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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Government and God - Don't Despair!!

Today I'm reading Romans 13:1-7.

"1-3 Be a good citizen. All governments are under God. Insofar as there is peace and order, it’s God’s order. So live responsibly as a citizen. If you’re irresponsible to the state, then you’re irresponsible with God, and God will hold you responsible. Duly constituted authorities are only a threat if you’re trying to get by with something. Decent citizens should have nothing to fear.
3-5 Do you want to be on good terms with the government? Be a responsible citizen and you’ll get on just fine, the government working to your advantage. But if you’re breaking the rules right and left, watch out. The police aren’t there just to be admired in their uniforms. God also has an interest in keeping order, and he uses them to do it. That’s why you must live responsibly—not just to avoid punishment but also because it’s the right way to live.
6-7 That’s also why you pay taxes—so that an orderly way of life can be maintained. Fulfill your obligations as a citizen. Pay your taxes, pay your bills, respect your leaders."

I have had more than a few conversations with people who were VERY disappointed in the outcome of the recent presidential election. Some to the point that they are convinced that the 2nd Coming is at hand...especially with the hurricane and the renewed troubles in the Middle East. 

It's always good to get a little historical perspective, and to realize that the USA may not be at the center of God's prophetic plan. Looking back to when Paul wrote these words we should remember that the Christian faith was born in a world ruled by despots. No elections. No checks and balances. Just the Emperor and the Roman Legions that enforced his absolute will. 

It was the power of Rome that executed Jesus, and this is Paul's godly counsel? Not really what we would expect...especially that taxes part. Well, remember Paul didn't see his hope in human institutions like government. His only hope was in Christ. That's the message we all need to remember. 


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