Throughout the ages, Christians have always had problems with the government. In the early years, they were persecuted by the Roman Empire. In the Middle Ages, they were persecuted by the false church and they suffered injustices like the Spanish Inquisition. And, in our time, our views are largely marginalized and ignored as new laws are passed that support things like same-sex marriage and abortion.
However, the Bible makes it clear that we should still submit to the local authorities. Unless they ask us to something evil or sinful (Acts 5:29), we must observe their jurisdiction and here is why:
For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit. (Titus 3:3-5).
Paul says that we should be subject to the governing authorities and respectful towards them (see verses 1-2) because we were once lost ourselves. We were once in the same position that they are. We cannot hate unbelieving politicians for we were once unbelievers ourselves. We had the same dark hearts. We had the same evil views and, if God had not shown mercy on us, we would have perished. If He had not loved us and shown us kindness, we would have gone to Hell, so we should be able to love our politicians today. Even if we do not agree with their policies, we should be able to show mercy to them.
Christians often forget this, but the Bible does not tell us to revolt against the government. The government in the First Century was way worse than anything we have experienced today. It was way more brutal and oppressive and, if the believers were expected to obey it then, certainly we can obey it today. If they were commanded to be respectful and submissive under conditions like that, then certainly we can do it under the conditions now. Which is what we will be talking about this Sunday morning at 9:30 at Grace Fellowship Church. We will be talking about a Christian’s response to the government. We will look at how a believer should react to the local authorities. If you would like to study this important topic with us, we meet at 46024 Riverside Drive in Chilliwack. Bring your Bibles and a teachable heart. We look forward to seeing you there! – Jeremy Cagle