I was recently studying in the book of Acts, specifically chapter 5. This chapter starts out with the story of Ananias and Sapphira. The story of how they brought an offering to the church and lied about the amount of the price that they sold some land. God brought judgement to them, and they fell down dead right there on the spot. It is no doubt a very odd text, and even frightening to us as we read it.
I think one of the major questions that we have when we look at that text, at least the one that came to my mind is this:
“Why did God judge them so quickly and harshly?”
I mean because when you think about it, they were coming to church and bringing an offering, so is there some secret sin that was committed there that we need to worry about?
The text states in verse 3 that the sin that he and his wife committed was lying to the Holy Spirit. Truly when we sin, we need to realize that it is against God. King David realized this fact about his sin when he stated, “Against you and you alone have I sinned”, as he was praying to God repenting.
And as we look at our own lives, we discover that our sin, any sin, that we commit is against a Holy Righteous Sovereign God. God tells us in His Word that the penalty for sin is death.
I think when we truly understand this, the question turns from why God acted so quickly and harshly with Ananias and Sapphira, to this…
“Why does God allow me such grace and mercy?”
I think the only answer that makes any sense at all is the profound statement that GOD LOVES US!
God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.