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? Acts 5:3
The church was young and the Holy Spirit was acting with great power upon the masses as thousands were being added. With great love and unity they shared what they had with each other. It was innovative and totally unheard of. People selling off what they had, to care for the needs of their brethren. Some would argue this was a good case for socialism. However it was the choice of the individual. Christians were not required to sell any of their property.
Ananias and Sapphira knew they could sell their land and give whatever they wanted. But that was not enough for them. Perhaps they sought recognition or approval. They decided to sell their land and keep some of the money for themselves, while telling the apostles that they were giving everything to the church.
Lying has often been used to gain approval and recognition. That is a sin. They were also lying to God. How serious does God take lying?
But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8
But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Revelation 21:27
You can’t get more serious than that; however just to be clear Jesus adds that it is the Devil who is the father of lies. (John 8:44)
Ananias and Sapphira are slain by God in the midst of the congregation not for the money, but for lying. God expects his people to be honest.
It can be challenging to always say the truth. Sometimes a little lie is all it takes to fix a problem or put us in good standing. Perhaps that lie can also put dinner on the table or protect the feelings of someone we care for. God however does not make exceptions and our salvation is just not worth the risk. Honesty is still the best policy.
Try these verses Verses on lying