“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?” (1 Peter 4:17).
Peter here is referring to Ezekiel 9. There’s a judgment of God’s people before the second coming. The prophet Ezekiel in chapter 9 speaks of Judgment that begins at the Temple with God’s people first (v. 6), and God’s angels put a mark on the foreheads of those that sigh and cry for the abominations and the sins in the land (v. 4). God’s children are protected by this mark. The other people that are not grieved by the sins get judged.
There was also a judgment that took place at Jesus’ time. Jesus cast the money changers out of the Temple and He said, “My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves” (Luke 19:46). At the end of His Ministry, Jesus walked out of that temple and He said, “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate” (Luke 13:35). Jesus told the disciples in Matthew 24:2 “There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” So, there was a very literal judgment that happened to God’s House and God’s people in Jerusalem with the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
There’s also a judgment that takes place before the second coming as shown in Revelation chapter 14:7 “Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of water.”
The Bible says in Matthew 16:27 “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” When the Lord comes, He knows who’s getting their rewards. So, obviously some judgment takes place before the second coming. This would be the first phase of Judgment.
In His service,