|Aired week of July 24 - 30, 2011
"Lying to God"
July 27, 2011
Hello Friend! I'm Don Guthrie and I want to thank you for joining me today as we look into God’s Holy Word to
learn how we can become a more faithful followers of Christ, and a better witnesses to the world.
I would like to invite you to pray with me as I begin my message for this morning. Lord, I come before you this day
in the name of Jesus. I ask that you speak through me, and anoint our ears and heart that we may hear the message
you have for us today. Speak to us, and fill us with understanding that we might serve you fully. Amen!
Have you ever made a promise to God, or possibly made a bargained with him, saying something like Lord if you
do so and so, than I promise to do such and such. Maybe you or someone you loved was sick, and you implored God
for healing, and in so doing added in a promise to do certain things for good measure. Maybe you determined in your
heart to follow Christ, and promised him that you would stop doing certain things or using certain words if he saved
Many of us have made statements to God, and promised him to do certain things, without thinking of what they
were doing, or considering the ramifications of not fulfilling their pledge to God. Whether you have considered it or
not, to promise God something is serious,
For instance, there is an account of such a promise being made to God in the book of acts, a promise from a
husband and wife to sell their farm and give all the money to the Lord. Unfortunately for them, en they sold the farm
they determined to keep part of the money for themselves. If you have your bible, I would invite you to follow along, if
your bible is not handy, listen to the words as I read from the book of Acts, chapter five, and versed one through
eleven. Again that was:
1. But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
2. And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain
part, and laid it at the apostles' feet.
3. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and
to keep back part of the price of the land?
4. Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own
power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men,
but unto God.
5. And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came
on all them that heard these things.
6. And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.
7. And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was
done, came in.
8. And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she
said, Yea, for so much.
9. Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the
Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall
carry thee out.
10. Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men
came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.
11. And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.
Ananias and Sapphira were part of a growing and prosperous first Church. God was moving and working in the
Church is a mighty way. Peter and the other Apostles were preaching and teaching Christ, and folks were being
converted to the Lord and they were totally dedicated to the work of the Lord. Church then was much different than
Church today. The people were in one accord. They belied the same thing, and they worked together for the common
good of all.
With some having much and some having little, it was determined that those who had, would help those who had
not, so many of them sold their farms, and gave the money they received to the Apostles so they could continue the
work of Jesus, and help those who had needs. They took the words of Jesus seriously, to sell all that you have and
give it to the poor.
Numerous people in the first Church sold their possessions, and gave the money away. Among them were
Ananias and Sapphira. Apparently Ananias and Sapphira's heart was not in the project and they refused to trust God
to care for them. They conspired between themselves to sell the property and then lie and say they sold if for a
smaller amount keeping the difference for their self. They didn't have it in their heart to tell Peter and the others in the
Church that they wanted to keep a nest egg, nor did they want others to think they didn’t having enough faith to give
everything, so they lied not only to Peter, but to God. As a result, first Ananias was struck down and died, and later
Sapphira was struck down and died as well.
Peter told them before they died that the money was theirs to do with as they pleased. The farm was theirs to
keep or to sell. It was theirs to choose to do what they wanted to do and how to do it, but to lie to God's Holy Spirit, to
say you were going to do something and then refuse and to do so in a way to make yourself look good to others, well
that wasn’t acceptable to God. Apparently both the husband and the wife thought more of what others though of them
than what God did.
Don't hear me wrong. God didn’t need their money. He didn’t care if they kept some for themselves or even if
they kept the farm. What He did care about was their lying to him and to others because of their vanity and their own
personal gain. For that, they both died. As a result we see in verse eleven "And great fear came upon all the church,
and upon as many as heard these things."
Unfortunately my friends, those who are in the church of today have lost their fear of God and no longer worry
what he might do if we lie to him or fail to keep promises we have made in his name.
Over the twenty plus years I’ve been preaching, I’ve been a part of many baptisms, prayed the sinners prayer
with an untold number of people, dedicated a lot of children to God, prayed thousands of prayers for folks healing,
and for the needs of others, and joined a large number of couples in marriage. I am reminded of the vows that were
made to God on these occasions.
At a marriage, a couple vows to love honor and respect their mate until they are parted by death. They promise
to stand by the other through good times and bad, through sickness or health, and through poverty or wealth. Yet,
many of those who make these vows to God, break them, parting from their marriage, and often making the same
vows with another mate. Their promise to God is forgotten.
At a baptism, folks vow to God that they will turn from sin, and make him the Lord of their life. Yet, many continue
to sin, and living their life in disobedience to God, never once considering the vows they made. Their promises are
forgotten as well.
Children are brought to the Church by their parents, and dedicated to God. Parents and grandparents promise to
raise the child in a Christian home. They promise to take the Child to Church and to live in such a way that the child
will learn to know Jesus and someday accept him as their savior. The church vows that they will stand by the child
that they will pray for him or her, and be there to help when needed. Yet, both the parents and the Church fail the
child. I have seen some families who seldom if ever come back to the church after the child is dedicated. The promise
is quickly forgotten.
Where is our fear of God today?
Someone is lying on their deathbed, or they are suffering from a disease or injury, they bargain with God, “Lord,
if you heal me I will start going to Church, and follow you with all my heart.” God heals them, and they forget their
promise. “Lord my child is suffering, if you heal her I will take her to Church and we will follow you all the days of our
life.” The child is healed, the promise is forgotten.
Some of the songs we sing in Church have promises in them. Where He leads me I will Follow; Anywhere with
Jesus; It is Well With My soul; Jesus Is all the World to Me; My Hope is Built on Nothing Less; When The Roll Is
Called Up Yonder I'll Be There: I'll Cling to the Old Rugged Cross; and many more. We sing the words but do we
mean them, yet we are singing those songs to God, making promised as we sing. Our heart’s in the singing as we try
to sound good and make beautiful music but are the words we are singing in our heart or are we really lying to God.
We really don't mean to lie. We actually didn't think of what we said or consider the words, yet we lied.
One that comes a little closer to what Ananias and Sapphira did would be what is being done by those we call a
hypocrites. Let me explain. Ananias and Sapphira were hypocrites by claiming they were doing something for the
Lord and instead doing something different, so others would see them and think good of them. Such is why the
hypocrite does what they do. They come to church on Sunday and rejoice and praise God making a show of their
love and devotion to God, than for the rest of the week, they live for the Devil that’s a hypocrite. Not only are they a
hypocrite, they are lying to God and to others about what they are and what they believe.
Unlike Ananias and Sapphira, it’s doubtful that God will strike them down so that they will die, instead they will
stand before him someday and answer for their sins. Only God can judge them and only he can condemn them to
eternal death. Can they be forgiven? Yes, I believe they can. But they must realize their sins, and come before God
humbly seeking his forgiveness and mercy. Than they must do as Jesus told the harlot on the street, "Go and sin no
When we commit ourselves to God, or to anything, we need to do so by believing and committing our actions to
God and saying to him or to others, "with God's Help I will." The bottom line is, we are week and we will fail but if we
first of all seek and do God's will, we will be on the right track. Even so, we can only do God's will with the help of
God. Without God's help it is impossible to be what he wants us to be. But with his help we can walk in honesty,
rightness and wholeness through this life and into the next. We need to learn to seek his help, along with his will for
our lives. It is so easy to mess up, and if we try to make it on our own, we are doomed to fail.
Have you ever noticed how often when you say you are going to do something you are not able to do it, or when you
say you will never do such and such, that is something you eventually do. The reason is, God was not in it and you
were trying to do it on your own. Instead of making a promise, one should say, "with God's help I will do my best, but I
can only do it with his help."
We have all made promised that we have broken. The good news is, God will forgive us.
1 John 1:9 states
9. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us
from all unrighteousness.
Only God can forgive our sins, and he will only forgive if we ask. But, when you ask, don't make empty promises,
such as, "Lord forgive me for breaking my promise to you, I promise to never do the same again" Instead pray, Lord,
forgive me for breaking my promises to you and to others, with your help, I will do my best to not repeat my actions
again. I know I am week and without your help, I will fail, so Lord, help me and guide me so that I will be honest and
upright to you and to others in all my dealings."
It would be good to remember Ananias and Sapphira and what happened to them when they lied to God and his
people. Maybe than we would have a little more fear of God, and would be a little more careful with what we promise
to do on our own, without God's help. AMEN