The text for today’s lesson is Acts 5:1-21. Let’s begin…
Remember from the last lesson text that the members of the first church were selling land and bringing the money to the leadership to give as an offering. I’m sure this was a sight to behold. People showing their generosity in supporting those who were in need from the abundance of their possessions.
In walks Ananias. It is important to know that Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, had conspired together to lie about how much they were giving. They sold a possession and held back some of the price and presented the gift to the leaders as if they were giving the entire amount. It is the lie that is important, not the amount. Notice that there was no requirement for them to sell the possession or to give anything! They cooked up this hair-brained idea themselves. Again, the lie is key…not the amount of money being given.
Both Ananais and Sapphira were involved in the lie but Ananais comes in first. Peter then nails Ananias in his lie. Peter correctly call hime on it and asks why did he conspire to lie to the Holy Spirit.
When we make a false pretense to do God’s service, we are not lying to men but to God. God is the ultimate authority. We had best not monkey around with His grace and patience.
Peter then points out that the land was entirely the property of the couple. They were not forced to sell it or give the money. Ananias falls dead on the floor and fear fell upon all who heard about it.
I can imagine that fear would indeed fall upon all who heard. Ananias was well known. This was a small town (by today’s standards) and everyone knew everyone. This guy who had just been seen in town by many of the congregation had now fallen dead for lying to God! Yes, my friends, God is to be feared. He is not the ‘man upstairs’ as many today like to refer to Him. He is the Holy, magnificent, righteous, judging, wrathful, graceful, perfect God whose glory cannot be viewed by man.
A very similar event transpires when Sapphira enters the room later. She falls dead after being called out by Peter and is buried. People are glory seekers. All of us have sought to be thought of more highly than we deserve. May God forgive us for our pride.
This account reminds me of Galatians 6:7 that says, “God is not mocked…whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” Ananias and Sapphira sowed the flesh and reaped corruption. God is serious about sin and wrong-doing. You do not hear that very much today but it is true.
Folks, be aware of what you are not being told today! Some very important information is not being told by many in the Emerging/Emergent Church, Seeker Friendly, Word of Faith, Pop Psychology/Positive Thinking, and Entertainment Bigtop Churches. Telling the hard truth does not fill seats. However, we will all stand before God one day. People need to know the whole story.
God does not like sin. He crushed Jesus so that His Son could be the sacrifice that would pay for the sins of all who would be saved. Only Jesus qualified to be the Savior. God became flesh, suffered and died, arose, and sent His Spirit to empower believers to do His work.
Be honest with yourself and God. If you are depending upon anybody or anything other Jesus to gain eternal life, you will be disappointed. The Bible teaches that Jesus is the only Savior. Call upon Him while there is time.
May God bless the study of His word.