Why Has Satan Filled Your Heart?
A Sermon on Acts 5:1-11
Ananias and Sapphira
But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and with his wife's knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles' feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him.
After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter said to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much.” And she said, “Yes, for so much.” But Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” Immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things. (ESV)
Why is there so much evil in the world? Why is it that none of man’s efforts to end war, death, and poverty succeed? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says the problem is found in the fact that the world is overrun by the devil, and he has blinded men so that they cannot see the light of God’s grace and love. This evil is not simply the absence of good character and good deeds, but it is militant opposition to God and His rule. This is why all attempts to make the world a better place by education, human works, and moralism are ultimately futile and ineffective. Because until sin and the devil are recognized as the root and source of suffering and evil, men will continue in the godless ways, seeking to bring peace to the world by their own wisdom and power. In order for true transformation to take place in the world and in the hearts and minds sinners, there must be the acknowledgement of God and his Son, Jesus Christ. For without Christ there is no hope in this life or in the next. For all men stand condemned before God, and it is only by believing in the death and resurrection of Christ that sinners can be saved and brought into the kingdom of God.