But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled
thine heat to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep
back part of the price of the land? Acts 5: 3
I was reading about Ananias and Sapphira one day this week and was again struck how serious God was…and how easy it would be for someone who is not seeking the aid of the Holy Spirit to interpret this scripture at face value and go in so many wrong directions.
Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, were not required to sell their possessions and donate the proceeds to the church. If they CHOSE to sell their possessions, the were certainly not required to donate ALL or ANY of the proceeds to the church. Nowhere in the Bible have I read where they sought God in making these decisions. They weren’t worried about what He wanted, only in how they looked. They wanted to make this grand gesture as the other believers were doing, but they didn’t want to part with all they had. So they came up with a plan to keep half of the money and donate the rest. This was fine, except they lied about it. They lied because they were more concerned with how they looked before man than how they looked before God. Again, they were never required to do any of this. They did it, or pretended to do it, because they wanted to deceive man into thinking they were something they were not. But they could not deceive God and they lost their lives for trying.
Is that any different from the people we see in our churches today? The song leader everyone is so proud of for such dedication in such a young man, yet he is partying every Friday and Saturday? The reliable person who serves on every dull committee that we appreciate for filling in those needed gaps, yet he carries on relationships outside of his marriage? The woman who is praised for all the work she does with the children, yet she is gossiping about everyone before she can even leave church grounds? The family that is so committed to church attendance and service, yet their homelife is filled with unopened Bibles, unprayed prayers, and filth coming through the television and computer?
You may be deceiving your church, but you are not deceiving God. Beware.