Acts 5:7-11 – Should Christians condemn or convict?

About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?” “Yes,” she said, “that is the price.” Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.” At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events. (Acts 5:7-11)

When I was in my twenties and had a poor self-image, I got into the bad habit of gossiping. Someone asked me, “Jody, why did you say that?” It felt like a floodlight shined on me and through me, revealing decaying flesh and a dark heart. I repented immediately.

Everyone of us has lied at some point in our lives. In the moment, Christians don’t think about disappointing the Holy Spirit who lives within us. Because we’ve lied, we shouldn’t condemn others. We need to follow the example of Peter and trust God to take care of the consequences. Like Peter, ask those whom you’re mentoring a question. It’s the best way to make one think about their actions.

Peter asks a question in hopes it will convict Sapphira. Unfortunately, she doesn’t repent. God saw fit to take her life because it was important that the early church be pure. Again, this doesn’t mean Sapphira went to hell. “The dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who listen will come to life.”  (John 5:25b) Christians shouldn’t be afraid of death. Our salvation is not reversible. “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” (Romans 11:29)

Dearest Heavenly Father, I praise You for the wisdom the Bible gives us. Help me be gentle with others. If someone is disappointing me, help me not to get angry but to think of a question that will convict so they are anxious to repent. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Acts 5:7-11 – Should Christians condemn or convict?

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