Peter tells us that since God's end-time judgments start with the house of God, we must pursue righteousness and be prepared to endure suffering for Christ.
Peter speaks of the importance of being prepared to suffer for Christ, in light of the day of judgment drawing near (v5 & 7). We should not be astonished if we face fiery trials (v12). For when Christ's glory is revealed, we will also rejoice and be glad in having shared in Christ's sufferings (v13). If we are insulted for Christ's sake, the spirit of glory rests on us (v14).

He tells us that judgment will begin with the 'house of God' (v17). In saying this, he most likely has Jeremiah 25 in mind. According to Jeremiah, God's end-time judgments begin with Jerusalem, followed by a long list of Middle Eastern nations, followed by the rest of the world, and finally the king of Sheshash who is the Antichrist. Peter implies that as Christians, we will be judged first, along with Jerusalem. Together with Israel, we have become the 'house of God'. As Paul says in Ephesians 2:19-20, "So then you are no longer foreigners and non-citizens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of God’s household, because you have been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone".
Symbols: Church as the house of God
Tags: Facing persecution, Persecution of Christians, Church included in the house of God, Day of Judgment, Preparing for the Great Tribulation, Suffering for Christ, Jesus as Judge, Judgments and rewards
1 So, since Christ suffered in the flesh, you also arm yourselves with the same attitude, because the one who has suffered in the flesh has finished with sin,
2 in that he spends the rest of his time on earth concerned about the will of God and not human desires.
3 For the time that has passed was sufficient for you to do what the non-Christians desire. You lived then in debauchery, evil desires, drunkenness, carousing, drinking bouts, and wanton idolatries.
4 So they are astonished when you do not rush with them into the same flood of wickedness, and they vilify you.
5 They will face a reckoning before Jesus Christ who stands ready to judge the living and the dead.
6 Now it was for this very purpose that the gospel was preached to those who are now dead, so that though they were judged in the flesh by human standards they may live spiritually by God’s standards.

Service, Suffering, and Judgment
7 For the culmination of all things is near. So be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of prayer.
8 Above all keep your love for one another fervent, because love covers a multitude of sins.
9 Show hospitality to one another without complaining.
10 Just as each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of the varied grace of God.
11 Whoever speaks, let it be with God’s words. Whoever serves, do so with the strength that God supplies, so that in everything God will be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.
12 Dear friends, do not be astonished that a trial by fire is occurring among you, as though something strange were happening to you.
13 But rejoice in the degree that you have shared in the sufferings of Christ, so that when his glory is revealed you may also rejoice and be glad.
14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory, who is the Spirit of God, rests on you.
15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or thief or criminal or as a troublemaker.
16 But if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but glorify God that you bear such a name.
17 For it is time for judgment to begin, starting with the house of God. And if it starts with us, what will be the fate of those who are disobedient to the gospel of God?
18 And if the righteous are barely saved, what will become of the ungodly and sinners?
19 So then let those who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator as they do good.