Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Terrifying Example

Acts 5:1 ¶ But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, 2 And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet. 3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? 4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. 5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. 6 And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him. 7 ¶ And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. 8 And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. 9 Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. 10 Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband. 11 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.

An example of exactly what not to do

-          The power of examples
o   Inspiring – it can be done
§  In 1954 Roger Bannister ran the mile in under 4 minutes, beating the previous world record that had stood for 9 years. Just two months later two other runners ran the mile in under 4 minutes. In 1964 a high school boy ran the mile in under 4 minutes.
o   Warning
§  Drugs go in and out of style as people begin to see the consequences of drug abuse in those around them.
§  “I saw my parents’ marriage”
§  “I don’t want to treat my children the way I was treated”
§  “I don’t want to end up like my brother did”
§  “great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things”

-          Examples of examples
o   Barnabas (chapter 4, he sold his property and gave all of the proceeds)
o   Judas
o   Fern W
o   Ted Haggard

-          What Ananias and Sapphira did

o   Tried to look better than they were
o   Offered a partial sacrifice to God, pretending to give their all
§  Luke 14:25 ¶ And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.  And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.  For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?  Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.  Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?  Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.  So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
o   Lied to God
o   Deceived themselves rather than God

-          Nothing new under the sun – their followers live on
o   People still try to look better than they are
o   People still try to give God leftovers, while pretending that they’ve given all
o   People still lie to God
o   People still end up deceiving themselves

-          Learn from their example
o   God still judges hypocrisy
o   Choose your vows carefully

Is hypocrisy still as deadly as it was back then?

Does this bring any OT history to mind? [Achan]

Why do you suppose God is so fiercely opposed to hypocrisy?