Church of Christ
Mission USA

The Children of Ananias and Sapphira
By Perry Sexton

            I am speaking of the spiritual offspring of this couple.  It is sad that Ananias and Sapphira were of such character as we find in them.  It is even sadder that many in the church have not learned from their errors and are indeed the spiritual children of this man and wife.  Please read Acts 5:1-11.  Now consider the background of their actions.  A great number of Jews had assembled in Jerusalem for the Passover.  During this time forward many world shattering events took place: many witnessed the crucifixion of the Lord or at least heard of it and certainly of the resurrection of Christ and the many saints.  On the day of Pentecost many were present (Acts 2:9ff).  Multitudes were being converted (2:41, 47; 4:4).  The great, promised and prophesied kingdom was established; miracles, powerful preaching and many wonderful things were occurring.  It would have been hard for anyone to return home with these many astonishing things going on.  Thus, many stayed beyond their means to support themselves.  Therefore, a great need for these visiting brethren arose. 

            We learn of the grand liberality of the early church: “Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need” (Acts 4:34-35).  In chapter five we have the contrast of Ananias and Sapphira to these faithful disciples.  They not only lied to men, but unto God (v. 4).  They played the hypocrite: pretending to be as the other disciples of Christ, but were not!  They attempted deception, a trait from their father the devil (cp. John 8:44).  They were selfish, ungodly people, but wanted to appear as the others: concerned and generous people.  No doubt a great battle went on in their evil hearts.  They did not really want to give to those brethren in need, but they also did not want to be “found out.”  And surely they wanted some of the praise, the credit others had evidently received.  They were covetous people: desiring their money, but also the undeserved praise.  So they schemed to sell some land (v. 3) and give part of the money to the Lord for this purpose (v. 1, 2).  That was fine and good, but they made it appear that they were giving all the money of the sale of the land.  What about us in our giving and in our work?  Whose offspring are we truly?  ♥