1 Peter 4:17-19
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us…
The question concerns those who "obey not the gospel." Observe, the gospel is not to be treated as a mere subject for study; although a more noble subject comes not within the reach of man. Nor as a means of mere excitement. It is not a book for entertainment, such as a tale, a poem, a drama. The gospel is a statute, a law to be obeyed; it comes with the highest authority. Unless it is translated into our lives, and embodied in our actions, it is a curse.
I. The question in the text is one that it is IMPOSSIBLE TO DETERMINE WITH CERTITUDE. No less than three theories have been propounded, in order to render an answer to this tremendous problem's utter extinction — eternal torment- ultimate restoration.
II. CERTITUDE ON SUCH A SUBJECT IS OF NO VITAL IMPORTANCE.
1. Genuine religion is the one thing essential for man.
2. Genuine religion is independent of any certitude of the future.
3. Whilst genuine religion is independent of any certitude of the future, it is dependent upon the knowledge of some things, and these things are clearly revealed.
(1) Our great moral obligations.
(2) Our means of spiritual improvement.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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?