It was a strange Sunday. It was as though God was directing things himself.
Every preacher in every congregation preached about lieing. Every sermon referenced Ananias and Sapphira.
Ananias & Sapphira sold a piece of property. They wanted the glory of giving 100 per cent when, in fact, they had kept some of the money for themselves. The day Ananias made the contribution, Peter asked him if this was the full value of the property, if the were giving 100 per cent. Ananias said, "Yes." In the short version, Peter told him he had "not lied to men, but to God." He immediately dropped dead.
Three hours later Sapphira showed up. Peter ask a similar question. She too answered "Yes." Peter told her how her conspiracy with her husband effectively tested the Lord. He said the men who had just finished burying her husband will "carry you out." Just like her husband, she too dropped dead.
On that strange Sunday invitation songs were sung. None of the liars repented. They felt the could get away with it this Sunday like all other Sundays. In retrospect it seemed as if God would give the one more chance to make a change. Was God waiting to see if their commitment was to him or to continue sinning?
That is when it happened. The last song had been sung. The closing prayer voiced. People were starting to visit. Suddenly, in every congregation, one man and one woman, known liars, dropped dead.
This time preachers did not console the families. This time each congregation knew why they died.
Should members be fearful?
Will lies continue without any second thought?
And what about cheating? Envy? Stealing? Whispering/Gossip? Arrogance?
Would there be more living without cut-throat competition, brutal tempers exploiding, or addictions?
But my opinion is that the increased purity would be short-lived. Some disciples will lose their concentration on what happened and go back to their familiar sinful paths.
Why so cynical? Let me ask two questions. First, to show man's tendencies, are you as patriotic as you were on September 12, 2001? Second, would a growing disciple have heard of Ananias and Sapphira and made changes? Just as our patriotic fevor has declined, so has our "great fear...on all who heard these things.
What do you think?