Ananias and Sapphira are an infamous husband and wife couple, who were struck dead by God over the sin of lying (Acts 5:1-11). In fact, their only recorded sin was lying and they only lied ONCE. After Ananias and Sapphira lied, they were immediately struck dead by God, leaving them NO TIME TO REPENT. Their LIE was attached to a generous act! That was their only recorded sin! Many would consider what they said as just a little white lie and nothing serious, especially since their giving would help poor saints, but apparently God didn’t view it that way! God killed them both!
Ananias and Sapphira Were Previously Saved
Though some license for immorality teachers, like Joseph Prince, would deny Ananias and Sapphira were once saved, the Biblical evidence proves otherwise. So let’s look at that evidence:
- We can know if one is a child of God or a child of the devil by their present tense behavior (1 John 3:10; 2:4). Hence, the church at Jerusalem knew if Ananias and Sapphira were saved or not, and they were with the company of believers. That implies that the Christians knew that Ananias and Sapphira were possessors of eternal life at one point.
- After both were struck dead for lying, the whole church was seized by great fear (Acts 5:11). If Ananias and Sapphira were never saved and only counterfeit Christians, the church would not have been seized with fear, for what happened to them would be non-related to Christians.
- Both Ananias and Sapphira lied to Peter and were judged by God immediately afterwards. Peter wrote in his epistle the following, which seems directly related to Ananias and Sapphira, but only if they had been saved:
For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? (1 Pet 4:17)
- Ananias and Sapphira acted just like some of the other Christians who previously sold property and gave the proceeds to feed needy brothers and sisters.
Ananias and Sapphira Lost Their Salvation
Though some may find it repulsive and even heretical to believe that Ananias and Sapphira were once saved and afterwards went to hell, but all the Biblical evidence supports this! Ananias and Sapphira were liars and all liars will go to the lake of fire (Rev. 21:8). There are NO Christian liars. Ananias and Sapphira tried to deceive and deceivers will be excluded from New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:27).
Sin Unto Death
To believe that God in his anger struck Ananias and Sapphira physically dead over their sin of lying and took them to heaven is a poisonous doctrinal myth, but consistent with the damnable heresy of once saved always saved. Shocking but true—that is what the grace changers teach under the subheading of the sin unto death! For example, here is what grace changer, S. Michael Houdmann of GotQuestions wrote:
The “sin unto death” is deliberate, willful, continuous, unrepentant sin. God, in His grace, allows His children to sin without immediately punishing them. However, there comes a point when God will no longer allow a believer to continue in unrepentant sin. When this point is reached, God sometimes decides to punish a Christian, even to the point of taking his or her life. (What is the sin unto death?, emphasis mine)
Though S. Michael Houdmann actually cited Ananias and Sapphira as an example of the sin unto death, his description of it (as just quoted) blatantly contradicts their experience! How? Because Ananias and Sapphira only sinned once and their judgment was immediate!
Oberservations From Ananias and Sapphira
- Their good deed of giving to the poor didn’t cancel out their sin of lying! The kindness Ananias and Sapphira showed to the poor didn’t nullify God’s wrath over their sin. God still saw their sin of lying and struck them dead over it. Wicked people can give to the poor. (Is it possible that some people in our day who suddenly die are the result of God’s judgment too?
- Contrary to what people tend to think that one will have time to repent after sinning, Ananias and Sapphira had no opportunity to repent after their lie.
- There are various Bible mysteries revolving around Ananias and Sapphira, but this is clear fact! IF Ananias and Sapphira had known they would be struck dead over lying, they wouldn’t have lied! In other words, their faulty view of God excluded that possibility and was dangerously too lenient on sin, just like multitudes professing to be Christian in our day!
- IF Ananias and Sapphira had been seized with the great fear of God the church of Jerusalem had after their death (Acts 5:11), they would never have lied and died like they did!
- IF you don’t realize the God of the Bible can treat you the same way over lying, you are just as dangerously deceived as Ananias and Sapphira were before they were struck dead!
- The experience of Ananias and Sapphira was “after the cross,” but their sin of turning to evil still led to spiritual death. God could still see their sin and it was not forgiven before it was committed.
- Lying is a DEADLY sin (just like lusting in the heart) and should never be taken lightly.
- Ananias (the husband) seems to have been the first one to be tempted, who then adversely influenced his wife (Sapphira) to also lie. Don’t let your spouse drag you down to hell with him/her. If he/she backslides, you must continue to follow Jesus to reap eternal life. This is a requirement for eternal life.
- Hard is the road that leads to life (Mt. 7:14). The intensity of our spiritual warfare is reflected with what happened to Ananias and Sapphira.