"Sin Unto Death"
By Harold Stoddard
How lightly we take the Word of God today! Somehow in
this modern day we seem to have decided that God is like an old senile
Grandpa who pats the misbehaving child on the head and says, That's
alright -- just do your thing -- whatever it may be -- everything will
be all right.
Many modern preachers deny Hell altogether, or take the Heat out of
Hell, but God says, "And death and hell were cast into the lake
of fire. This is the second death." -- Revelation 20:14 (KJV).
As persecution began to develop against the Christians
in Acts 4:31-37, the people shared their possessions with one another
and considered all things for common use, so there were none among them
who lacked. Some even sold houses and lands to help provide for their
brethren who were suffering persecution because of their stand for Christ.
I'm sure this situation is going on today in countries where Christians
are severely persecuted. It was not of command, but because of the results
of their love for one another.
Most likely you have never heard this preached but the Bible says we
are to work so that we may have to give to him that needeth. (Ephesians
ANANIAS AND SAPPHIRA
But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,..."
Acts 5:1. Their desire was to appear to be as generous as anyone else
-- so they professed to give all, but they held back part of the price
to fool the brethren. Of course, this was of the flesh and it was hypocrisy.
Satan is always ready to help you look more spiritual than you really
are -- to fool the brethren. What Ananias and Sapphira failed to see
was that God looks on the heart and man looks on the outward appearance.
God is never fooled, and Peter saw through their little plan and he
said they lied to the Holy Ghost. See Acts 5:3.
God killed them both, not for withholding the price of the land, but
for lying to Him. A great many folks today are claiming that they worhsip
the Lord Jesus Christ who have never received Him as their Savior, but
are living a lie while fooling many people, churches, etc. They never
for a moment succeed in fooling God. As far as the money was concerned,
Ananias and Sapphira could have kept it all, or a part of it without
sin, but in order to build their reputation in the eyes of the brethren,
they lied to the Holy Ghost.
HOW DO WE SAFELY GIVE ?
God, unlike the local church, accepts only that which is given from
a willing heart. God knows the heart, and honors only what comes to
Him in His way. The story of the widow's mite in Luke 21:1-4 tells how
it really is. It is often said, "Man looks at the amount we give
but God looks at what we have left."
If you cannot give from a willing heart then just keep it. Either you
are not saved or you are terribly ignorant of the Person and Work of
Jesus Christ. Get that settled first -- then you can give money, work,
or whatever in the Blessed and Holy Name of Jesus Christ. Ananias and
Sapphira took their salvation too lightly, not considering how serious
is the business of standing for Jesus Christ in this evil world. Jesus
took it serious enough to die on the Cross to save His people from their
sin, and God is not mocked, not ever. We all will give account of ourselves
in That Day when God judges the Quick and the Dead...
Perhaps you are not saved. If that is the case then hurry to Jesus Christ,
confessing your sin and declaring your belief in His death (for you),
his burial (for you), and His resurrection (for you).
"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received,
how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
"And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according
to the scriptures:..."I Corinthians 15:3,4.
He will receive all who come unto God by Him. Then, set out to honor
Him and serve Him in sincerity and Truth. God is serious about this
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.