ANSWER: This epistle was written in A. D. 64, the date of the imperial edict of Nero authorlsing and commanding the persecution of Christians. It is natural that Peter should forewarn the churches he had founded in Asia Minor of this trial of their faith, which would put them to the test as the furnace tests and purifies gold. Yet it may mean an actual suffering by literal fire, called the fire torment.
— Steele's Answers pp. 259, 260.