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

5 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

    • 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.

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