ISSUES IN THE CHURCH
By Kemi Adesola
Ananias and Saphira – A case study on the evil of self – centredness.
Bible references: Acts 5:1-11, Proverbs 14:12, Proverbs 15:3, Psalms 90:12.
When the believers began to increase their needs increased as well so there was an urgency to provide for the less privileged. As Jesus taught His disciples to deny themselves in order to help others, the believers decided to share their possessions in common.
When Jesus requested that His disciples should feed people in (Matthew 14:14-16)
And when Jesus went out, He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them and healed their sick. When it was evening, His disciples
came to Him, saying, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food.”
But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat’.
The culture of togetherness was built and handed down by the lord Jesus Christ and the Apostles to the believers after the Pentecost and it continues till today. Any actions that go against this humble lifestyle is a recipe for crisis.
When Ananias and Saphira decided to sell their personal belongings,we understand that they were not forced to do it but as they realised that having been blessed by others, they need to bless people too, so they wanted to do good by their actions, but they have not opened their hearts to the goodness of God and so they ultimately do not fear God deeply enough to tell the truth.
Giving is tied to your level of personal truth, because nobody can check your bank account apart from you and God or your personal banker. The only barrier to giving to one another as Christ recommends is Self -centredness, when you start to think too much of yourself above others. Another meaning of the word is to be concerned solely with one’s own needs and desires.
Any instance of individuality or self- centredness will usually invite confusion and strife.
In Malachi 3:10-12, God emphasized the need for His children to practice togetherness through the payments of tithes and offering.
Any believer that doesn’t practice the payment of tithe is leaning towards individualism because they believe their earnings belong to them only and they can use it as they like.
Lack of faithful tithing is depriving the local church of financial strength as it should have and the unpaid money by believers which is used
elsewhere is giving support to other areas of life which may not necessarily glorify God.
When Christians don’t pay tithe and they attend a local church they are not only robbing God but fellow brothers and sisters who pay theirs to keep the local church running smoothly. They need to repent and ask God to show them the revelation
behind tithe payment.
Other bible passages to support openness as believers: 1stCorinthians 10:24, Philippians 2:4, 1st Corinthians 13:1-13.
Deliberately keeping back our possessions when there is a need in the local church is a sin to any believer and it can lead to a closed heaven because God can not be mocked, He releases financial grace to us simply because of the need in the local church and the poor among us.