I would respond by asking them a simple question: Does the Word of God teach believers today to engage in active protests against the government of our country? I may also ask them another question: What WOULD Jesus do? Or perhaps we should ask, What DID Jesus do? While Jesus walked on this earth His countrymen were living in submission to the Roman Government. The Jews hated the Roman authorities who made life miserable for them and there were those who rebelled against the government. The most famous leader of a rebellion against the Roman government was a man named Barabbas who was seized by the Romans, imprisoned and sentenced to death. In Matthew 27:16 we read, “And at that time they had a NOTORIOUS PRISONER called Barabbas” (NKJV). In Mark 15:7 we learn something else, “And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound with them that had MADE INSURRECTION WITH HIM, who had COMMITTED MURDER IN THE INSURRECTION” (KJV). Was Jesus or His followers involved in this insurrection? No! In fact, when Barabbas was in prison Jesus was on trial before Pontius Pilate for something altogether different. He was being tried as a criminal for “claiming to be the Son of God and the King of the Jews,” which HE WAS (see John1: 1, 14, 18 and 37-49). He was NOT guilty of joining a rebellion against the Roman Government, or committing murder. He had one main mission on earth; to show people that God loved them and wanted to save them from their sins (see John 3:14-18; 5:24-25; 10:9-18, 27-28). Yet the masses rejected Him (John 1:11) and turned Him over to the Roman Governor to be crucified (Matthew 27:1-2).

Yet even then, Jesus did NOT rebel against the government, nor did He encourage His disciples to rebel in order to deliver Him from being crucified. At one point, while Jesus was being arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, Simon Peter tried to prevent His arrest by drawing his sword and cutting off a soldier’s ear (John 18:10). How did Jesus react? Ah, He turned to Peter and said, “Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me” (verse 11)? He was teaching Peter the truth that it was “not time to fight”; it was time for Him to go to the cross to suffer the judgment of God for sinners so they could be saved! Later, when Jesus was before Pilate, Jesus told him, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here” (verse 36). In short, he was telling Pilate that My kingdom, which is a “heavenly kingdom,” will not come by means of protesting or rebelling against an earthly government, but it will come by being in “submission to God” and obeying His command to lay down my life so sinners can be saved (see John 10:17-18; Philippians 2:5-8 and 1st Corinthians 15:1-4).

I trust these few thoughts will answer the inquirer’s question. Believers in Jesus Christ are NOT here to oppose the government of the country we live in; we are here to tell people about God’s wonderful salvation that sinners can have through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross (see Acts 10:43 & 13:38-39). Jesus was NOT a revolutionary “fighting for His cause”; He was here to be “the Savior of the world” (see 1st John 4:14 and John 4:39-42). If we (believers) are going to faithfully follow Him and His example, we will NOT be protesting and leading a revolution against the government; we will be obeying our Savior’s command, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” In a word, we need to see that we are “NOT here to set the world right,” we are “here to see people saved out of the world that is heading for judgment.” As one dear brother used to say, “We are called to be ‘fishers of men’ and thus we’re not here to ‘clean up the fish pond’ but to ‘catch men in the gospel net.’”  (DO)  (498.3)