Do you think that Ananias and Sapphira went
to heaven or did that one lie condemn them to hell?
enjoy your Bible studies, I fine that our Lord speaks to me thru
your writings and scriptures that I've read for years, now take on a
new meaning with your explanations.
Thank you for your obedience
Don't you think it's amazing how the Lord is using
you to touch lives thousands of miles away from you? People who
you'll probably never meet, this side of heaven. Of course the
technology involved is a whole other amazing subject.
Lord continue to fill you to over flowing with the Holy Spirit and
strengthen you in every way so that you can remain on task.
Thanks for the email and the encouragement. Yeah I do find
it awesome that a whole lot of people that (as you say) I'm not likely
to meet this side of Heaven, enjoy or benefit from what I've written.
Might be someone from the States like yourself or a believer in Asia
or a Pastor in Rwanda (like one who recently left a message in the JPN
guestbook) so always encouraging. It certainly is an interesting age
were so many can be reached so easily now.
Sapphira... yeah certainly an interesting story. It is a little hard
because we know so little about them. For example we don't even know
if they were definitely born again believers. But here is my take for
what it is worth...
Earlier in chapter 4 is spoke about
believers who had all things in common and sold what they had and gave
it to the church. It says:
Acts 4:32-35 And the
congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not
one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but
all things were common property to them. (33) And with great power the
apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus,
and abundant grace was upon them all. (34) For there was not a needy
person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would
sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales (35) and lay them at the
apostles' feet, and they would be distributed to each as any had need.
It then follows with the two examples (1 good and 1 not good) of
people selling their property to give to the church. So from this I
would assume that A&S were genuine believers who wanted to be seen
giving everything (like Barnabas in Acts 4:36) but still wanted to
keep some money... resulting in their lie.
So if we believe
that they were genuine believers then does this lie commit them to
hell? No. There is nothing in the story that indicates that they went
to hell and this was not a sin that Jesus didn't pay for when He died.
As believers they had already passed from death unto life (John 5:24).
But coming at the very start of the church, with God incredibly active
and the great need to start in purity, it was a sin that required
swift and firm judgement - and the result was that which was needed
with a holy fear coming upon the believers.
Connected to this
story is the truth, though not often dwelt upon, that God can
sometimes take a believers life in judgement. Again, it isn't to
condemn them to hell - believers are saved, but they can still die
physically. As an example, Paul talks about those in 1 Cor 11 that had
'fallen asleep' (ie believers that had died) because of bring
judgement upon themselves at the Lord's Supper.
A&S, are examples in scripture of a 'sin leading to death' as
mentioned in 1 John 5:16. Have a read of Ray Stedman's notes on this
at the bottom of this Q&A
It will give more info on this. You will see some famous names including
Moses that committed the sin unto death. Again, it is not saying that
they weren't saved anymore. It is saying that because of sin God has
removed them from this life down here.
Hope this helps,
PS - I spent about 6 weeks in the US for the first time
late last year. Had a wonderful time. Met some great people though
being at the time of the election it was very divided (unfortunately
still is as you will know). Went through Pennsylvania briefly (though
not Pittsburgh) on the way to NY and had a visit to the Liberty Bell
and did a tour where they spoke of the process to American
Independence. All very exciting and interesting. : )