Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment (Rom 13:1-2).
Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people (1Pet 2:13-15).
Notice, this does not specify only a certain type of government. Paul speaks very generally when he says "governing authorities." Christ even went so far as to say that God gives government its authority, and he was talking to Pilate then (John 19:11), certainly an unrighteous ruler. Daniel says the following three times in his book: "The Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will" (4:17, 25, 32). Jeremiah says much the same thing in Jeremiah 27:5.
Peter says we are to obey "for the Lord's sake." The only time we can refuse is when the government demands we do something opposite of God's commands. But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men " (Acts 5:29). Instead of complaining, count yourself blessed when you CAN obey because it means you are probably not under active persecution at the moment.
Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor (1Pet 2:17).
Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed (Rom 13:7).
I can hear it now: "He doesn't deserve my respect." Wrong. He deserves your respect because God told you to respect him for who and what he is—your governing authority. That doesn't mean you have to like everything he does, certainly not the unrighteous things. But it does mean you treat him with respect, dignity, and honor because God said to. This may be the most difficult part for many of us. But here is the bottom line: will you obey God in this matter or not? Because if you think you can pick and choose the commandments you will obey, you may as well stop trying.
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way (1Tim 2:1-2).
That doesn't say we just pray for our country. It says we pray specifically for those people "in high positions." That means even people we don't much care for. And here you can see exactly what we are to pray for in their regard: "that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life." If you keep on reading in Timothy you see why this is so important. It is not just a selfish desire; it's so we can more easily spread the gospel (verses 3,4). Who can take the time to sit down and talk with a friend when you are having to hide from authorities or run for your life? When things are peaceful, we can teach, we can preach, we can spread the gospel to our friends and show them our example in the way we live. Count your blessings if you can do that, and then get out there and do it.
Those are our obligations. Now what do we do in regard to the government if we are indeed persecuted? What godly examples do we have in the New Testament? That will be our subject tomorrow.
But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare (Jer 29:7). (Spoken to the Jews in captivity.)