Is it ok for a Christian to be a police officer, and kill people in order to protect others and yourself? Or are you not allowed to kill anybody for any reason, expect if it is an accident? Or is it not a sin to kill bad people that break the law? I heard someone on the radio say that “God is the only one who gives life and has the right to take life away.” And that we surely have no right to take life away.
Romans 13:1-4 says, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.”
God ordained human government. ““Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: THE POWERS THAT BE ARE ORDAINED OF GOD.” God put such a system into place after the flood. Genesis 9:6 says, “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, BY MAN SHALL HIS BLOOD BE SHED: for in the image of God made he man” This was necessary, because you can see the conditions that prevailed before the flood. Genesis 6:5 says, “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
Notice, once again, the passage above. “But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for HE BEARETH NOT THE SWORD IN VAIN: for he is the minister of God, A REVENGER to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” God is giving human government the authority to use the sword. What is the use of a sword? Not to punish, but to kill. A whip is used for physical punishment, but a sword is used for killing. It gives the government the place of the REVENGER of wrath (in the Old Testament, the one who put criminals to death). Numbers 35:19 says, “The revenger of blood himself shall slay the murderer: when he meeteth him, he shall slay him.”
God has given human government the authority to put criminals to death. So when a police officer shoots a criminal, and the criminal dies, that is acceptable in God’s sight. Twice in the above passage, God calls such a person “the minister of God.” The word “minister” means “servant.” A police officer may not be a preacher of the gospel, but he is a “minister of God” (a servant of God) in the sense that he is authorized to keep law and order, and to punish those who do not obey.
This should not be taken further than it is intended, in the sense of obeying wicked leaders to kill innocent people. There are times, when wicked leaders arise, that we would have to say, “No,” and then possibly face physical harm ourselves. Acts 5:29 says, “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.”