17 For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
1 Peter 4:17
ESV - 17 For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
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Gospel means 'Good News'. In its simplest sense the Gospel is "Christ Crucified" (1 Cor. 1:23) In a broader sense it is the whole New Testament, or even the whole of Scripture, because it all points to the good news of Christ. Because of the translated wording, such as the "Gospel of God', or "my Gospel", some have tried to argue that there are differing Gospel messages. Yet all of the New Testament writers who mention the Gospel refer to the death and resurrection of Christ as the payment for our sin. The apostle Paul clearly implies that there is but one 'Gospel', and that Jesus and 'gospel' are inseparable, "But I fear that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your minds may be seduced from a complete and pure devotion to Christ. For if a person comes and preaches another Jesus, whom we did not preach, or you receive a different spirit, which you had not received, or a different gospel, which you had not accepted, you put up with it splendidly!" 2 Corinthians 11:3-4 (HCSB) We should also notice that this verse mentions 'devotion to Christ'. We should understand that truly believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, also carries with it believing in the message He taught, and being devoted to it. James mentions this idea in his letter, "You believe that God is one; you do well. The demons also believe—and they shudder" (James 2:19 HCSB). If we say we believe, but are not devoted to it at all, we are really just kidding ourselves. Jesus himself said "If you love me, you will obey my commands" (John14:15) This is of course not a "works" salvation, but is the evidence of salvation's authenticity. This then is consistent with the verse you quote from first Peter that we should obey the 'gospel', as we will be held accountable for our actions before a great and Holy God. As the verse says, judgement begins in the house of God. It's not something Christians need to worry about, we just need to 'follow Him'. If we truly believe, and are devoted to following Him, His blood covers what sin, or shortcomings we might have.
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