<<affairs of state, government>>
This refers to the activities associated with the governance of a group or country, especially the debate and negotiation between the various parties to improve their status, and efforts at increasing power. Regardless of man’s schemes and seeming power, the will of God is over/above everything and everyone only “does what your power and will decides beforehand should happen” (Act 4:28). “What He has purposed He will bring about, no one can stop Him” for He raises up authorities and also deposes them (Dan 2:21, 4:17,34,35).
Paul’s instructed Timothy not to entangle himself in worldly affairs, as then he could not give himself fully to his calling of teaching others the Kingdom truths entrusted to him; yet for others it is their calling in life to be involved in the policy-making structures of various levels in democratically run societies (2 Tim 2:4). Political intervention is often necessary to bring about social change. What nation does not need a return to good morals, ethics and justice through God-honouring laws and plain common sense, which have been seriously eroded by ruling authorities who do not know or respect God?
The Bible should still govern every aspect of our lives
those who have money or influence (Jas 2:1-9). Leaders should be impartial, fair and dedicated to serve the best interests of the people, making policies that enhance life and good values while not catering to their own egos. When successive leaders who do not hold to these principles get into power these societies sink into anarchy, rebellion and lawlessness.
Dominant people sometimes manipulate the facts and so control the outcome in their favour, maybe even resorting to emotional blackmail to pressure opposing parties to yield to them.
Unfortunately, politics or natural, carnal viewpoints also determine much of what happens in Christendom and the policies adopted. Different people have their own agendas and interpretation on various matters and think that their stance is the only correct ‘God-appointed’ way.
It is our responsibility to pray for those in authority, to obey the laws and be good citizens, displaying the gospel’s transforming power, for God established these authorities (Rom 13:1,2; 1 Tim 2:1,2; 1 Pet 2:13-15). If we cannot obey because of a direct violation of a Biblical command or principle, we should clearly state our reason, maybe offering an alternative or compromise solution, while being prepared to suffer the consequences for non-compliance (Dan 1:8-14, 3:12-18; Act 4:19). When the righteous triumph, there is great elation; but when the wicked rise to power, men go into hiding (Prov 28:12).
Throughout history, Christianity has flourished under repressive, ungodly governments with believers being lights for Christ, in spite of many being martyred for their faith. The apostles never called for believers to engage in civil disobedience to protest against the Roman Empire's unjust laws or brutal schemes. Instead their teaching, as recorded in the Bible and by which we should also live is to proclaim the gospel and live lives that give clear evidence to the gospel's transforming power of love and forgiveness not hate and bitterness. The church's unique, God-given mandate does not lie in political activism or trying to change culture through political reform but in changing hearts through the Word of God, for only as individual hearts are changed by Christ will the culture begin to reflect that change. We are to spread the gospel of Christ, preach against the prevailing sins and live as children of the light (Eph 5:8; 1 Thes 5:5).
Pray for believers who suffer under wicked political regimes to remain loyal to Christ. We need to have a true perspective, to not fear man who can only kill our physical body, but has no control over our spirit as God does (Lk 12:4,5). Some of the early believers were commended for their godly response when insulted and persecuted which even included the confiscation of their property (Heb 10:34).
Governments and political entities are not the Saviour of the world. Jesus fulfilled that role, with His salvation particularly effective for the next life, yet only for those who accept His offer. His redemption was accomplished by human effort, military might, economic manipulation or politics but through the power of God (Zech 4:6; 1 Pet 1:5). Increasingly the laws and rules being implemented worldwide are being orchestrated from the One World Order leaders who want total supremacy over all humanity. However God is over them, and although these corrupt humans (under Satan's power) think they are in charge, they have not factored God into their schemes. He comes out the winner, and because we are His children, washed in the blood of the Lamb we are winners too, destined for an eternity in heaven. In contrast all the workers of sin and those not in His Kingdom will be doomed to eternal damnation.
See also: authority, government, leaders/leadership, new world order, sovereignty of God, vote.