July 7, 2005
For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. … For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s minister attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.
Not only are we to intercede in daily prayer for our nation, but we are also to invest in our nation. Simply put…we are to pay our taxes. Christians are to be faithful in supporting their government according to the laws of the land. I know that most of us dread April 15. And we are irritated when we feel there is governmental waste of tax payers’ money. But as obedience Christians and faithful citizens we are without question to pay them regardless.
Jesus even said that we are to pay our taxes. One day a group of Pharisees came to Jesus and wanted to catch Him on the horns of a dilemma so that they could have him arrested. They asked Him, “Tell us, therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” (Matthew 22:17).
After explained to them that He already knew their evil plot, he asked for a coin and pointed out that Caesar’s image was inscribed on it. He then said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:21).
When the book of Romans was written by Paul, he was living in a time of corruption and ruthlessness within their governmental system. It was the Roman system. It was the same system that crucified Jesus and persecuted Christians. And when Paul wrote this, he knew that these taxes supported an evil empire full of pagan activity and presided over by wicked rulers and emperors.
Yet in the context of all that corruption, Paul said as citizens of both this world and of heaven we are to pay our taxes. We are commanded by the Word of God to do it and be honest about it. According to the Scripture, anyone who dishonestly dodges taxes or under reports income in order to pay less, sins against God.
My former pastor, Fred Swank, used to say, “We don’t like to pay taxes, but remember this:
IT MAY NOT SEEM BIBLICAL, BUT IT IS. PAY YOUR
TAXES AND DO IT WITH THANKSGIVING IN YOUR HEART.