This then is the time during which judgement is being meted out from God's household. And if we are the first to have it meted out, what will it be for those who [live to] oppose God's Good News? And if the righteous person is made completely safe only just, where will the arrogant and the sinners [be free to] show themselves? So that is why those who undergo such suffering according to the will and purpose of God can, in their well doing, commit themselves, their very lives, to a reliable and faithful Creator.
The reliability Peter talks about, is to be understood as God's keeping of His promises. This is indeed the One, in terms of whom everything makes sense, the One in whom everything exists including the passage of time from beginning to end. God has created time and in that sense His revelation, the Good News of mercy and forgiveness is indeed an unveiling to those who believe of the judgement that has fallen on His Son, the One who now from His right-hand, rules over the peoples of the earth. This is the Person, Peter's Friend, who underwent judgement and punishment, and was raised and Who now is waiting for the time when He will come in judgement.
Peter also knows himself to be completely safe … even if it be a matter of "only just".
So this simply adds to his concern to make the message known to all.
The judgement has begun and the ones who have received the Good News about Jesus' life, death and resurrection are none other than those who have now initially experienced it first-hand.
Rather than slipping back into the habitual life-styles of former times, which have been left behind, left for dead, Peter is intent on encouraging his readers to maintain well-doing. In that commitment they have nothing whatever to worry about from the slings and arrows of those who oppose God's Good News. The opponents of Jesus Christ may be flabbergasted because the "Christians" now avoid the "ways of the world" but there is simply no getting around the reliability and faithfulness of the Creator of Heaven and Earth.
What are we to make of Peter's description of the condition of the righteous person? What does it mean that such a person is "only just" completely safe? The righteous person has had a "narrow escape". And anyway which righteous person might this be?
Here Peter is bringing together his own experience, as one who has "only just" made it - but it is an "only just" that has come to him - with utter reliability - after the stupendous event of Jesus' resurrection. Indeed Jesus Himself is the resurrected Person who had to undergo trial and death, committing His cause to His Father in breathing His last.
The great and never-to-be-fully-fathomed mystery here concerns the restoration of the human race in its entirety before the throne of grace. It is not without judgement, but the truly Good News is that judgement has, indeed, been meted out, and those who accept that are made participants of the ongoing merciful extension of grace and mercy from within God's own household.