Would You Lie to God?
Scripture reading for November 7th: Acts 5-7
Lying is a sin! One of the ten commandments states that we should not give a false accusation against a neighbor! (Exodus 20:16) God hates a lying tongue! (Proverbs 6:17-19) Lying causes mistrust because lies are usually found out and the person’s character is degraded by all who know the truth. Lying breaks relationships, marriages, homes, and even churches! A lying tongue hates the one it hurts! (Proverbs 26:28) A false witness will not go unpunished and he who pours out lies will perish! (Proverbs 19:9) The devil is a liar and can speak only one language: “LIE!” (John 8:44)
The Book of Acts records the history of the early church from just before the day of Pentecost and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to the imprisonment of the Apostle Paul in Rome. Very early in the history of the new church, Luke writes to tell us the story of a couple who told a lie that cost them very dearly. This is the story of Ananias and Sapphira found in Acts 5:1-16.
The lie that this couple told was a lie of omission. They sold some of their property and made an offering to the Apostles for the use of the church. The price of the property was more than what they gave, but they told the Apostles that they gave all the money to the Lord when they had kept some back for themselves. Now it wasn’t wrong not to give it all. It was only wrong to lie about what they had given. Scripture doesn’t say why they did this. It may be that they wanted to look good and seem more dedicated than they really were. It may be that they dedicated more than they were willing to give and decided to keep some back. Whatever the reason, we only have the startling results!
“Then Peter said, “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? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men, but to God.”” “When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what happened.” (Acts 5:3-5)
This happened in the same way to his wife Sapphira. Both of them died immediately as a result of lying! This should make each one of us think and evaluate our own hearts and giving. We need mercy more than ever! This is a New Testament story to warn God’s people that dealing with God is serious business! Amazingly, the church grew and many souls were added after this judgment! God is building a holy church without spot or wrinkle! The Holy Spirit is a Spirit of Truth!