I’m not that eager to bring the Word this Sunday.
The hardest part of preaching verse-by-verse through books of the Bible is dealing with the hardest parts.
Passages like Acts 5:1-11 present a challenge to both preacher and people as we together grapple with the intensity of the hard things God is communicating.
In this Sunday’s passage, Luke provides the account of Ananias and Sapphira, who conspired together with respect to an offering, holding back part of the proceeds while giving the impression they were giving the whole amount of the sale of some land. They lied to the Apostle Peter, compromised the unity of the church, and tested the Holy Spirit.
The whole episode left a dark cloud hanging over the church as God brought his discipline down on them with each one dropping dead.
Luke tells us that “great fear” gripped the church as a result. No kidding.
The reality is that we’ve lost all sense of the fear of God today, and we could do with more. We’re so quick to speak of God’s love, mercy, grace, and kindness because, as the P.R. people will tell us, “That’ll sell!”
It is hard enough to attract people to church and the gospel without having them thinking that God might kill them or discipline them if they, as a Christian, persist in sin or blatantly disregard the Word. Yet, there it is in Acts 5.
The question we’ll press is how we can all have a healthy, appropriate fear of God.
The Book of Acts
Pastor Todd Dugard
March 8, 2020
Having “great fear” of God means...
...I don’t trivialize sin
...I don’t think I’m immune to discipline
...I don’t taint the church
...I don’t test him