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God in Government and the Persecution of Christians

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Scriptures from the Christian Bible speak of God being in government and politics. And, they speak of his will regarding why this is a good thing. First, the persecution of Christians often is rooted in government. In 1 Timothy 2:1-3 we read, "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior."

The word "kings" refers to rulers, whether they are called president, czar, chancellor, emperor, or have some other title.. The phrase "For all that are in authority" refers to those with positions in government that make laws and decisions that affect our daily lives. The persecution of Christians certainly affects many lives on a daily basis.

God wants all men to be saved and receive the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4, 2 Peter 3:9). We pray for them and their salvation because our lives can be most miserable under the rulership of wicked leaders who do not fear God.

Let's now look at the following scriptures which, when considered in conjunction with 1 Timothy 2:1-3, may cause us to lose hope for ever living in any peace under the rulership of the world's leaders. They may also leave us in confusion regarding God's will when it come to the persecution of Christians.

We read, "...Beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge (beat/whip) you in their synagogues, and ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parent, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake..."
(Matthew 10:17-18, 21-22).

And we read, "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (2 Timothy 3:12).

We see why God in government is a very good thing. This is especially true when considering the constant threat of the persecution of Christians. Let's consider the final scripture we'll present, which says, "And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword" (Revelation 6:4).

When the above scriptures, which foretell of persecution of Christians, are considered in conjunction with the hand of God in government in 1 Timothy 2:1-3, which speak of our living quiet and peaceable lives, we may be left very perplexed. Why pray for our government officials so that we can lead a quiet and peaceable life when scripture has already predicted the persecution of Christians? How can we live a quiet and peaceable life and be persecuted at the same time? What then does "God in government" mean?

The answer is a simple one. We'll first give it and then we will see if it is biblical. We have heard people say that we must take the bitter with the sweet in this life. Obviously, life in this present world cannot and will not be all sweet all of the time. However, it is not God's will for it to be all bitter all of the time either.

It is not God's will for his servants to suffer under the persecution of Christians without rest, without deliverance, all the days of their lives on this earth. This is regardless of the land they inhabit. Is this what the Bible says or is this opinion? We will boldly say that this is what the Bible teaches as evidenced in the following scriptures.

Rest and Blessing Given by God


In Mark 10:29-30, Jesus speaks of the things that one may have to give up in order to follow him. However, immediately afterward he speaks of the blessings to be expected to follow, and again reminds us that in the midst of the blessings will be persecutions, including the persecution of Christians.

And Jesus answered and said, "Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, WITH PERSECUTIONS; and in the world to come eternal life"
(Mark 10:29-30).

The apostle Paul, who suffered much persecution, was not left undelivered from his sufferings, and he knew that he always would be delivered until it came time for the persecution that was set to take his life at the time appointed by God (2 Timothy 4:6). But until that time, Paul said, "...I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom..." (2 Timothy 4:17-18).

The Bible gives us to know that God wants us to have good things, to have some joy in this present life, to enjoy good health, to be protected and to be prosperous. The scriptures say, "For the Lord God is a sun and a shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly" (Psalm 84:11).

"Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth" (3 John 1:2).

Jesus said, "...Verily, verily, I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full" (St John 16:23-24).

A desire to know God only in the blessings we enjoy in Jesus is an imbalanced mentality. Likewise to never expect good things from the Lord is also out of balance. Paul wrote, "That I may know him and the power of his resurrection (blessing), AND the fellowship of his sufferings..." (Philippians 3:10). Let us continue to pray for the blessing of God in government, because this is his will. And, this greatly affects the lives of believers.

Highly Recommended Reading:


Was Global Peace the Goal of Jesus?
Global Peace: What Does the Christian Bible Say?

The Persecution of Christians: How Long o Lord?


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