Ananias And Sapphira Bible Lesson – Why Did Ananias And Sapphira Need To Die?

What You Need To Know to Get This Story

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Ananias and Sapphira bible lesson for kids and adults:  The shocking truth is they were NOT believers!

Did God strike down Ananias and Sapphira in the new testament? Not every story has a happy ending, but the story of Ananias and Sapphira may not be one such story. God did strike Ananias and Sapphira dead. The lie is that Ananias and Sapphira were believers.

Ananias and Sapphira Struck Dead For Lying – Believers or Not? This story from Acts 5 has scared Christians (and me) for many years. The million-dollar question is were they believers or not? If we believe that our sins have been forgiven and taken away then it would not make sense that they were believers and God killed them for sinning. There is no condemnation for those in Christ (Rom 8:1). He who believes is not judged (John 3:18). Today we will discuss and explain:

Were Ananias and Sapphira Saved?
Did Ananias and Sapphira Go the Heaven?
Who Was Ananias and Sapphira?
Were Ananias and Sapphira Believers?

Ananias & SapphiraYou know the story. Ananias and Sapphira lied to God and are killed on the spot. Let’s clear up this debate on their salvation status. I believe I have figured this one out, and scripture gives us a very clear answer. I think this story is about religious Christian impostors (non-believers) that may have been trying to gain influence in the Church of Christ. Further, they likely both rejected grace for law……

The story from the book of Acts 5 tells us they lied about the proceeds of how much money they got from their property and ends with them being struck dead on the spot! Wow, no grace there. Let’s take a close look at the scriptures to reveal to us about their faith. First, let’s take note of Acts 5:3 and see who had filled Ananias’ heart.

[Acts 5:3] But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land?

It was Satan, not the Holy Spirit that filled his heart. Satan may fill a believer’s thoughts/minds but not our hearts. We have been given new hearts and they are filled with the Holy Spirit. Our heart of stone was removed and we were given a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26).

To get the full story we need to back up a chapter and read Acts 4:32-37!

[Acts 4:32] And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul;

So first we see those who BELIEVED were of ONE HEART. We just finished reading that Ananias and Sapphire were not of the same heart in this story. Their hearts were filled with Satan. They did NOT believe!

and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own,

So ‘NOT ONE of them claimed’. This tells me Ananias and Sapphire we NOT ‘one of them’!

[Acts 4:32-33] but all things were common property to them. And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them ALL.

They (the Christians) believed the Apostle’s message of Jesus’ resurrection and had abundant grace UPON Them ALL (The Believers). We did not see Grace with Ananias and Sapphira – we saw wrath and death (wages of sin is death).

 [Acts 4:34-35]  For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales and lay them at the apostles’ feet, and they would be distributed to each as any had need.

Important Note: This giving was just on the basis of love. We did not see ANY demand or commandment for God to do give up their property. It was their free will to do it or not.

And the story continues and ends in chapter 5 with the INSTANT death of Ananias and Sapphira. So we see their hearts were filled by Satan and they were not of “one heart” with the believers.  There is not a single verse that would conclusively tell us they were Christians – and with that said we can safely conclude that they were not believers, lied to God, and God destroyed them.

Finally, if God were to kill someone what would cause it? Sin. What did Jesus do about sin? He died for it. Did it work? You’re darn right it did, and anyone who has called on the name of the Lord and believe in His name shall be saved. That means your sins have been washed away as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). That means He remembers your sins no more (Hebrews 8:12).

To teach differently is to teach the Jesus died for our sins and our sins are forgiven…..unless we sin.

Ananias and Sapphira bible lesson | Acts 5 Ananias and Sapphira

14 Comments

  • mark Posted June 4, 2022 7:34 am

    I appreciate you tackling this topic. I still feel the story is strikingly uncharacteristic of everything Jesus taught and revealed God to be. I am highly suspicious of the stories origin as potentially a later addition made by catholic authority to serve papal power and wealth. When you do a critical comparison between this story and the following passages, you have a very incongruent message.
    Luke 9:51-56 Jesus specifically rebuked death dealing to those who dishonor God.
    Galations 6:1 Paul specifically instructs gentle instruction as first resort when someone is caught in a sin
    Luke 22:25-27 Jesus specifically forbids the Apostles from ruling over others the way Gentiles rulers do. He establishes servanthood not fear and power.
    Matt 6:1-4 Jesus forbade showy offerings, yet Peter allowed people to lay money at his feet as if giving it to him was the same as giving it to God?. We see pastors do that in services today and it is deemed very unsavory.

    Most jarring of all, Peter sits in judgement on two people who get killed for lying about an offering, while he is the very one who denied Jesus three times, lying that he did not even know him and yet was forgiven and restored by Jesus. Peter looks like the unmerciful servant who was forgiven much but condemned little.
    This passage is far too convenient for sheering sheep and abusing flocks, as well as way to similar to the violent mideval church for me to beleive it really happened.

    • Mike C Posted June 6, 2022 10:09 am

      Thanks for the comment:

      You wrote that you find it ‘strikingly uncharacteristic of everything Jesus taught and revealed God to be”.

      What did Jesus teach us? When he talked about the law he was literally crushing Jewish people showing them the true standard and how hopeless they were trying to get right through human performance. If they couldn’t do it they were to cut out their eyes, cut off their hands. We were told no one would be found righteous through the law. So we need to understand Jesus’s intentions when he spoke of the law and getting your righteousness through your human performance.

      What else did Jesus teach us? Wow, he went to a cross and poured out his blood. He did this so our sins could be fully and completely paid for. So how can we say that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, but Ananias simply kept his own belongings and perhaps send by lying, but then turn around and say God killed him? Where exactly is the forgiveness in that? That would not be a picture of Jesus dying for his sins.

      I don’t believe most scholars agree with you that this is a story that was later added to the Bible. And I am certainly personally far from being a Catholic.

      Next, you use Galatians 6:1 to refute my view. I appreciate you allowing me to respond to that. Nowhere in Paul’s writings do we see Christians being killed for tier sin. As a matter of fact, we see quite the opposite message from the apostle Paul. We see an offensive message to the Jewish people that we are forgiven through faith, by grace. Of course, Paul, and anyone in their right mind is going to encourage you to gently restore people.

      Side Note: I’m not sure why you use terms forbade? I’m honestly not clear what the point is of trying to mimic a language other than the one you naturally speak.

      The more I read through your, the more it seems like you’re all over the place. But more importantly, it seems like you still view God as an angry God who has not forgiven his children. I’m not just referring to the past sins. I am referring to the present and future ones as well. Are we holy or not? Are we justified or not? Are we righteous or not? Will we be presented as blameless or not? Is there no judgment for those who believe? Has God taken your sons away as far as the west is from the east?

      I’m just wondering if you sincerely and truly believe the Scriptures. That in no way implies that we should go out and sin. And this is where people get very confused. They think complete grace and total forgiveness somehow are going to make us perform worse. And other words, they’re blaming the grace of God on more human sin. When it is grace that leads us to repentance.

      I don’t know about you, but I don’t believe that a Christian’s heart can be filled with Satan. The love of God has been poured into your heart. It seems highly improbable that God is sharing that space with Satan. And we clearly saw that Satan had filled Ananias his heart.

      You are certainly entitled to interpret the story as you see fit. We all should be willing to agree to disagree and be willing to let other people be wrong. My only concern about this story with you is your perception of what real forgiveness looks like. It doesn’t really seem as though you think we have it right now on this side of salvation.

    • Paul Posted September 5, 2022 2:31 pm

      To me, this only makes sense if the couple were never actually Christians in the first place. Otherwise it would contradict the primary reason Jesus forgave us of our sins. So if you believe in Jesus in the words found in scripture, one is only left to assume they were never actually Christians and therefore not granted grace by God.

      • Mike C Posted September 5, 2022 3:22 pm

        Amen

      • Brianna Posted October 18, 2022 10:31 pm

        I don’t think they were truly saved.

    • Henry Posted September 27, 2022 5:05 am

      Hi mark .. I’m so happy for this your comment. This answers a lot of my questions in minds. Thank you.

  • J. Glass Posted October 8, 2022 10:06 pm

    Yes. You are correct. They were not Christian’s. But the reason they died was not because God killed them but that the holy act of giving unto the Lord is a worship. When the Lord showed me this He gave me a vision of the Ark of the Covenant being carried on the oxen cart. Then the oxen stumbled and Uzah tried to keep the Ark of the Covenant from falling and was struck down dead. The Ark of the Covenant carried the Holy Presence of God. Uzah touched it and died because he was not anointed by God. The act of giving is good in the world and the church but the world cannot give as a worship unto a Holy God as a way to benefit from it. We carry the very Holy Presence of God in us as Holy Spirit. We worship as a holy people unto God in Spirit and in Truth.
    God did not kill them. Their sinfilled heart tried to touch the Holiness of who He is and their sin killed them.
    His will is that no man perishes.
    After all of the penalty of sin was poured out on Jesus on the cross Gods wrath on sin was complete. But those that don’t receive Jesus are condemned to their own doom and darkness without Him. God does not kill them either. He did everything He could to save them. Their state of sin kills them.
    You can find the more in depth study in my book Daily Life- 90 Day Devotional by Jody R. Glass
    Blessings.

    • Mike C Posted October 9, 2022 10:41 am

      That teaching may sound ominous and maybe even a little impressive coming from the pulpit on Sunday morning as the leader pushes this message, but there’s one place you’re not going to find such teaching. In the scripture.

      Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who can put a lot of words down in an attempt to rewrite the Scriptures, only to deliver an empty and void answer. One way we identify them is when they have a lot to say but they don’t use scripture to put legs on it.

      Colossians 2:18 teaches us to be careful not to get our gospel from people with puffed-up visions from their inflated fleshly minds.

      God is not interested in killing the unsaved. His will is that none would perish, no not even one.

      Jody is a fraud pushing a false god and seeking to exploit our brothers and sisters and he tries to sell his book on our website.

      • Texas Posted November 9, 2022 1:42 pm

        God will is that no one would perish not even one, that’s correct however we know millions will perish and we know that the path to righteousness is narrow… narrow the gate that leads to righteousness and only few find it. This was prophesied by christ long ago

        • Mike C Posted November 9, 2022 3:55 pm

          OK I want to make sure we’re careful not to completely take this verse about the narrow path out of context.

          Who is being addressed in Matthew?

          He is addressing Jewish people.

          These are not followers of Jesus. In fact, they do not really care much for Jesus and their source for eternal life is the law.

          There is a narrow gate that leads to LIFE.

          Why is he telling the Jewish people that they are trying to walk through a wide gate that leads to destruction, when they need to walk through the narrow gate that leads to life?

          That’s because the wide gate is symbolic of the law. This is the gate that many (most of the Jews) are entering through. Jesus says he is the resurrection and LIFE. Jesus says I am the way, the truth, and the LIFE.

          We do not have to engage in mental gymnastics to understand that the narrow gate that leads to life is describing through Jesus alone. As Jesus said, ‘No one comes to the Father except through Me’.

          So indeed this made perfect sense to the Jewish people. But we Gentiles, who now know the historical events of Jesus should not be falsely chasing after a law-based system like the Jews did. The narrow gate was a problem the Jewish people had to deal with because they refused to accept Jesus as the Son of God.

          • Beth Posted November 22, 2022 5:40 pm

            The Jews are the chosen people of God. Jesus addressed the Jewish leaders ( The Pharises and Sadducees ). Jewish people believe in God, and they might have their own laws, but they pray to God, not laws. I myself come from a Jewish family, but I believe in Jesus. However, it disturbs me when people act like the Jews are going to Hell automatically. If they believe in God, they already believe in Jesus anyway. Jesus is God, so does it really matter in the long run? They are going to accept Jesus when he comes again anyway, so please don’t judge my ancestors. God is the judge of who gets into Heaven, not people.

        • Mike C Posted November 22, 2022 6:17 pm

          Actually, this reply is to Beth.

          What disturbs me is that you misquote me as saying “Jews are going to Hell automatically”.

          I never came within 1 million feet of such teaching.

          Indeed the Jews ARE the chosen people of God. The problem is they REJECT Him when they rejected Jesus. To be very clear, many Jews as a result or grafted out, and consequently, Gentiles who believe are grafted in.

          I am teaching about the historical facts from this letter. No doubt there are Jews who believe in Jesus and will be saved. But no doubt we do read in the scriptures that for a very long period of time Jews, as a whole will reject Jesus. And you are committing intellectual suicide if you are telling me that most Jews are not rejecting Jesus Christ as God.

          The point is not rather not do the Jews believe in God. The point is do they believe that Jesus is the Son of God? God Himself?

          You wrote: ‘If they believe in God, they already believe in Jesus anyway.

          Ummm no. That is NOT the case. I know MANY Jews who say they believe in God but do NOT accept the teaching that Jesus is God, died on the cross as payment for sins and rose again.

          So yes, I am judging your ancestors and any Jew that does not call on Jesus as Lord. Saying Jews believe in God means NOTHING if they deny Jesus as Messiah.

          In John’s letter, we see Jews who were ‘Praying to God’. And did that know Jesus as God? Let’s see:

          [John 8:18] I am He who testifies about Myself, and the Father who sent Me testifies about Me.” 19 So they were saying to Him, “Where is Your Father?” Jesus answered, *“You DO NOT know Me nor My Father;* if you knew Me, you would know My Father also.”

          So, Jews today claim to know God, but if they do not agree that Jesus is God here is what Jesus says:

          [Matthew 10:33] And whoever shall *deny Me* before men, I also will deny him before My Father in the heavens

          So you can tell me the Jewish people believe in God, but this idea that that automatically means they are saved is false teaching. They need to accept Jesus right now, before they die, and acknowledge he is indeed God.

          I find it hard to believe you’re a Jewish person if you’re going to tell me that most Jewish people have received Jesus and confess that he is Lord and Savior. I’m not saying you’re not Jewish. I’m just saying you’re very misinformed. Either about the view of your fellow Jews or what the Scriptures teach. Either way, you are certainly misinformed.

  • EDMUND Posted October 23, 2022 4:26 am

    The story reflects badly on Peter who lies 3 times about knowing Jesus, yet is unable to forgive Ananias – and Sapphira (who doesn’t know her husband dropped dead when she is questioned) The story which may have been fabricated, shows early Christianity as a cult and Peter as a total hypocrite.

    • Mike C Posted October 23, 2022 10:04 am

      What a poor translation on your part. I worry far less about the authenticity of this story than I do your eternity. We don’t advertise, so you did not find this site by mistake.

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