Thursday, April 1, 2010

Don't Get Carried Away

The early church was a powerful witness of true Christianity. Acts 4:32-37 reveals some lessons that believers must embrace if they truly want to be like Christ. They were of one heart and one soul indicating that they agreed in all their views, that there was unity as well as great love and admiration for one another that caused them to be selfless. There was a continuous demonstration of signs, wonders and miracles as the Gospel was preached plus the entire church was experiencing great grace (the god given ability and desire to please God by doing His will).

We also see this life style reflected in their willingness to sell their own possession and give the money they received to the Apostles by laying it at the Apostles feet. The money was then to be distributed through the church so that no one had lack. Talk about giving. With all the resources that believers in the USA have available, I believe if those in the early church were with us today, they would probably consider most believers in the USA to be covetous and greedy. The difference is, the early church understood that they owned nothing and that all their possessions belonged to the LORD. When believers truly understand and live this principle, they will never struggle with the prompting of the Holy Spirit to sell all and or give all.

ACTS 5:1-11 reveals a husband and wife named Ananias and Sapphira who had conspired to deceive by lying to make it appear that they were connected in heart and soul with the other believers. However, the Holy Spirit revealed to Peter their deceptive scheme that was orchestrated by Satan. Peter explained to Ananias and Sapphira that they could have done whatever they wanted with the money that they receive from the possession that they sold.

The act of laying money at the Apostles feet was a symbolic declaration to God and man by believers that they trusted the Apostles with the money without question as well as declaring that they were giving the entire amount of the sale in obedience to the Holy Spirit. It wasn't about the money, they had corrupted of the act of laying the money at the Apostles feet and in doing so, they were in fact lying to God. Both Ananias and Sapphira dropped dead on the spot and were "carried away" by some young men and buried.

Finally we see that "great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things". The impact of these events brought a sobering awareness of what it really meant to be a Christian not only to those in the church but to everyone who heard these things. It is a good thing that no one in the church today lies to God isn't it? Think about it, out of all the ministries in the church today, have you ever heard of the young men's ministry of carrying dead believers out of a meeting because they have lied to God? Let's be honest, believers today do lie to God, but shouldn't we use the example of the fate of Ananias and Sapphira's to sober us up so that we can become a witness of true Christianity?

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