“Our citizenship is in heaven” (Phil 3:20). God deserves our absolute obedience–now and forever. But we have a double loyalty according to Jesus. We “render to Caesar [government] the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s” (Matt. 22:21). Jesus legitimized the authority of government.
Nations are part of the plan of God for people to live together peacefully. Boundaries have been established by God (Acts 17:26). He loves national identities. The new earth will feature cultural diversity in all its radiance (Revelation 21:24).
Globalism is not in the plan of God, but it seemed to me to be in the plan of the former president. It is the plan of Satan. (So is hyper-nationalism. Think Nazi). Globalism will reach fruition under the antichrist, and by God’s allowance he will succeed–for three and a half years. The King will destroy his plans by His return to earth.
Paul addressed the Christian’s relationship to government in two letters. He wrote, “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone–for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (I Timothy 2:1-3). As people who carry two passports, we show our allegiance to our earthly state first of all through prayer. Before Paul instructed Timothy on matters of worship, leadership, eldership, widows, and finances, he exhorted him concerning the priority of prayer for government leaders. Must be important. God help us.
We pray for civil leaders so the gospel can go forth unhindered. Paul saw a great advantage with peace–free movement in the Roman Empire. He used his citizenship when he needed protection from religious leaders (Acts 22:28).
In Paul’s longest doctrinal letter, he again addressed the issue of the state. His opening line: “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established” (Romans 13:1). How do we function as citizens? By submitting, a word Paul used often when talking about relationships–elders to congregation, husband to wife, parents to children, employer to employee. God exercises His authority in the earth through human authority, and that includes government. Paul saw himself in a place of submission to the government that was serving the purpose of God. Protesters don’t get it.
To be subject includes paying “taxes to whom taxes are due…honor to whom honor is due” (Romans 13:7). Is honor due to anyone who happens to be leading? No. The government of North Korea is not a servant of God. The pagan government of Rome was.
God is concerned for the proper ordering of society, not just the church. The function of the government and the church are radically different. The government is commissioned by God to provide safety for its citizens. They bear the sword and execute God’s wrath on wrongdoers (Romans 13:4). Don’t expect the government to support the church, but neither should they attack the church. They should do what they are called to do (keep the peace and punish the rowdies) so that the church can do what it is called to do. Let’s pray for good government!