Beware the Fear that Falls

February 6, 2015 at 3:18 pm | Posted in The Fives | 1 Comment
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After Jesus was Resurrected He stayed on the earth for 40 days, then ascended into Heaven. Next came the Day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit appeared and indwelled the believers who waited in the upper room. This was the beginning of a new era, in which all who believed on Christ unto salvation would receive the Holy Spirit. It was also the beginning of the time during which the New Testament was written – as the same Spirit inspired Apostles and prophets to reveal God’s inerrant and infallible Word.

It was an exciting time, and new Christians were very enthusiastic about financially supporting the work of getting the Gospel message spread throughout the world. However, whenever there is opportunity for ministry, there is also opportunity for recognition, and the desire for recognition can be a dangerous thing.

A married couple named Ananias (the husband) and Sapphira (the wife), wanted to show that they were willing to sacrifice for the work of the ministry, so they sold some land they owned, and brought the money from the sale, laying it openly at the Apostles’ feet. This sounds spiritual and inspiring, but the problem was that Satan influenced them to lie about what they were doing. They pretended to turn over the total amount of money they received from the sale of the land, but they secretly kept a portion of it for themselves.

The result for both of them, beginning with Ananias, was disastrous. Peter found out the truth and rightfully accused him of lying to the Holy Ghost and to God.

And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.

Acts 5:5

The Bible says that Ananias “fell,” and he did. He physically fell down dead. But his spiritual fall had come earlier, when he decided to try to deceive God and His people. In order to impress upon the early Christian believers how important it would be that the Gospel ministry be handled with honesty and forthrightness among them, the Holy Spirit caused “great fear” to come upon everyone who found out about Ananias’s fate.

We need to remember this principle as Christians even 2000 years later. A desire to exalt ourselves above our fellow Christians and to proudly make ourselves seem extraordinarily spiritual could very well result in a great (possibly embarrassing, possibly humiliating, possibly even deadly) fall. God is a loving Father, and the Holy Spirit is our Comforter, and the Lord Jesus is a caring Shepherd and Friend, but the Triune God is not to be trifled with. A healthy fear and respect of His omniscience and power over life and death will remind us that our outward actions are never to be hypocritically severed from our inward motives.

Acts

December 7, 2011 at 9:53 am | Posted in Acts | 2 Comments
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The Books of Acts records the organization and spreading of the Christian Church at its beginnings. Many of the things we do today in church – evangelism, preaching, praying, singing, fellowshipping, sharing meals, ministering to the needy, missions and missionary support – are patterned on the way things were done by the early Church in the 1st Century. Acts is an invaluable resource for Christians today. Below are links to lessons which feature some of the highlights from the Book of Acts:

1. Powerful Changes
2. The Power of the Resurrection and of the Holy Ghost 
3. Praying in Between
4. In One Place in One Accord
5. Unction in Church
6. For the Ladies…
7. Acts and the Apostles: Activated, Authorized, Audible, and Accountable
8. From Power to Proclamation to Prayer *
9. God’s Decretive Will
10. The Blessing and the Cost of an Honest Report
11. Beware the Fear that Falls
12. Exposing the Enemy and Going Forth with the Truth
13. Changing Names and Calling Names (Acts 9-11)
14. Three Questions and Three Answers (Acts 9:4-6)
15. Catechism Question 18
16. Testing Your Testimony

17. Preaching, Pressing, and Pushing On
18. The Life of a Missionary: Having a Fit, Making a Tough Choice, and Singing in Jail
19. The Most Important Question in Life
20. Don’t Get Caught Up the Creek Without Your Oars
21. Varied Results
22. Time Is Running Out
23. Insincerity, Inaccuracy, or Incompletion?
24. Promoted with Straight “A”s
25. The Man Who Fell out of Church (Narrative)
26. The Man Who Fell out of Church (Application)
27. Conscious of the Conscience
28. Innocent Bystanders
29. The More You See, the Better You Look
30. The Backstroke

31. When in Rome, Preach to the Romans

*most read post in series


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