“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
Ever wonder why judgment begins at the house of God? Because of complacency, compromise, calisness, pride, envy, jealousy, lack of compassion for others and a lack of disdain for sin, because of hypocrisy, because of selfishness, because of disobedience to the word, will, and teachings of God, in other words it is because it’s those in the house of God that bring the most shame and reproach upon the name of God when they do not reflect the selfless, humble, and holy nature of God.
“Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. The king’s favour is toward a wise servant: but his wrath is against him that causeth shame.” – Proverbs 14:34-35
Christ is coming back for a pure and spotless bride, one with out sin, spot, or tarnish. Ephesians 5:27 tells us that the church is the bride of Christ and as it now stands, it is far from spotless. Therefore judgment comes through the fires of trial and persecution to the church first to separate the goats from the sheep, the selfish from the selfless, the prideful from the humble. In other words, it comes to clean house and remove all the shameful spots that filthy the bride and bring shame and reproach upon the groom’s good name. Examine your heart and ask yourself, do my daily actions glorify God or bring shame and reproach to His good name and His people? When that time comes for your church, will you be found among the pure or among the spots?
Above all, do you disdain all sin, pride, selfishness, lying, arrogance, and envy? Does the justification, provocation, or procreation of it grieve your heart to its core driving you to cry out against it in prayer, weeping, anguish, and exhortation? Does it burden you to fight the good fight of faith on your knees and in the pulpits fueled by love and brokenness for the lost and the wrath that is coming upon them?
You can say you hate sin and love the sinner, you can say you love God, but if all you do is say it, then you don’t really mean it, and God knows it. Anyone that has ever loved anyone or anything knows that when you truly love someone, you hurt for them. There is coming a day when God will mark those who truly love and hurt for Him, His people, and the souls of the lost. Those that cry day and night between the porch and the alter, that intercede with weeping and live with broken selfless compassion for God first, others second, and self last. All else will face judgement and the Lord’s wrath because in the end, only those who did not bring reproach upon His name will be counted worthy to bare it.
“And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer’s inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brasen altar. And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer’s inkhorn by his side; And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.” – Ezekiel 9:2-6
“And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.” – Revelation 7:2-3
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;” – Romans 1:18