Acts 5: Scare the Hell Out of You

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Why does God seem to judge the sin of hypocrisy in Ananias and Sapphira by killing them? Don’t we all sin and so why doesn’t God judge us in the same way?

Discussion Questions

– If God never changes, He is same yesterday, today, forever, then why does He treat the hypocrisy of Ananias and Sapphira, a sin that every single Christian who ever lived falls into, including the apostles, with such finality in Acts 5?
– Explain the difference between sins plural (leaves of the tree) vs. sins singular (root of the tree). How is sin singular/plural related to having fear of the Lord?
– In Luke 12, Jesus spends the entire chapter talking about fear of the Lord and He provides 5 litmus tests that we can use to determine whether we are like the Pharisees, those who are utterly hypocritical at our core or we are born-again believers who occasionally fall into hypocrisy. These litmus tests involve: 1) relationships, 2) money, 3) future, 4) eagerness for Christ’s return and 5) faithful service. Explain these tests in more detail.
– What characterized the early church in Acts 4-5? How are false prosperity gospel preachers today making a serious mistake? How is the judgment of Ananias and Sapphira God’s way of protecting the church from the mistakes that the prosperity gospel preachers of today are making?
– What might have prompted Ananias and Sapphira to commit this deception? Is God punishing them for their lack of radical generosity? What specific sin(s) is God judging?
– What can we learn from God’s judgment against this couple?

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