Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ananias and Sapphira : Mocking God Part I

 “Don't be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he'll have to show for his life is weeds!...”  Gal. 6:7  Message Bible  
The story of Ananias and Sapphira is a sad story.  It begins at the end of Acts chapter four with the description of the early church, a group of believers so filled with the Holy Spirit that they were of one heart and one mind.
So knit together were the hearts of the people that they held all their possessions loosely and willingly shared them, not because they were forced, but because they loved one another.
Those who sold land and houses gave the profits to the Apostles, who distributed it to those in need.
A true picture of God’s love and how the Church should be!
Ananias and Sapphira brought money from land that they had sold to lay at the altar, while keeping some of the profits.  This hypocritical show did not fool Peter, who was filled with the Holy Spirit.  Peter knew instantly, by his gift of discernment, that Ananias was lying not to him, but to God, and exposed his hypocrisy on the spot.  Ananias died, as well as, his wife, Sapphira, when she too lied about the money.
Why would God kill two people for lying when there were more grievous sins committed by the early Christians that went unpunished?
Take Peter for example, he lied to several people about knowing Jesus the night before the crucifixion.  Paul (Saul) was instrumental in killing and persecuting the Christians, of his time. (Acts 9:1-2)
Surely these were worse sins than lying about the profits for a piece of land.
God’s reason for bringing about the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira involved His hatred of sin, the unbelief of the two people and a lesson for the rest of the Church, both then and now.

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