God's Warning to Pretenders

Acts 4:36-37-Acts 5:11

Adrian Rogers

Sermon Overview

Scripture Passage: Acts 4:36-37-Acts 5:11

In Acts 5, the early church was in the blaze of revival. However, the Devil crafted a new attack from within the church, through Ananias and Sapphira. After seeing another church member receive praise for selling his property and giving everything to the church, Ananias and his wife Sapphira lied about their own offering to receive the same praise. Right on the spot, God struck them both dead.

This is God’s warning to big pretenders about the seriousness of hypocrisy. This lie was rooted in pride. They wanted praise. They pretended to have a devotion to Jesus they did not have; they became hypocrites.

The Holy Spirit gave Peter the gift of discernment, and exposed the lie through him. Peter then revealed that this couple didn’t just lie to men, they lied to the Spirit of God. It is unspeakably serious to lie to the Holy Spirit, and it is important to know that we could never fool Him.

There were serious consequences for their pretending. As Christians, we will be judged as sinners, servants, and sons.

Our judgment as sinners was settled at the cross of Jesus Christ. The judgment for our service will be dealt with at the judgment seat of Christ. The judgment of sons is the way God the Father disciplines us and grows us day by day.

What happened to Ananias and Sapphira was their judgment as children of God. This punishment can sometimes be very severe. But the judgment of God can save us, too. God doesn’t take vengeance on his own children. God, in mercy, took Ananias and Sapphira to keep them from further sin.

It was a saving judgment for the church, as well. Through this example, the church saw how God felt about sin. This hypocrisy did not stop the revival; in fact, revival only increased. It didn’t stop this early church; it shouldn’t stop us today.

Hypocrites come and go, but the church of the Lord Jesus marches on.

Apply it to your life

We are saved by grace, but one of these days we will face the judgment seat of Christ and give an account for how we stewarded our lives.

If you’re a child of God, sin in your life is more serious than sin in the life of an unsaved person. Be careful that you do not lie to the Holy Spirit.