1 Peter 4:17 (KJV)
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?
The Apostle Peter was writing to Christians who were going through trials, persecution, and suffering. In the earlier part of his letter, Peter told them that trials (tests) are often allowed by God to refine and prove one’s faith. But in this verse, he tells his readers that God also allows hardship as a disciplinary tool to purify the lives of those who belong to His church.
Before God brings judgment upon this wicked and rebellious generation we now live in, He will first judge His Church. The Church of the living God will be judged by fire. “Stuff” that is not of God will be burned off. Those who truly belong to Him will come through as pure gold.