Acts 5: Consequences of Sin
Ananias and Sapphjra found out that it was not wise to lie to God in Acts 5.
Act 5:1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
Act 5:2 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.
Act 5:3 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?
Act 5:4 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.
It seems to be the case that there was something more significant going on here because the husband and wife lied. I think about tithing. God wanted the people to return 10% of what they have been blessed with. Therefore, it does not make sense that Ananias and Sapphjra would so harshly treated in this situation if that was the only offense. After all, because they could have held on to some of the money and donated whatever percent of it to the church, and all would’ve done well. They could have fulfilled that requirement.
Peter points out the problem. They lied about what they were donating. They said they gave it all, but they really didn’t. Maybe they felt like it was more prestigious to say they donated everything. Maybe they had some other motivation, but the bottom line is that they ultimately lied, and that was why they were punished.
Beyond the obvious application that we should not lie, it also seems to be the case that there are consequences to sin. People think they can sneak one around God. Maybe they thought God did not realize they put some of the money aside, but God knew. Therefore, as we operate in our daily lives, we ought to live like we understand that.