Let us now discover the story of Ananias and Sapphira, which teaches us about disunity, hypocrisy, dishonesty, and divine judgment.
The growth of the early church was phenomenal, and many people started accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. However, there were also moments of weakness, even gross sin, among believers. The story of Ananias and Sapphira is one such incident that served as a warning not to be hypocrites and never lie to God because He is omniscient.
This is the story of Ananias and Sapphira, a married couple who sold their property and pretended to give the entire proceeds to the church. However, they retained part of the revenue for themselves. When the Apostle Peter confronted them, they lied and ended up dead at his feet.
Table of Contents
The Story of Ananias and Sapphira
3 Instructive Life Lessons from the Story of Ananias and Sapphira
We Cannot Hide From God Nor Deceive Him
We must know that we can never hide things from God neither deceive Him. The Almighty One knows our hearts and minds. Our Creator sees everything, even those we keep in secret. People may find it difficult to distinguish between a real and a fake person but not God. The Spirit of the Lord knows people’s innermost thoughts, and He cannot be tricked by anyone. People cannot keep anything hidden behind locked doors or closets from the Supreme Being. Our intimate secrets are known to God alone, and we are expected to live transparent and holy lives before our Heavenly Father.
Ananias and Sapphira fell into the sin of deception and insincerity. They had deliberately planned to deceive Peter and other members of the church, not understanding that Peter was filled with the power of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit exposed their hypocrisy to Peter.
Ananias and Sapphira tried to look good and charitable in front of others by giving a false impression that they had given it all to the work of the church. They need not have given anything in the first place, but in the pretense of having given all the earnings, they tried to fool people.
We need to understand that things are not always what they seem, and Ananias and Sapphira’s great act of generosity turned out to be a damp squib.
When We Lie, We Lie to God and Not People
As Christians, we have to realize that whatever we do, we do unto the Lord. If we lie or steal, we lie or steal as God’s children. Depending on our deeds, God is praised or saddened.
Most of the time, we tell lies to impress people, which leads to doing the wrong things. We borrow money to buy things we cannot afford, just to enchant people. Genuine people do not care about what we own, only phony people respect our social status and material possessions.
Ananias and Sapphira had been witnesses to God’s blessing, and they were part of the family of believers. Their hypocrisy and lies were sins against the Holy One, and they had intentionally planned to falsify the amount of the proceeds of the sale. They were partners in crime and succumbed to the temptation of fabrication of the truth. Their sin was unconfessed and unforsaken.
One of the biggest sins in the Bible is lying. Even disciples can be led into this bold and flagrant sin. Ananias and Sapphira desired to get the honor and recognition of the church but conspired to lie about the amount of money they received from selling the property. However, because of their falsehood, they were led to sin unto death. Covetousness and a desire for the praise of people played a tragic role in their demise.
Ananias and Sapphira were not honest before God, and that was their undoing. We should never live counterfeit Christian lives. Lying has become an ingrained human trait, and we often lie to protect ourselves and hide mistakes. If we keep lying, we will surely end up in the lake of fire to be destroyed forever. God cannot lie and expects us to always tell the truth. If we want to please Him, we must tell the truth and not lie to one another.
Sin is a Deadly Serious Matter in the Sight of the Almighty Father
Ananias and Sapphira were judged for their sinful acts of pretense, lying, duplicity, and fraud. Our God is sinless, and He is Holy in all His works.
Many people find God’s actions extreme in the case of Ananias and Sapphira. This shows our ignorance as we need to understand that this was a solemn warning to the members of the early church, which was at its infancy. They needed to know that God cannot be mocked, and He desires truth in the inward parts. This incident serves as a lesson instructing us to walk carefully and humbly with the Supreme Being.
These dramatic deaths of Ananias and Sapphira resulted in purifying the church and demonstrated that feigning will not be tolerated going forward. The Ananias and Sapphira episode guarded the church against guile and misrepresentation. This development also established the apostles’ authority among the congregation. If Ananias and Sapphira’s deceptiveness had fooled Peter, it would have damaged the stature of the Apostles in the church.
Why is God not punishing us immediately as He did in this incident?
If God judged people today in the same way for their manipulation, coercion, and stealing, we would not know how many of us would fall dead.
However, we should remember that God is merciful and slow to anger toward us. His patience leads us to repentance. This should not be an excuse to become bolder in our sin. We should not neglect the great salvation that Jesus garnered for us by sacrificing Himself on the cross. If we reject Jesus, we have to stand before God for judgment, and we will not escape eternal destruction.
Ananias and Sapphira have set us an example of unfaithful and unrepentant believers, which we should not follow as genuine and wise devotees of Christ.
The sad story of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5 illustrates that we should fear our infinitely loving God and worship Him in truth. As we get to know the magnificence of God’s glory and the might of His awesome power, we should fear Him more. This leads to abundant life, abiding joy, and abounding blessing.
The shocking incident of Ananias and Sapphira we read in the New Testament will bring us new insight, refine us, and make us ready for the return of our Redeemer.
We hope you will apply these life lessons from the Bible story of Ananias and Sapphira.