the procedure for church punishment.

Someone has to repent if they have been repeatedly told that their decisions are not in line with God’s will. We are to turn away from him if he doesn’t listen to the church, hoping that this dramatic measure may prompt repentance.

As Christians, we should strive for holiness and support one another in doing the same (1 Peter 1:15–16). We must assess ourselves in the light of God’s family (1 Corinthians 11:31). Judgment starts at God’s temple. God allows and uses hardship and challenging circumstances in our lives so that we might persevere, mature, and fully trust Him, daily transforming into the likeness of Christ.

jesus sitting on a throne inside a house and judgement begins in the house of god

Closing Thoughts

As believers, we will face many challenges in this life. God wants His people to become holy and to have communion with Him (Romans 8:29). As a loving parent would, God will punish His children for disobedience by bringing painful circumstances upon them.

He expects those whom He has purchased with the blood of His Son to serve as role models for the rest of humanity. The world does not need to switch allegiances if the church is not striving for holiness. When God instructs us to behave like Jesus, it is only fitting that judgment starts with His children in His household.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does “Judgment Begins In The House Of God” Mean?

The belief that “judgment begins in the house of God” means that God’s evaluation and purification process starts with those who believe in Him, emphasizing that believers are held to a higher standard of moral and spiritual accountability.

Who Are Considered The House Of God?

The house of God is considered to be the community of believers or the church, which comprises individuals who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and are therefore part of God’s spiritual family.

Why Does Judgment Begin With The House Of God?

Judgment begins with the house of God because believers, having knowledge of Jesus as their Savior and Lord, are expected to live in accordance with God’s will and set an example for others, undergoing trials and refinement to become more like Christ.

What Is The Purpose Of Trials And Suffering For Believers?

The purpose of trials and suffering for believers is not punishment, but refinement and purification, to grow in faith, develop perseverance, and become more aligned with the character of Jesus Christ.

What Is The Bema Seat Of Christ?

The Bema Seat of Christ refers to the judgment seat of Christ, where believers will be evaluated based on their faithfulness and service to Christ during their earthly lives, receiving rewards for their deeds done in the body, whether good or bad.

How Should Believers Respond To The Concept Of Judgment Beginning In The House Of God?

Believers should respond to the concept of judgment beginning in the house of God by striving for holiness, living lives devoted to God, serving Him faithfully, and spreading the gospel, understanding that trials are meant to purify and prepare them for eternal life with Christ.

Does Judgment Beginning In The House Of God Affect A Believer’s Salvation?

Judgment beginning in the house of God does not affect a believer’s salvation, as salvation is secured through faith in Jesus Christ; rather, it pertains to how believers live their lives in obedience to God and their faithfulness in service, which will be evaluated at the Bema Seat of Christ.

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