This week at FUEL, we are going to be talking about one of the most difficult passages and topics to address in the book of Acts: church purity, specifically focusing on the story of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1-11. This is truly a difficult story to read through for the first time. Ananias and Sapphira tell a blatant lie (something that we have all done in our lives), and get struck down dead by God.
Immediately, we have lots of questions that come to mind. Why did God do this? Was He just in doing this? Why hasn’t God struck anybody else down when they sinned like this? Should we be concerned that God might strike someone dead at church this week? And what is the whole purpose of this story? Our goal this week at FUEL is to answer all of these questions by highlighting God’s holiness, His violent hatred of sin, and His unwavering standard that He will not permit sin in His church without consequence.
Admittedly, these are hard truths. In fact, I will admit that I have questioned whether or not our students are ready to handle this type of message. But when all is said and done, do our students really know who God is if they don’t know that God is holy and demands holiness in His church? If we misunderstand this, what power or purpose does the Gospel and the Cross have in our lives? No – now is the appropriate time for our students to learn that God is (and always has been) a God of love and mercy; but he is also a God of holiness, justice, and One who hates sin in every possible way.
Please join me in praying for our students this week as we consider these truths. Encourage your students to know the heart of God in scripture, and to understand that He calls all of us (as individuals and as a church) to live in holiness and purity, separated from sin – not celebrating it or embracing it.