We read about the harsh judgment of Ananias and his wife. We also read about false teachers who are proven beyond reasonable doubt of abusing people for financial gain in the name of Lord. What is the real message here?
Acts 5:1 - 42
ESV - 1 But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property. 2 And with his wife's knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles' feet.
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To me, it would be obvious that God would not be pleased with anyone (of whatever era or time period, down to the present day) who uses His name or the guise of Christianity to engage in financial theft, fraud, or deception. If those today who commit such acts are not punished as swiftly or as severely as Ananias and Sapphira were, I can only attribute it to an act of mercy on God's part to allow even those people to realize their perilous spiritual state, and to come to true repentance. However, the fate of Ananias and Sapphira is (or should) still be a warning to such people (particularly if they are familiar with Scripture, as they represent themselves as being) that they will ultimately be judged for their behavior, and judged especially severely if they enrich themselves at the expense of those who trust them, or who contribute to them out of limited resources.
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