Scriptures: Acts 5:1-11, 4:36-37, Matthew 5:16, Hebrews 12:6, 1 John 5:16
Acts 5 records a unique story. In fact, there is no other story like it in the book of Acts or in all of the New Testament. We see hypocrisy, thievery, duplicity, trickery. For the first four chapters of Acts, the church was going, growing, and glowing for God. The Lord had brought an explosion to the church, but Satan was now trying to bring an implosion to the church. In the first four chapters, Satan tried to conquer the church from without by persecution. Now, he tries to corrupt the church by pollution from within. Their names were Ananias and Sapphira, and their story of selfishness and deceit is a warning to us all to be truthful in our interaction with Jesus and His Church. In this message, Dr. Merritt explains the deadly consequences of deception in the body of Christ.
"Why is this story in the Bible? Well, I believe it illustrates not only the seriousness of sin in the life of the saint, but it illustrates something about the judgment of God. There are three judgments that every Christian faces: one is as a sinner, one is as a son, and one is as a servant. The first judgment takes place in the past at Calvary, where you are judged as a sinner, never to be judged again. The second judgment takes place in the future at the judgment seat of Christ, where you are judged as a servant; and it is there that you will receive your rewards for the good deeds that you have done on this earth. But there is also a judgment in the present as a son. That takes place in this life. It has nothing to do with salvation; it has everything to do with sanctification. That is exactly what took place here. It is an illustration that God disciplines his children." --Dr. Merritt
Keywords: lie, deceit, Ananias, Sapphira, Peter, property, gift, tithe, revival, church, judge, punishment, holiness, discipline, danger, sin, heart, lying, Holy Spirit, will
Pastors Edge provides Bible preachers and teachers with ready-to-use resources and materials based on the preaching of Dr. James Merritt, Senior Pastor at Cross Pointe Church in Duluth, GA and host of the international broadcast ministry Touching Lives.