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Acts Chapter 5:1-11

Cross the Bridge / David McGee
The Truth Network Radio
April 23, 2021 1:00 am

Acts Chapter 5:1-11

Cross the Bridge / David McGee

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April 23, 2021 1:00 am

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Hypocrisy doesn't mean that even though you love God, you're in fellowship, you're serving God, that you occasionally mess up. Paul said this, he said, you know, the things that I want to do, I don't do them.

Things that I don't want to do, I end up doing those. Now, was Paul a hypocrite? Absolutely not. Paul was a man still struggling to work out his faith, and if Paul was, then guess what?

We are. But the word hypocrite comes from the word, Greek word, hypocrites, which was the word used for an actor on stage who wore a mask and pretended to be something they weren't. That's what a hypocrite is. Pretending to be something you are not.

Now, I'm not talking about you occasionally mess up, you stumble, or you fall, and now you can't raise your hands because after all, you messed up last week, or yesterday, or this morning. That's not what I'm talking about. Just don't pretend to be something that you're not. Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David McGee. David is the senior pastor of the bridge in Kernersville, North Carolina. As followers of Christ, we should always be real when we're approaching God and when we're approaching other believers.

God doesn't want us to be fake. And today, Pastor David explains why it's important to be real with God as he continues teaching in the book of Acts, chapter five. So here's David McGee with part two of his teaching, Ananias and Sapphira.

Let's open up with Acts chapter five, verse one. But a certain man named Ananias with Sapphira, his wife, sold a possession, and he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles feet. But Peter said, Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?

Now I want you to notice something. It wasn't that Ananias didn't sell the land. It wasn't that he kept back a portion after he had sold the land. The problem is that Ananias misrepresented what he had done.

He had misrepresented or lied in what he had presented. See what Peter says in verse four. While it remained, was it not your own?

And after it was sold, was it not in your control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You've not lied to men, but to God. Then Ananias hearing these words fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things. Now understand Peter didn't do this. Peter did not do this. I think Peter at this point was as surprised as anybody. I think Peter said, you know, what you're doing is bad.

This is not good. I mean, there was, you know, perhaps some sense of foreboding or, ooh, you know. And he said, look, yeah, you did a bad thing. But I think he was really shocked when Ananias fell over dead. Now, so this is something that God did. We're going to talk about this. It's a difficult passage, but understand we don't have all the details here.

I mean, this is, this is obviously something that's in depth. There's more to the story, but we have about 11 verses that we can look at and we can learn from and we can glean from. And, you know, I wondered as I was studying this passage, did Ananias have previous warnings? I bet you he did. I bet you he did. I look back on my life and some of the, you know, really stupid things that blew up in my face, you know, there was that feeling right before you did it, you know, and perhaps you can connect with this, you know, right before you did it, you thought, boy, I really probably shouldn't do this, you know, but then you did it anyway, and then bad things happened. So maybe it's never happened with you.

Sympathize with me, if you will, for a moment, you know, there's that thing. I think Ananias probably had that, but he proceeded anyway. Let's read verse six. And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out and buried him. Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter answered her, tell me whether you sold the land for so much. She said, yes, for so much.

Man, if there's any time a wife could say, you really should have told me, this is one of those times, but he didn't have the opportunity, did he? She takes part to verse nine. Then Peter said to her, how is it that you have agreed together to test the spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door and they will carry you out. Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last.

And the young men came in and found her dead, carrying her out, buried her by her husband. So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things. Now this is a tough passage to teach on. Let me, let me just share, you know, we, we talk about grace and we talk about mercy and, you know, and now I have to, you know, communicate about how God, the breath out of two people.

Here's the thing. You have to look at this and go, what happened? What triggered this type of judgment? Was it the lying in the midst of a very honest fellowship? No, I don't think so. Was it the grand standing in front of these people in the midst of all these people, you know, self-sacrificing?

I don't think so. What I think it was, was the hypocrisy that was shown in a real work of God. They were being hypocrites.

And I think that God saw this. He saw the hypocrisy. He knew the damage that hypocrisy would cause over the next 2000 years. And he needed to address it. He knew hypocrisy, the damage it would do to the cause of Christ, the damage it would do to the church. And if you know what, by the deaths of two people, if thousands could understand how dangerous hypocrisy was and is, then their lives were not lost in vain. I think thousands and thousands of people have probably read this passage and address the situation. Now it's interesting, the timing of it, because if you think about another 30 years, the Bible would have been completed.

This story would not have been included in the Bible, but because it happened where it did, Luke records it in the book of Acts. We have it. Now let's talk about hypocrisy and what it is and what it's not. Hypocrisy doesn't mean that even though you love God, you're in fellowship, you're serving God, that you occasionally mess up.

Okay. That's, we refer to that as the dichotomy. Paul, Paul said this, he said, you know, the things that I want to do, I don't do them.

The things that I don't want to do, I end up doing those. Now, was Paul a hypocrite? Absolutely not. Paul was a man still struggling to work out his faith. And if Paul was, then guess what?

We are. But the word hypocrite comes from the word, Greek word hypocrites, which was the word used for an actor on stage who wore a mask and pretended to be something they weren't. That's what a hypocrite is. Pretending to be something you are not.

Now I'm not talking about you occasionally mess up, you stumble or you fall, and now you can't raise your hands because after all you messed up last week or yesterday or this morning. It's not what I'm talking about. Just don't pretend to be something that you're not deliberate deception.

Now, boy, how do we do this? Because I think most of us realize that hypocrisy is alive and well in the church. What do we do with the life lesson here? Followers of Jesus need to be real with God and with one another. Followers of Jesus need to be real with God and with one another.

And guys, this happens, hypocrisy creeps in so subtly, just, you know, and we try to put on a good face. Do you understand because of what Jesus did? You don't have to carry that face anymore. You don't have to pretend anymore. You don't have to act like you earned salvation.

You can understand that it's a gift that it was given to you. And yet so often we fall into this. Well, I got to keep up appearances, got to keep up appearances that I'm loving God with all my heart and my mind and my soul and loving our neighbor. And now this is important. And I'll tell you, part of the reason that's important is because this, this is a real church. Now, what do I mean by that? I mean, it's not a fake church.

What do you mean by that? This is a place where you can be real. And I don't know if you will be, but it's a place that you can be real because I stand up here as your pastor.

And I talk about, you know what? I still struggle with my faith. Well, you're a pastor. You can't struggle with your faith. Well, yes, I can. Paul did.

And I do. What do you mean struggle with your faith? Probably what you think that means, you know, that means that, you know, when I go to pray sometimes I don't feel like praying pastor. Oh, pastor.

I'm being real with you. Guess what? Sometimes I open the Bible. I don't feel like reading it. Oh, pastor.

Oh, and here's a final blow sometimes on Sunday morning. I don't feel like coming out here. You know, this, this morning, my throat is manic. It's hurting.

I don't know. It got some kind of something out of me, but so I'm being, I can't get more real than that. Now for some of you, you just got really uncomfortable. Why is that?

Because I was being real with you and you're not being real with others. See some of you, when I just said that, you're like, oh man, praise God. You know, I mean, if he's struggling in his walk with the Lord, I guess it's okay. I'm struggling.

Yes. Let's be honest. Let's walk the road together. Let's be on this journey together and don't sit and look at me like, whoa, he's holy man. God's using cause he's holy man. He got all figured out, quit sinning. Now God made him a pastor. No, because see, if I'm transparent from up here, I'm encouraging you to be transparent in your life. And I've actually had people come and say, you know what? I'm uncomfortable with a pastor that talks about the fact that he still sins.

Guess what I said? That person, this is probably not the church for you. If that type of transparency makes you uncomfortable, you're probably not going to be comfortable here.

Why? Because this has got to be the place we let down our mask. And yet what has the church become?

It's become known for wearing mask. How twisted is that? Oh man. It's, it's, but see, we have to be real. We have to be real with one another.

Now I'm not, here's the flip side. There's a time and a place to share. Okay.

Understand that you, you can be in the wrong situation and try to share the right thing. And it just, it's not going to be good. You know, we, we had, you know, back when we were small fellowship, we, you know, uh, allowed, you know, people stand up and give testimony.

We stopped doing that. Um, because, you know, there was a couple of moments when, you know, people got into weird stuff, you know, but they were, you know, I mean, Sharon bizarre sexual things that they did. It's like, no, no, no, no. It's wrong format. You know, I mean, don't be, don't be, look, don't pull somebody of the opposite sex and tell them, you know, I was struggling with sexual addictions and all this.

No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. There's the right format to share these things. And there's the wrong one, but find the right one and share and be real.

Why? Because you can be, Jesus died that you could be real. And if there's one thing that made Jesus mad, I mean, he hung out with centers. He hung out with publicancy. He hung out with prostitutes.

He hung out with thieves, tax collectors, but who did he get angry at? The religious hypocrites, people that were wearing the mask, let your mass down, let your mass down. That's scary. I realize that's scary. Even as I said that some of you are like, I'm not sure I can do that. You can do it. But God's Spirit will empower you to do that.

But you have to be willing to do that. We'll be right back with more from David McGee on Cross the Bridge. Right now, here's a word from associate pastor DA Brown. Hey guys, we want to take just a minute to pray for some cities in our listening audience, specifically Ashland, Oregon and Baker City, Brookings, Canyonville, Cave Junction, Cloverdale and Colton.

Lord, we thank you for these cities and everyone listening. Lord, we pray that you would pour out your Spirit on these broadcast audiences. Father, we pray that pastors would have wisdom in these cities on how to love their communities. Lord, I pray that people would put their trust in you.

God, I pray that you would give the governmental leaders wisdom and discernment, that you would protect these cities, Father, that there be peace in these cities. And Lord, that your word would be high and lifted up. In Jesus' name, amen. Amen.

Thank you, brother. And now, let's get back to David McGee as he continues teaching verse by verse. Interestingly enough, in this little passage about hypocrisy, is the first time we see the word church in the Bible. That use of the word church in verse 11 is the first time that's occurred in the Bible. And if you've studied the Bible for very long, you know what's called the law of first mention. What that means is the first time a word occurs in the Bible, it tends to carry more weight, more significance. In other words, in Genesis 22, is the first time you see the word love in the Bible. When Abraham is offering up Isaac, it's also the first time you see the word worship in the Bible, interestingly enough. And here in this passage is the first time we see the word church in this passage on hypocrisy.

I think God looked into the future and he knew what hypocrisy was going to cost the church. Now, the church, what is the church? What is the church for?

Well, it's several things for several reasons. It's to glorify God, to worship God, and to tell others. Now, some people say, well, it's just to tell others.

No, it's not just to tell others. It's to worship God, glorify God, and to tell others. And so those are the reasons we get together and we learn about God.

Why? So we can glorify God. We learn about God so we can worship God.

And then when you realize who God is, you want to go tell others. 1 John 3 18 says this, dear children, let us stop just saying we love each other. Let us really show it by our actions. Quit saying we love one another and show each other by our actions.

We've got to be real with you. You have to find, and look, maybe I'm not the person for you to come be real with. Maybe somebody in your small group or somebody close to you or somebody you serve with. And man, pull them aside and say, look, this is what I'm struggling with.

Would you please pray for me? And you will, you'll know by their reaction if you shared with the right person or not. Now, when you do that, don't just expect them to pat you on the back and go, oh, it's okay that you're doing that, that you shot three people last week. We all have our moments.

No, they might go, well, you know, you need to turn yourself in. You need to deal with this issue. You need to quit shooting people. Don't take that as a lack of caring or lack of lack of love, because that's a necessary part of loving people to say, well, I appreciate you sharing that, but you know, God has a plan and he's able to help you. And let me tell you very two, two impactful moments in my, in my spiritual life.

I'll start with the negative. I was going through some stuff and just really, you know, just struggling with sin, carnality, no, no major issues, not drugs or anything like that. I still, you know, I was struggling with some things and I went to share with somebody and I said, look, I'm struggling with these issues. And this guy said, you know what?

You need to go back and re-examine your salvation experience. I said, what do you mean? He goes, we shouldn't be struggling with those things.

I said, why not? He said, because the Bible says, behold, all things have become new. I walked away from that conversation going, I'm not saved because I'm still struggling.

I shared with the wrong person. Sad thing was that person was in leadership and pretty much represented the views of that church. And so I thought, well, maybe I'm not one of the called, maybe, maybe God, maybe I'm predestined to go to hell.

I don't know. You know, I really struggled for a long time with that. And then he threw in one other verse, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. I was so freaked out after that conversation. It was years later that I actually read the verse that comes after that, that says it is God that works in you to both, to want to do and to do of his good pleasure.

So it's God that's working out in us. So that's the negative conversation, but here's a positive conversation earlier with another brother. When I came off the, um, this is, this is as transparent as it gets, but when I came off the rock and roll road and got back into church life, there was a lot of things that just dropped off. I, you know, the flight home I spent in the restroom with airplane dying, but you know, after that, I mean, I quit drinking. I quit doing cocaine.

I quit doing all these different things, but I still smoked marijuana and I was going to church. And after a few weeks I called this guy and I said, man, can I talk to you? And he said, sure.

So what's going on? I said, man, I'm struggling. He said, what are you struggling with?

So, man, I hesitate to tell you, just go ahead and tell me, Brian. I said, man, I still smoke pot. And I thought, well, he's going to hit me or ban me from the church or something. I said, I don't know what to do. I said, I feel, I feel very, really convicted when I'm in church about it.

I said, what should I do? He said, just keep coming. I said, just keep coming to church. I said, I just told you that I smoked pot. And he said, yeah, just keep coming to church. I said, why are you telling me that? He goes, because at some point God is going to so fill you up that you're not going to have an empty space to be filled with that kind of nonsense.

Well, he didn't use nonsense with that kind of stuff. I said, okay. About two weeks later, I sat down to do my thing and I went, I don't need this anymore. I don't need this anymore because God has so filled my life and my heart and my soul that the crutches can go.

I was able to be honest with that person and he was able to love me through it. That's what it's supposed to look like. This, the church was never meant to be like a museum for people that got it down. It was meant to be a hospital for those that are struggling to be loved on and to be encouraged in their faith and how twisted the whole thing has gotten.

And what happened, Ananias and Zephira started focusing on what? The outside, the appearances. You know what? We're not big on appearances here. I mean, obviously look, I wouldn't have just shared a story that I used to smoke dope and I went to church if we were big on appearances. Cause I know that there's probably a couple of people are going, yeah, I thought his eyes were red when he came out this morning, you know, playing guitar like that.

We know what guitar players do. You know, that's, that's the risk I take. That is the risk I take, but you know what?

I'm, I'm not into appearances. Don't get into this trap of appearances of doing things for a parent's sake. What do them for God, do them for God, because you know what? God always sees. And there will be times in your life where nobody else will see what you're doing. There will be times in your life when you're doing something good and you're doing something. Nobody else will see it. Nobody else will thank you, but God sees it and God will appreciate it.

And if you understand that you can be motivated in the proper way. Hebrews 6, 10 says this for God is not unfair. He will not forget how hard you've worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other Christians as you still do. God sees, don't be so concerned about appearances. Be concerned on what's the inside because then the inside God is at work in your life.

How do I know that? Because you're here this morning. God's doing something. People don't just wake up early on Sunday morning and go, what do you want to do? I don't know, let's go to church. No, I mean, that's the spirit of God working in you, getting you out of bed, bringing you to this place.

It's an awesome thing. Colossians 3 24 says, remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward and the master you are serving is Christ. You're serving God. And we would do well to remember that Jesus was a friend of sinners, but an enemy to religious hypocrites. So how do we address this problem? How do we cure the church of this ill on an individual basis? See, you can't cure anybody else's hypocrisy. This is between you and God. The question is, are you willing in the safety of God's Holy Spirit and his love and his mercy to be real this morning and to say, you know what, God, I've been walking around with a mask, but I don't want to live like that. When you're living like that, you do not have the peace of God.

You can't. Why? Because you're keeping up appearances. You're keeping up the mask.

And if you're content with just looking a little cleaned up on the outside, man, may you not be so cheaply satisfied because God is interested in doing something deep in here. But the question is, will you be real with him? Friend, do you know for sure that your sins have been forgiven?

You can know right now. I want to lead you in a short, simple prayer, simply telling God you're sorry and asking him to help you to live for him. Now, God wants you to pray this prayer so much that he died to give you the opportunity and the ability to ask him to forgive you.

Please pray this prayer with me out loud right now. Dear Jesus, I believe you died for me that I could be forgiven. And I believe you were raised from the dead that I could have a new life and I've done wrong things. I have sinned and I'm sorry. Please forgive me of all those things. Please give me the power to live for you all of my days in Jesus name.

Amen. Friend, if you prayed that prayer according to the Bible, you've been forgiven. You've been born again.

So congratulations, friend, you just made the greatest decision that you will ever make. God bless you. If you prayed that prayer with David for the first time, we'd love to hear from you. You can visit crossthebridge.com to receive our First Steps package with helpful resources to help you begin your walk with Christ.

Or, you can write to Cross the Bridge at P.O. Box 12515, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, 27117, and share how God is working in your life. You know, the Bible tells us that the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord. But it does cost for us to come and bring that message to you and to others in your neighborhood, through radio, through the internet, and through the mobile technologies that God has gifted us to be able to use. So if you'd like to support this ministry, please go to crossthebridge.com, click on the donate button, and ask God how much he would have you give, either on a one-time basis or a continuing basis each month to help ensure that the teaching of God's word continues to go out through Cross the Bridge. Thank you so much. Well, DA, before we go, what are some ways that we can bless our listeners? Each day you can wake up with encouragement from Pastor David through the Word of God, with his email devotional, life lessons to consider, a daily reading plan, and a thought to meditate on throughout your day from the heart of David McGee. Those are terrific, and it's easy and it's free. So folks, sign up today at crossthebridge.com. Thanks again for listening, and join us next time as David McGee continues teaching verse by verse in the book of Acts.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-26 06:52:31 / 2023-11-26 07:03:22 / 11

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