I promised to post the notes from that great sermon we heard at the youth meeting last weekend, and I waited until I could borrow the preacher's notes. I took my own notes at the meeting, but I was holding a toddler in my lap at the time and, well, you can imagine what my notes look like!
So now I have obtained the original outline from the preacher, and guess what. It's the same stuff that I managed to scratch onto the back of my song sheet! I can't believe he preached all that he preached, in between the lines of this simple outline! But, without further ado, here it is, translated loosely from Spanish:
Text: Acts 5:1-11 (The account of Ananias and Sapphira, and their fatal hypocrisy.)
(After reading the passage, the preacher opened with some comments about the sin of Ananias and Sapphira. Their sin was not in holding back a portion of the money from the sale of their property, but rather it was their hypocrisy. They were not true disciples, but hoped to be thought spiritual and benevolent by their act. They were willing to deny themselves IF it brought to them some kind of benefit. They thought they could serve God AND mammon. And they hoped to fool the apostles, the church, and even the Holy Spirit, with their lies. We can learn from this how the God of Truth hates lies, not only direct lies, but also words with double meanings, meant to deceive.)
Signs of a False Christianity:
as exemplified by Ananias and Sapphira
I. Lack of Pure Motives. Their motives were not to give an offering, nor to honor the Lord, but that others might think well of them. *Why do you do the good works you do? Just to be seen of others?
II. Lack of the Fear of God. It did not matter to them that God saw what they did, because they did not fear Him. *There are people who call themselves Christians yet live as though there were no God at all!
III. Lack of the Truth. They lied in order to accomplish their own purposes. *No lie stands alone; every lie is accompanied by more lies. *Who did Jesus say is the father of lies? *"Ye are of your father, the devil."
IV. Lack of Life. They lost their lives, literally. *Ephesians 2:1 "And you hath he quickened, who WERE dead in trespasses and sins..." *Colossians 3:9 "Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the NEW man..."
A prayer was made at the end for those who might be living a life of hypocrisy, trying to fool God and those around them into thinking they really are Christians, when in truth there is no life in them.