A Disastrous Decision

Acts five contains one of the most tragic, sobering, and shocking passages in all of Scripture. This passage is closely akin to the death of Achan in Joshua seven which occurs for roughly the same reason.

You may recall the events. Ananias and Sapphira, two married believers in the early church, sought to receive the same acclaim as Barnabas did in Acts four. Barnabas sold a piece of property and laid it at the feet of the apostles. Ananias and Sapphira did this for the wrong reason and lied to the church and the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:4). The results were disastrous. They both fell down dead about three hours apart.

What can we learn from such tragic events?

First, we must guard our hearts and minds (Proverbs 4:23). We are all capable of doing things that not only displease God but also seek to treat Him with contempt. This was what this couple did. They had lied to the Holy Spirit. Since our old nature is ever before us, we must guard our hearts. Everything in life flows from the heart.

Second, we must make sure we are filled with the Holy Spirit and not filled with the things of Satan. Peter asserted that Satan had filled their hearts. This is the same word for filled which is found in Ephesians 5:18 when Paul told us to be filled with the Spirit.

To be filled with the Spirit guards us from Satan filling our minds and hearts with rebellious and heinous acts. Being filled with the Spirit must be a daily and constant desire on our part.

Third, we must seek guidance from Scripture, by prayer, and from godly counselors. Ananias and Sapphira did none of these. How do we know this? Nothing in Scripture shows them doing this and their actions are obviously not carried out when we seek God and His guidance.

We must be people of prayer and Scripture who seek God with all our hearts. When we seek God, He will be found by us and we will receive His kind and gracious direction for our lives.

Ananias and Sapphira had the teaching of Scripture that we ourselves have. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” — Matthew 19:14 (NIV)