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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?

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

4:17 house of God. Christians will have been judged before the unsaved are judged, either by (1) confession now (I Corinthians 11:31; I John 1:9); (2) chastening now (I Corinthians 11:32; Hebrews 12:5-11); (3) physical death (I Corinthians 11:30; 5:3-5; I John 5:16); or (4) loss at the judgment seat of Christ (II Corinthians 5:10; Romans 14:10-13; I Corinthians 3:11-15). Over a thousand years after the judgment seat of Christ, the unsaved will be brought before God’s great white throne of judgment to be judged according to their works, and, therefore, cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15).

4:17 obey not the gospel. The answer to this question has been given in II Thessalonians 1:8: “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

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