Nnanias and Sapphira’s sin was to lie to the Holy Spirit . They made an offer to the church but they lied about the money they gave. God punished them for lying, not for retaining part of the money.
The story of Ananias and Sapphira
Ananias and Sapphira were part of the early church in Jerusalem. At the beginning of the church, many more wealthy believers sold properties they owned and gave the money to support the church . Because of this generosity, the poorest members of the church were in no need ( Acts 4: 32-35 ).
See also: what was the early church like?
One day, Ananias and Safira decided to sell a property they owned and keep a part of the profit. With the wife’s consent, Ananias took the rest of the money to the apostles but pretended that he had given everything he had received . However, God revealed the lie to Peter.
Pedro rebuked Ananias for lying. The money was his and he could have done anything to her. Ananias was under no obligation to give the church all the money. He did not need to lie ( Acts 5: 3-4 ).
As soon as he heard the rebuke, Ananias fell dead! His body was removed and buried soon. Three hours later, Sapphira arrived, unaware that her husband was dead. Pedro asked him if the money they had given was the entire price of the property and Safira replied that it was.
Pedro rebuked Sapphira for lying to her husband and informed her that Ananias was dead. Pedro told Sapphira that the same people who had just buried her husband were also going to bury her. At that moment Sapphira also fell dead! Because of this event, everyone was greatly afraid of God ( Acts 5: 9-11 ).
Why did Ananias and Sapphira receive such a severe punishment?
Ananias and Sapphira were punished so severely because their sin was very serious. It was not “just” a lie. Under the influence of Satan, Ananias and Sapphira lied to God.
See here: what does God say in the Bible about lying?
The devil is the father of lies ( John 8:44 ). He uses lying to induce sin and destroy us. The lie is very dangerous. Jesus came to deliver us through the truth ( John 8:32 ).
Ananias and Sapphira wanted to deceive God’s people but were actually lying to God. The Bible says that anyone who does anything against God’s people does it to God ( Matthew 25:40 ). Ananias and Sapphira died as an example, to show that God is merciful but is also just and punishes those who try to deceive His people. God does not tolerate the works of the devil within the church.