The Apostle Paul said:
Let 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. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good… (Romans 13:1-4)
Likewise, Peter said:
Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. (1 Peter 2:13-17)
But this is only when they’re godly right? We don’t have to submit to ungodly authority. After all, rulers are to punish evil and praise good – so whenever they aren’t following the Bible, we don’t have to follow them!
No, you still have to obey the government or you bring judgment on yourself.
Whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. (Romans 13:2)
Daniel said that God removes kings and sets them up… even tyrants such as Nebuchadnezzar!
He removes kings and sets up kings. (Daniel 2:21)
Jesus told Pilate
“You would have no authority over Me at all unless it had been given you from above.” (John 19:11)
And Pilate was a guy who liked to kill Jews in the temple just to show them he could!
Government is a blessing from God. Because without it, things would be a whole lot worse. God also uses government to bring about His judgment. We are to obey our rulers because God said so. We pay taxes out of obedience, because that’s how He made government to run.
He is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. (Romans 13:4-6)
Now, if that authority tells you to renounce your faith or be silent, follow the Apostles’ example and keep preaching Christ!
We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging Him on a tree. God exalted Him at His right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to those things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him. (Acts 5:29-32)
It’s the will of God that we should submit to earthly authority (even though you won’t always agree with the government), putting to silence the talk of foolish people who would otherwise paint us as law breakers.
Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution… For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people… Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. (1 Peter 2:13-17)
The Bible says to pray for our governors, not rebel against them…
First of all then I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
… that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, Godly and dignified in every way, when we understand the text.