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Civil Authority: 4/16/2020

Romans 13:1-5 (KJV)

1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:

4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

To be sure, we are living in very different times, the like of which most, if not all of us, have never seen before. Our families are under lock-down nation-wide and things are so uncertain. People are out of work, losing loved ones, their futures are without direction, finances are shot, and they are being told that the only place to turn for help is the government.

It is a certainty that there is corruption in different areas of leadership of our country, but even through it all, it is still true that God has placed authority in our lives through the federal government, state government and also our local government. While people are searching for answers, rising up against authority, rioting in various countries the world over, and generally questioning everything anyone in authority has to say, the reality is that God still ordained the authority that is over our nation.

Corruption in our leadership is wrong, but even though there are those who are corrupt, authority is still from above. In the scripture that I posted for your consideration, the Apostle Paul made it very plain that everyone must submit to the authority that is over them, and in case you're wondering, his subject was civil authority. I don’t have all of the answers to the questions that many may have right now about why corruption is allowed, and why people seem to get by with it, but the reality is that people are people, and there will always be both good people and bad people, and no-one gets away with corruption forever.

When we look back through the history of the Israelites, we find that there were good kings and bad ones, and through it all, God was there. At times it seemed that the bad ones got away with their corruption, yet they did not get away with it forever. There was always a reckoning, as there always will be, if not in this life, in the one to come. We are not given the leeway to decide who we will and won’t obey, at our whim or our own choosing. We must follow the leadership as they lead, even when it seems that they may have an ulterior motive, UNLESS they lead us against the doctrines and principle of the Word of God. There are examples of God’s people standing up for truth, and even dying for the truth, and yet when all was said and done, quite possibly one of the most persecuted apostles in the New Testament stated unequivocally that all authority comes from God, and when we resist, we are also resisting God’s authority.

I must admit that I do not agree with every decision that our government has made in this present situation, and certainly think that overall I pay too many taxes, and also think that there are government overreaches at every level, but in reality I am commanded to obey their authority by God’s Word, and I have a duty and/or obligation to obey God’s Word, and not just for me but also for the generations that follow. I do not have the luxury of choosing who I follow or what rules that I do or don’t obey, unless I am directed to go against God’s Word.

Now, you may wonder why I chose this topic today, and the answer is very simple. Our government has given us some very clear guidelines and mandates to follow, and even when I don’t agree with all of them, or even support all of the officials that are in authority, I still have an obligation to follow them. Specifically, in regards to church services, which all levels of government directed our nation to curtail for the time being, due to the virus outbreak, they did not target specific religions, to shut them down. There are some that have pushed the idea or opinion that their particular church or religion was a target, but that really wasn’t the case until they were non-compliant to the directives given, and by doing that made themselves a target.

Again, as I have stated above, there is corruption, and we’ve heard of some officials that did target specific church services, seemly without cause, but the reality is that just this week, the US Department of Justice has addressed or is addressing the issues that were out of place, and those have been eased. Moreover, it is noteworthy that there are some among us that refuse to obey the authority of the President and their state and local government, and in the end, while it may endear them to some people, they fail to see or realize that they are resisting the authority of God. It is my opinion that the work of God will be tainted due to their lack of obedience, and they will not get away with it forever. Galatians 6:7 still states the following: Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (KJV)

If we want the favor of God upon our lives and our families, we must follow His plan that was laid out in His Word. It still works!

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