1 Peter 4:17-19



Rev. James Porter

Peter asks a very solemn question, “What shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” (17) The Bible warns that the end for all who reject the gospel is one of eternal punishment in hell. Read John 3:36. Peter draws our attention to this awful end for the ungodly by comparison and contrast with the godly in these concluding verses.

The warning of their doom (17)

The “judgment… at the house of God” speaks of the trials and afflictions of God’s own people. He allows these for a purpose, sometimes He corrects and chastens in order to draw His children closer to Himself. However, God also afflicts His people to warn the ungodly of the judgment that will come upon them for their sin and rejection of Christ.

The certainty of their doom (18)

“If the righteous scarcely be saved” speaks of the certainty of trials for believers this side of heaven. In this life, God’s people cannot escape tribulation. This, in turn, reminds the ungodly of the certainty of God’s judgment upon them in hell when they die in their sin. Such is unavoidable, and inescapable, for we read, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

The hopelessness of their doom (19)

In their trials and affliction, God’s people have Someone to turn to for help and for the keeping of their soul unto life eternal. That Someone is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ, who is mighty to save. In contrast, the ungodly has no one to save his soul from hell when he dies in his sin. Remember the rich man in Luke 16 when he died? We read that “… the rich man also died, and was buried. And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments” (22-23). When he came to die without Christ, all his wealth and fortune could not keep him out of hell.
Unsaved reader, as you ponder your impending doom, why not flee this day to Christ for salvation? The Lord Jesus says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

There’s rest, weary one,

In the bosom of God;

Step out on the promise – Get under the blood.

Daily devotions are from the book “Footprints of Faith” edited by Dr. Alan Cairns.
Copyright 2003 – All Rights Reserved.
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