The following are guidelines for living as redeemed people in a fallen world. We are to:
Give Ourselves To God As Living Sacrifices (Part 1);
Obey The Government (Part 2);
Love Our Neighbors (Part 3); And
Take Special Care Of Those Who Are Weak In The Faith (Part 4).
OBEY THE GOVERNMENT
The Bible clearly states that we are to obey and live at peace with our Governing Authorities as long as they allow us to live by our religious convictions.
Romans 13:1-5 says “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.
3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.
5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.”
Are there times when we should not submit to the government? “YES!” We should never allow government to force us to disobey God.
Acts 5:27-29 says “27 The apostles were brought in and made to appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. 28 “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.” 29 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings!”
Acts 5:40-42 says “His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41 The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. 42 Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.”
The Apostles were warned repeatedly not to preach, but they continued in spite of the threats. And, they gladly took the flogging and thanked God for considering them worthy of suffering disgrace for lifting up the name of Jesus. We, too, should live as Christ has asked us to do, sharing our faith no matter what the cost.
If you are compelled to disobey the law of the land, you must be ready to accept the consequences.
Just like the apostles, you may be threatened, humiliated, slandered, beaten, thrown into jail, tortured, or even executed for your convictions.
Persecution, unlike anything we have ever known, is already here. If any of the above should happen to you, ask God to give you the strength to stand for Him, and He will do it!
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