1 Peter 4:16-18 (ESV) Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. 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? And “If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”1
A few things there should be no meaningful contention over:
"Judgement" refers to punishment here ('if judgement ... then how much more ... [evil people]')
He does not say that it is scarcely true that anyone is ever saved (for example), but, specifically, it is scarcely true that the righteous are saved.
"Scarcely" corresponds to the implied "definitely not" of "the ungodly," whence we know that "scarcely" means 'with great difficulty; unlikely.'
How do Calvinists interpret this passage, which claims that the righteous will "scarcely" be saved, if God elects people unconditionally, and works (read: anything on the part of the man) cannot endanger a man's salvation who has been saved ("the righteous")? (After all, it cannot be that God can/would have difficulty saving someone.)
(The Catholic interpretation, e.g., would say one can be righteous, like Adam, and choose not-God at any time after being saved from their sin.)
(If you dispute any of these rather neutral observations, please ask for clarification in the comments, rather than answering, please!)
Thanks in advance.
1 St. Peter is alluding to/paraphrasing/adapting Proverbs 11:31 which concerns the retribution God gives for workers of evil, yet "all the more" to the wicked, who are defined by their sin. He then ties it in (γαρ "for") with "[salvation]."