When Government Crosses the Line – John MacArthur

by Nov 4, 2021News in General

The Oft Referenced Romans 13 Passage — Is it ALWAYS a requirement to obey whatever government is in charge?

It seems to imply that, and most Christian teachers would acknowledge that aspect.

But what about the instance when Peter was released miraculously from prison?
Should he have returned to the prison and turned himself back in? Breaking out of prison is a BIG no no…

Or when Jesus referred to Herod as a “fox” and that word being the feminine version of the word fox!

Or obviously the final test of standing against the authority of the AntiChrist when each of us denies the “mark”.

Or must it be “Good government”?

The general Christian response is to obey every ‘stupid’ law, pay every tax, until it is an ungodly law.

When Romans 13 was written it was during the time of Pagan Roman government, as well as the reign of The Herods, who brutally murdered the males under 2 years old during the birth of Jesus Christ.

Now did you know that if you live in the US did you know that you are actually 1/330th million of The King! Legally you are THE Government.



Regarding the ultimate authority there is ONLY ONE Kingdom, Your First loyalty as a Christian is to Christ.

Is this glorifying to God

Does this expand His Kingdom

This passage may be a discounting of our current struggles, we are Kingdom people! So what does it look like if we are Dietrich Bonnhoeffer and we confront a Hitler? I’m not sure…but as overwhelming wisdom from the Bible we all must remain close to Jesus, we can take the wisdom of the current situation and make our decisions…but we definitely do not have to support and defend the wicked leadership of our world systems.

Let us each seek Jesus Christ during our present circumstances, and understand what Jesus Christ is calling each of us to do.

John MacArthur articulates his interpretation of the Romans 13 passage.

Romans 13 occurs during the time of Roman occupation. The Romans were actually fairly bennificient toward the Jews and gave them fairly broad freedoms. 

Despite of this The Jews constantly opposed and fought the Romans during their occupation, recall Jesus Barrabas, who murdered a Roman in an insurrection event.

The Jewish Sicarii assassinated many Romans and were ready to rise to rebellion at the slightest indication that the Messiah had arisen. Which is what they wanted Jesus to do…

This sort of behavior is condemned in Romans 13, as well as in Peter 2, by “submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every form of governing authority…that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of evil men…fear God and honor the King.” Slaves must also be submitted to unreasonable masters! “For this finds favor with God…when a person…suffers unjustly.”

However when the government strives to shut the disciples up from speaking about Jesus, they had to proclaim, “Judge for yourselves, is it right to obey God rather than you?”

We must obey the government in everything, UNTIL it contradicts The preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.