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According to the Bible, human and governmental authority ought to be submitted to and respected. This is a hard teaching for many, me included, as the Bible would seem to indemnify those who rule or preside over others in a cruel and unjust manner.

Justice will prevail. God will judge us all and hold us accountable. Rulers are no exception.

We can readily see why God instituted government to restrain the worst elements of society and culture. Anarchy is not desirable.

Perhaps the most widely-quoted and well-known verse regarding this matter comes from Paul in Romans 13. God advises us to submit to “governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established” (Romans 13:1). We are further advised in the Bible that rebelling against authority is rebelling against God.

Peter has something similar to say.

Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king. For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God, [and] if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because the Messiah suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

1 Peter 2:15, 17-21

Without authority sin is unrestrained Authority of our rulers restrains us and puts limits on sin. Without it, anarchy is the result.

  • Romans 1:24–26  —  Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.  For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,
  • Genesis 6:5  — Then the Master saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
  • Judges 21:25  —  In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
  • Romans 13:4  —  for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.