Readers Question / Comment -
Do you think Ananias and Sapphira
went to heaven?
Do you think that Ananias and Sapphira went to heaven or did that one lie condemn
them to hell?
I so 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 to
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.
May our Lord continue to fill you to over flowing
with the Holy Spirit and strengthen you in every way so that you can remain on
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
Ananias and 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.
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.
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.
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
This, like 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. : )