So what is the relevance? Gregg Frazer explained in the following post in October:
Re the Nero issue:
The flexibility of people holding your position on Romans 13 (especially as it applies to the American situation) never ceases to amaze me. In one sentence, you can justify a revolution against a “tyrant” for imposing a $1 per year tax to pay for a war which protected those people; in the next, you can with a straight face assert that a Roman emperor who drained every Roman of every cent to build extragant palaces for himself was not a tyrant. In one sentence, you can demand CONSENT as the only legitimate basis for government; in the next you can defend a Roman emperor as legitimate and not meeting the standard of tyranny that, of course, an English king met. While Nero had not yet begun specifically persecuting the Christians, he was hardly elected and hardly “consulted the public welfare and the good of society” by your and Mayhew’s standard!
You must remember that Paul wrote Romans UNDER THE INSPIRATION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. God knew what Nero was going to do – and inspired Paul to write to those people how they must conduct themselves not just for that day, but when the persecution came. If it was just Paul’s opinion or limited by Paul’s finite understanding, then I wouldn’t give it any more weight than my own thoughts or those of a “wise” man. But it was GOD’s Word to those people – and it wasn’t bound by time constraints because God isn’t bound by time constraints. Paul did not say: “Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities until they start doing mean and nasty things.” There are no qualifiers – despite Mayhew’s penchant for adding them. So, no, Nero had not yet begun burning Christians alive or feeding them to animals or nailing them to crosses, but the God Who inspired Paul’s writing knew he was going to.
Though my friend and co-blogger Jim Babka has referred me to some evangelical-fundamentalist scholarship that now (for whatever reason) doubts that Paul instructed believers to submit to Nero. It should be noted that this is the "novel," or "revisionist" position (and indeed Christianity is so vast and old that one might be able to dig up some old heretic that first thought of this interpretation long before the age of revolution, as one can with theological unitarians, universalists, Gnostics, dissident authority figures who argued for a different biblical canon, etc.).
Sometimes the "revisionist" position turns out to be correct (not saying that it is here, just making a point).