Today’s text (Acts 5:1-13) reminds us of the sobering truth that revival brings judgment. The early church experienced great power and great grace (Acts 4:33). But with great power and great grace comes great responsibility (Luke 12:48).
The first Christians witnessed God’s mighty signs and wonders through the apostles. The power and presence of the Lord was so unmistakably real in those days. But along with the mighty presence of the Lord also came holy fire to purify and purge sin from their midst. This early stage of Christianity was so fragile that God had to give extra grace to keeping the church on track and going strong.
This “holy purging” went to the extent that a sinful attitude brought judgment and death to a man and his wife.
If the Lord did this today how many professing Christians would survive?
The good side of this story was that the Lord’s heavy hand of judgment in the early church produced a holy fear of the Lord in both the believers and unbelievers.
“By this time the whole church and, in fact, everyone who heard of these things had a healthy respect for God. They knew God was not to be trifled with. Through the work of the apostles, many God-signs were set up among the people, many wonderful things done. They all met regularly and in remarkable harmony on the Temple porch named after Solomon. But even though people admired them a lot, outsiders were wary about joining them. On the other hand, those who put their trust in the Master were added right and left, men and women both.” Acts 5:11-14, Message.
How we need this fear of God and respect for the things of God back in the church today!