Tell A Lie And Die As Happened In The Early Church!

Every time I read the fifth chapter of the Book of Acts that tells of a man and his wife dying as a result of a lie; I think how important it is in being truthful.  The man was named Ananias and his wife was Sapphira.  They sold their property and held back part of the money for themselves but stated they had given it all.  The Apostle Peter asked: “Ananias how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?  Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold?”  Peter continued: “You have not lied to men but to God.”  When Ananias heard this he fell down dead.  Later his wife came in and Peter asked her if they had given their all and she replied all was given.  She too fell down and died and too was buried.  Do you think you would want to be a part of a church where people died for not being truthful?  I would assume those who joined the church to get members to join a pyramid business would think twice.  Wouldn’t it be great if everyone who became a Christian did it for the right reason?  Would we see a decrease in Christianity if people believed that the Holy Spirit caused people to die who were deliberately being deceptive or lying to church members?

Can you imagine the fear that must have been created in the early church?  Would that not make you stop and consider your motives and thoughts?  We must be careful not to tempt God by presuming we are under His grace.  When we do sinful things it is not against others but it is a sin against God.  Too often we do not take sin seriously enough.  We just assume no matter what we do God will forgive us if we ask for forgiveness and repent.  Is it possible we depend too much on the grace of God when we live on the edge or as the world lives?

Ananias and Sapphira’s love of money was just as sinful as Adam and Eve eating from the Tree of Knowledge.  Judas had the same problem when he betrayed Christ for 30 pieces of silver.  Ananias and Sapphira did not receive punishment because they didn’t give all they had received from the sale of land but because they had lied to God and the Holy Spirit.  I believe this Scripture also tells us that we must not think of ourselves of being more righteous or holy than we really are.  We must be careful that we are not living a lie by doing evil and convincing others we are more holy than we actually are.

Scripture tells us that this became one of the times the church grew rapidly percentage-wise   More people joined the church because of the numerous miracles that occurred.  But through the centuries many have become Christians but have never been willing to repent and allow the Holy Spirit to change their lives.  We continue to see too many Christians who seem to be weak morally and some even appear evil.  It gives those who like living an immoral life an excuse for not going to church.  We have all heard: “There are just too many hypocrites in the church for me to become a part.”

The fifth chapter of Acts goes on to tell that during the early church, crowds gathered the sick from all the surrounding cities so that the sick could be healed.  Scripture states that just Peter’s shadow could heal people.  The Bible gives an example of a beggar who for 40 years could not walk was healed.  We must remember this was an apostolic gift and no longer are people healed without exception.  This was a gift that was given to the apostles in Jerusalem at the time and is no longer a guarantee for healing.     Those who say they have the gift of healing do not.  Otherwise they could go to every hospital and heal everyone.  If that were to happen I believe hospitals would be as angry toward that person as the Sadducees and other Jewish leaders were to the apostles who were healing all and changing people’s lives.

Acts 5:18 – 21a – “They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail.  But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out.  “Go, stand in the temple courts,” he said, “and tell the people all about this new life.”   At daybreak they entered the temple courts, as they had been told, and began to teach the people.”

With all of the miracles that the apostles were given, you would have thought that this miracle of being released from jail should have convinced the Sanhedrin that these men were acting on God’s direction.  If you were one who was beaten and tossed into jail, would you have gone to the temple court and continued to teach the Word of God?  Often God has asked some of us to do certain tasks and we have refused and then have wondered why the Holy Spirit isn’t more active in our lives.  Pride can stop us from doing things that are out of the ordinary.  We can be more concerned what others might think rather than obeying the Holy Spirit.  What about long-time Christians who have never witnessed a supernatural event occurring?  Have they been too skeptical, unwilling participants or are they just not aware and treat everything as being lucky?  Take the person who expects some type of an experience where God intervenes on a daily basis.  One Christian expects and one never does.

In verses 5:33 – 39 tells us the Sanhedrin was furious with the apostles for continuing their teaching.  The Sanhedrin was made up of Sadducees and Pharisees.  The Sadducees were the liberals and did not believe there was life after death.  The Pharisees were the conservatives and believed that God promised life after death.  It was much easier for a Pharisee to become a Christian than a Sadducee.

We have some religious denominations that do not believe in Hell.  Others do not believe the Bible is 100% accurate or was inspired by God.  Many believe the only way to get to heaven is through good works.  There are some who believe living a good and moral life is all it takes.  It may be easier for some to believe in a lie than in the truth.  However, we know what God thinks of those who tell lies.  Is it possible that you could be living a lie because of what someone told you rather than having read God’s Word and knowing His will?

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