Recently, as Supreme Court Justices, Presidents and other local Government officials have thrown the Constitution out the window, embraced tyranny and paraded the homosexual agenda; it’s become clear that America is currently under judgment and what we’re experiencing is the painful fruits of God’s judgment on a nation. But the question is; what now? Do we sit back and watch the fireworks? Do we quit our jobs like the Thessalonians and await the supposed rapture?
Many should rightly answer, “We continue to preach the Gospel!”
After all, Governments are in charge of us and Romans 13 clearly states we can do nothing but submit to its authority, at all times…
Or does it?
Ask the average Christian what the Bible has to say about the Government, and the first verse they will recite to you is Romans 13:1. Christians can quote it forwards and backwards much like they quote John 3:16. However, just as most Christians are not able to quote John 3:17-19 and place it within the proper context; most Christians today are not able to read past Romans 13:1 and place it within its proper context. By that I mean the entire canon of Scripture.
The first question one has to ask when looking into the issue of Government submission, is; from where do Governments receive their authority?
Scripture tells us that Governments receive their authority from God.
The very first verse of Romans 13 states that “every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.”
Let’s follow the logic of Romans 13 within the context of Scripture…
If there is no authority apart from God, it means that Government is under God’s authority and His design. Even Jesus told Pilate “You have no authority over me except what has been given above.”
Most importantly if Government is under God’s authority (as Governments have been instituted by God)… That means they have been given instruction! One does not receive authority from God without guidelines. There is not one instance in all of Scripture whereby a servant/minister of God goes forth, having authority without instruction or charge.
That then forces us to ask another question… What is the Government’s charge? If Governments are, as Romans 13:6 states, “Ministers of God”; what is its ministry?
As to not leave Governments without instruction,Scripture alerts us to this charge and instruction. Governments are to be ministers of God forjustice.
Romans 13:3 states: “For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad.”
Three words here need to be pointed out. Terror. Good. and Bad(or evil).
First is terror. The word terror, transliterated in the Greek is “phobos” (φόβος); it is the same word used to explain the fear that fell upon men when they werestanding before God. Why do sinful men, when in the presence of God, fall to their knees in fear (phobos)? Because they know have done evil. They know they are guilty of violating God’s law (Romans 1:20).
Government is literally charged to bring the fear of God to those who do evil.
It is absolutely critical that the nature of God disallows mere man to assume for himself an autonomous definition of good and evil. God’s Word is, and will always be the standard for morality.
This means that Governments have a very confined, very specific role. A role that can only be accomplished by having an objective standard for morality using Scripture, as opposed to mans subjective standard of it. Governments must know what is good, and what is evil, in order to work within the charge of God’s authority!
Romans 13:4 states: “For he (Governments instituted by God) are the servants of God”.They are the instruments by which God’s wrath is charged against the wrongdoer.”
The Government is to model God’s justice. Likewise, we as Christians are commanded to cry out for justice (Isaiah 59:15-16). To allow the instruments that God has instituted for the purposes of carrying out His charge of justice, to practice injustice, is immoral and invites judgment on a nation…
Read the entire chapter of Isaiah 59. What are the crimes against the nation of Israel? Over and over it is stated: “No one cries for justice!”
No one calls for justice; no one pleads his case with integrity.
The way of peace they do not know; there is no justice in their paths.
The Lord looked and was displeased that there was no justice. He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede;
Governed people who do not call out for justice by those that govern, angers God. Governments are the instruments given the charge to be a minister of God’s justice. It is the role of the governed to hold Governments accountable to its Godly charge and standard…
Isaiah 56:1: This is what the Lord says: “Maintain justice and do what is right…”
Psalm 106:3: Blessed are they who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times!
Proverbs 18:5: It is not good to be partial to the wicked or to deprive the innocent of justice.
Christian, you have been charged to not sit in the backseat any longer. God demands justice, and He is angered by the apathy of His people who refuse to proclaim what is, and is not just. For who can know justice better than the ones who had the Son of God bare justice for them?
Take comfort in the fact that God charges you to speak out against the injustices of his Minister. You have not forgotten the Gospel or set it aside by speaking out against Government injustices. Instead it is the one who turns a blind eye to injustice that has forgotten what Christ has done.
Below are some more resources that cover more in depth the role of submission and Government authority and answer the question this post demands…What next? What’s a Christians to do now?