Should Christians Obey The Laws Of The Land?

As we begin to witness the sunset on the Last Days, the rights of the people, especially Christians are being removed by their governments around the world. We have all witnessed governments violate their very own laws of the land.

We have seen governments establish Executive Orders and Mandates, calling it, “law”. These are not laws, but decrees which actually violate a nation’s undying laws. In the United States of America, our law is the Constitution, and citizens have rights outlined in the Bill of Rights.

Yet, our nation’s true laws are overlooked, even by its citizenry. Then, bureaucrats violate national law in order to provide certain classes of citizens with “rights,” or to “protect” us from the latest threat our nation faces. This of course removes more of our rights.

Naturally, this has left a lot of Christians perplexed, and they wonder what the Bible says about obeying the laws of the land.

So we go to our pastors, and in many cases, they quickly leap to the defense of our governments.

The reason?

Romans 13.

Now I have to tell you, the first two verses of this chapter must be some of the most grossly distorted verses in the entire Bible. Many pastors make the claim that we must obey the laws of the land. We must obey our government, and the Bible says so.

However, that is not the case at all.

Before we open the Bible, I want you to understand, most churches have a vested interest in obeying the government. In America, nearly all churches are 501c3 tax-exempt. They can retain that status by staying in line with the government. In Europe, churches are essentially run by the government. The church of England comes to mind.

So, do you honestly expect to obtain true Biblically-based insight from government-sponsored pastors?

I hope not.

What Does Romans 13 Really Mean?

Let’s see what Romans has to say.

Romans 13:1
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.

There we have it.

We are supposed to be “subject,” which is to “obey” our government.


The leaders of the world have been placed into power by God.


  • That does not mean they are God’s rulers.
  • That does not mean God approves of their actions.

Daniel 2:21 also provides another witness by stating, God “removeth kings, and setteth up kings”. This tells us, God is in control of the world, though Satan has a starring role, (2 Corinthians 4:4, Ephesians 2:2).

Before we continue in the book of Romans, let’s think about all of this for a moment.

God Appoints Rulers To Chastise The People

I want you to recall Biblical history.

Ask yourself…

Were the rulers of the nations who took the Israelites captive good God-believing people?

No, they were heathen.

Yet, God appointed them to take the Israelites captive in order to teach His people a lesson.

Now, bring your mind back to the modern era.

God still appoints our rulers (the ones we deserve), in the United States, and around the world. Those same rulers put forward laws that allow for the murder of the unborn.

  • Do you honestly believe God wants that?
  • Do you believe God approves of abortion?

Of course not.

That means, we cannot take a single verse and make a new belief out of it. It means, there must be more to Romans 13:1 than face value.

Let’s see what we can find out.

Rulers Are Not A Terror To Good Works

Here’s the next verse.

Romans 13:2
Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

That really makes it sound like we are supposed to listen to our corrupt politicians, or else, God will rain down fire and brimstone on us citizens.

Relax, let Scripture flow.

Romans 13:3
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:

This is what we came for, this is the most important verse. This verse provides the qualifier.

When we read Romans 13:1-2, the idea and assumption is our leaders are righteous. A righteous leader would not be a terror to good works. However, an evil ruler would be a terror to good works.

Now we have all witnessed this in our nations. A politician will promise us the world, only to obtain office, break their promise, and become a terror to good works.

In the example of abortion, in many countries around the world, governments force taxpayers to fund abortion. Abortion is a sin, again, do you honestly believe God wants you to obey such a decree?

That would be contradictory.

So, therefore, we are supposed to “obeyrighteous rulers, not wicked ones.

Let’s have the next verse.

Romans 13:4
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.

This makes it extremely clear.

Romans 13:1-2 was stated under the assumption that our leaders areministers of God to us for good’.

Now, are there any politicians these days who are “ministers of God”?

Before you answer that, the word “minister” means,

To run on errands; an attendant, specifically a Christian teacher and pastor, servant.

So, are there any politicians in your country that run errands for God?

Is promoting abortion, drugs, and homosexuality running errands for God?

I don’t think so.

So then, in Romans 13:1-2, God’s Word informed us to “obey” righteous rulers who are His Ministers to us for good.

The last time I checked, we were fresh out.

Therefore, our rulers are not qualified to be called, good rulers. Our rulers have disqualified themselves from the blessings in these verses. Our rulers have relinquished our duty to adhere to them through their own wicked works.

This means, Romans 13:1-2 is void for the Christian if their leader is not a “minister of God to thee for good”.

Christians do not obey any government or leader who goes against God and His Word.

That means, those telling us to obey a government that is corrupt and wicked are essentially sowing seeds for the Devil himself, (Matthew 13:24, 37-39).

Our Rulers “Must Be Just” And Fear God

I just proved in the New Testament that we only obey righteous leaders.

That was the whole premise of Romans 13, our leaders are to be ministers of God. Let’s now turn to the Old Testament, so you understand it’s always been this way.

2 Samuel 23:3
The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.

Now that right there, that is exactly what I was talking about in Romans 13.

Those who rule over the people “must be just”. That means, our rulers must be righteous men, ruling with fear and love of God.

If our rulers are not doing that, they are not God’s rulers.

God may have appointed them, but they are not “ministers of God to thee for good”, and God does not approve of their sinful actions.

This is why we must always remember, the Bible does not contradict itself.

Romans 13:1-4 is talking about adhering to righteous rulers, who are God’s ministers. Not unrighteous men and women, they certainly would not be God’s ministers.

God does good, not evil.

Therefore, God said,

‘A man that is to rule over the people must be a just man who rules in fear or reverence of the Lord.’

Men who remove our God-given rights are not ruling in fear of the Lord. These men are a “terror to good works,” and therefore, we cannot follow them, we cannot obey their laws.

Let me make it very clear for you.

Christians should obey the government and the laws of the land, as long as they do not interfere with God’s Law.

Remember what the Apostle Peter said,

We ought to obey God rather than men”.

Acts 5:29

Any law that attempts to break God’s Law should never be followed, that is what the Bible says.

Difficult Times Ahead

All of this tells us, as the days draw on, it will become more difficult for us to practice our Christian faith. That means real hardships, real trials, and real persecution for all of us.

Jesus warned us this would occur, and Christ also said,

“…He that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.”

Matthew 10:38

Jesus was telling us, if we truly follow Him, then we should expect to be persecuted like He was.

As you think about that, I want to remind you, the Bible provides us with past examples to help us guide our lives. In fact,

Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

1 Corinthians 10:11

This tells us, we can learn about the future, by understanding the past…

Stand For God’s Law And Be Protected By Him

I want you to recall the events of Daniel chapter 3.

King Nebuchadnezzar set up a great golden image, and he made a decree, a law demanding everyone stop what they were doing, fall down, and worship this great image when they heard the music play, (Daniel 3:9-30).

Now, this was a law issued right from the mouth of the king himself. Anyone failing to comply with this law was to be thrown into a great fiery furnace.

  • Will God’s servants obey the law of the land?
  • Will God’s servants listen to the government and worship a false god, or will they adhere to God’s Law?

I should not have to answer that for you.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego faithfully stood by God. They refused to obey the law of the land. They refused to comply with king Nebuchadnezzar’s decree, even though God established Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom, (Jeremiah 27:6, Daniel 2:37-28).

Due to their peaceful rebellion against king Nebuchadnezzar’s law, the three men were thrown into a fiery furnace that was heated seven times hotter than necessary.

As Nebuchadnezzar gazed into the fire, he became astonished as there were four men alive inside the burning flame, even though only three men were cast in.

King Nebuchadnezzar said,

“The fourth is like the Son of God”.

Daniel 3:25

It was obvious to king Nebuchadnezzar. Due to the unbending faith of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, God protected them in the midst of the fire. So the king called the three out from the fiery furnace.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego quickly emerged from a fire which had no effect on their body, not even the smell of smoke was present on their clothing. God protected them in their hour of trouble as they were faithful to Him, instead of being faithful to a corrupt government.

This is simply one example of many from the prophets of old who disobeyed the laws of the land. Disobeyed when the government overstepped its bounds and violated God’s Law.


Romans 13 taught us, our leaders are to be righteous and just men who rule in fear of God. If they are not doing that, then we have no obligation to obey their unjust laws.

No matter what, Christians should always make a stand for God’s Law which trumps any law of man. The book of Daniel just provided us with a great example of that.

So my friends, always remain faithful to God, no matter the cost, and you will be richly blessed for it, (James 1:12).

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