Acts 5:1-10 :
But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira, his wife, sold a possession, and kept back part of the price, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back part of the price of the land? While you kept it, didn’t it remain your own? After it was sold, wasn’t it in your power? How is it that you have conceived this thing in your heart? You haven’t lied to men, but to God.”
Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and died. Great fear came on all who heard these things. The young men arose and wrapped him up, and they carried him out and buried him. About three hours later, his wife, not knowing what had happened, came in. Peter answered her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much.”
She said, “Yes, for so much.”
But Peter asked her, “How is it that you have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.”
She fell down immediately at his feet, and died. The young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her by her husband. Great fear came on the whole assembly, and on all who heard these things.
This is a scary passage. When we become believers, we hold a valuable truth in our hearts, and with it we have a great responsibility. Here we have the story of two people who didn’t live up to the truth and exchanged it for their own glory.
It is not very common knowledge among believers today that there are sins that can be committed that lead to the death of a believer. It doesn’t mean that the believer will go to hell, but it does mean that his work is called off and he is sent back to “headquarters.” Our bodies are going to die but the soul of a believer will never die. Some may be taken early because of a sin that they commit that brings death to them.
The couple in this passage used God to get glory for themselves by pretending to give “all” of something but actually giving only a part. They did it in front of the first “mega-church” believing that they would actually get away with it right in front of the Holy Spirit-filled apostles. Everyone learned a lesson that day. The fear of that day exists in us even now as we read this story. God is real and He is powerful and we cannot mock Him without getting what we deserve.
I want to issue a warning about this to our churches today. There are many songs that we sing in praise at church that say something like “I give my all…” I believe we should be very careful when saying these things. We better not say things like that without following through. If we do lie about giving all for glory, then we had better confess because there doesn’t appear to be any difference between offering your all in a praise song and what Ananias and Sapphira did when they offered all that day.