What does it mean to be a Christian in our country these days? It means, in a word, to be like Christ . God has called each of us to a standard by which we must live our lives - and that standard is truth and obedience. Though the tide of public opinion may sway and even storm at times against us, we must resolutely stand to be like Christ. The following are five responsibilities from the Word of God that all of us should have as Indian citizens.
1. Pray for government.
1 Timothy 2:1-3
1 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone--
2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior,
When Paul wrote this letter to Timothy, Nero was in power. This man lived in the very depths of depravity, and Paul exhorts us to "first of all" pray and offer thanksgiving for all men, including kings like Nero. Why? Because Proverbs 21:1 promises that, "The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases". God is in charge of the kings He has placed in authority over us! He can turn them whichever way He wills. The battle for godly government isn't won with upward fists of rebellion, but with downward, humble knees in prayer.
2. Pay for government.
1 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
2 Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.
3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you.
4 For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.
5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.
6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing.
7 Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
Just as we give our tithe, we are to pay our taxes. That's not just obeying the letter of the law, that is obeying the Master of the law.
15 Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words.
16 They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. "Teacher," they said, "we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are.
17 Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?"
18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, "You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me?
19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax." They brought him a denarius,
20 and he asked them, "Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?"
21 "Caesar's," they replied. Then he said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."
22 When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.
In Matthew 22:15-22, Jesus taught us to render unto the government that which it is due it, and render unto God that which is due Him. There wasn't an issue of whether the government was doing right by its people, but whether the people were doing right by their government. There's simply no loophole when it comes to paying taxes. Jesus did it, so must everyone.
3. Praise government.
1 Peter 2:17
Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.
We are to give honor and respect to our government officials because honor is due. The men and women who hold public office do so, and only so, because God has allowed them to hold office. Psalm 4:5 says, "Offer right sacrifices and trust in the LORD." Sometimes, it is hard, and I would venture to say, impossible for us to honor someone in public office who has shown himself or herself unworthy, and yet that is precisely what God has called us to do. We are to offer a sacrifice of praise, not because we agree with their politics, but because it is honoring to our King to do so.
4. Preach to government.
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ .
We are to speak the truth to our governmental leaders. We dare not be silent because we are called to share the gospel with whomever and wherever God calls us. We need to tell every official that what is politically correct is sometimes morally wrong! It is Satan's strategy to keep good people silent in evil times. Our calling is not to rise in the polls of popularity, but to pursue holiness! Without stammer or stutter or hint of equivocation, we need to speak up in truth for God's glory!
5. Participate in government.
1 Peter 2:12
Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
Daniel Webster said, "Whatever makes a man a good Christian, makes him a good citizen." Let us not let the world intimidate us into believing the lie that the phrase, "separation of church and state" is a mandate for our eradication or worse, neutralization from governmental affairs! When we were saved, we weren't disenfranchised from the world. We were saved to impact the world for Jesus Christ. To bring glory to God with every moment of every day. The only hope for our country is Jesus Christ! Our mission is to pray for the Holy Spirit to call sinners to Himself and for us to have an impact in our home, our neighborhood, our workplace, our community, and even our nation for the glory of Jesus Christ.