Acts 5:1 Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2 With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.

3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”

5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. 6 Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.

7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?”

“Yes,” she said, “that is the price.”

9 Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”

10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.

WOW talk about an interesting church service! And imagine being on that volunteer team! “Okay Pastor what do you need me to do?” “well, John please setup the coffee, Billy setup the kids area, Julie please dig 2 graves and bury those scumbags that God just killed.”

Honesty is the best policy with God. If you’re honest with God, He can save you and help you. If you’re dishonest with God, there isn’t much He can do for you.

The Bible describes the church as the bride of Christ, the wife of God. How we treat the church is important and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

These verses are about many things, but I’d like to point out lying and cheating and backstabbing within the church. I’d like to point out that these verses are about how people treat the church. These verses are about people manipulating their way into fame and power by using Gods people.

At the time of these writings (the Book of Acts), the church is just a couple months old. Jesus has been gone for a couple months. The church has grown from 12 people to 120 to 3000 to over 15,000 people in a very short time.

There’s really only 1 church at this stage and the people got so excited about what God was doing they would regularly sell everything they had and give it to the church so it could function and expand and spread the gospel message everywhere.

Anyway as you can imagine, that kind of generosity also leads to people taking advantage. Anyone reading this ever been taken advantage of?

Whatever you do, don’t take advantage of God or His church, you’ll end up like Ananias and Sapphira.

Ananais and Saphira were 2 corrupt, conniving, backstabbing liars. They were not true Christians. They were not sincerely following God. They saw a group of generous people who they could take advantage of for fame and fortune and they went with it just like Judas did. And Peter wasn’t going to let it happen a second time so Peter commands them to die and they fall to the ground and die on the spot. How I wish I had that same ability.

They aren’t the first people to cause problems in the church, they certainly weren’t the last people to cause problems in the church, but God goes on in further scriptures to tell us about the hellfire that troublemakers in the church will face.

Friends, the church must be a place of peace, restoration, salvation, healing and other good things, and in order for that to happen, we have to protect it. We have to protect each other and we have to protect the church because Satan is always looking to attack.

Years after this chapter of Acts was written there was a massive famine in Israel and this same Jerusalem church would go bankrupt and all of it’s members would go broke. So much so that all the other churches around the world had to send them money. Too many people took advantage of them, and they did not clean house fast enough to save them self.

I think most of us have been there. We’ve been taken advantage of and we wish we would have taken strong action before it was too late.

Jesus wants to save people. All kinds of people. And so churches are filled with imperfect people. I’ve got big problems, you’ve got big problems. We are all struggling with our own sins. Churches are messy because people are messy. So church isn’t supposed to look perfect and Christians aren’t supposed to look perfect because we aren’t perfect, we are all a work in progress.

God loves when sinners come to church to follow Him. Actually the Bible says that when 1 person gives their life to Jesus, heaven throws a giant party. Imagine what that’s like, a party in heaven? That’s the kind of party you really don’t want to miss out on!

God loves when sinners come to Him for salvation. But He doesn’t like is when sinners come to church to cause problems, to suck the life of out of the people who are genuinely trying to follow God. The bible says those troublemakers work for Satan and will ultimately go to be with Satan one day.