Reject Ungodly Attitudes
Motives of the heart lead to lifestyles that either please God or rejects him.
Psalm 139: 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Romans 2:12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;
16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
…….There is nothing in our hearts that we can hide from God. The most deadly sins are the ones that we learn to hide, and never come to the surface.
Godless Religious Leaders
1 Samuel 2:
12 Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD.
13 And the priests’ custom with the people was, that, when any man offered sacrifice, the priest’s servant came, while the flesh was in seething, with a fleshhook of three teeth in his hand;
14 And he struck it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fleshhook brought up the priest took for himself. So they did in Shiloh unto all the Israelites that came thither.
15 Also before they burnt the fat, the priest’s servant came, and said to the man that sacrificed, Give flesh to roast for the priest; for he will not have sodden flesh of thee, but raw.
16 And if any man said unto him, Let them not fail to burn the fat presently, and then take as much as thy soul desireth; then he would answer him, Nay; but thou shalt give it me now: and if not, I will take it by force.
17 Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD: for men abhorred the offering of the LORD.
…….Phinehas and Hophni were the sons of the Priest Eli. They were raised knowing the customs of the Lord but had no heart knowledge of God. They went completely against the Godly instructions of priesthood and contaminated the sacrifices of the Lord.
22 Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
…… A very common question, How far can man go? Think about it, Bringing fornication to the Tabernacle.
23 And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people.
……The sin was so bad that the people brought it to light.
Thank Jesus for the ones who care for the sanctity of the house of God.
24 Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the LORD’S people to transgress.
25 If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the LORD, who shall intreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the LORD would slay them.
…….Even though they heard the warnings they remainded in their sin.
Look at Matthew 18. In a chapter where Jesus is giving a discourse on the childlikeness of the believer, listen to the warming he gives to those who cause or encourage his children to sin.
: 6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
7 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!
Judged by God
34 And this shall be a sign unto thee, that shall come upon thy two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas; in one day they shall die both of them.
35 And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed for ever.
…….In chapter 4 we read that while Israel was in battle against the Philistines, Hophni and Phinehas wer killed and the Ark of the covenant stolen. When Eli heard these words, he feel backwards off his seat and broke his neck and died. What a way to go out, knowing that your very last day was a failure because of the time in between. God will not hold back on his promises, neither in reward or punishment.
Dishonest Plot for Acclaim
1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
2 And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
…….This was in a time when the new church was being established. The command was to sell all the unneeded possessions and bring the money to the church for an even distribution, and to be able to take care of the needs of the poor.
Dishonesty and Greed Exposed
3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
…….Imagine the surprise of Ananias when his attempted deception was exposed by the Apostle Peter. Ananias became a liar, not only to the apostles and the Church, but to God and the Holy Spirit.
……. Deception may seem to succeed for a while, but there are many warnings in Scripture that deception will eventually be exposed and punished. A well known Scripture says that when we sin against the Lord, ” be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).
Punished for Evildoing
5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.
6 And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.
7 And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.
8 And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.
9 Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.
10 Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.
11 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.
…….Their punishment for dishonesty wat immediate death. What an example God made of people who attempted to deceive the church for personal gain.
…….God requires honesty and personal integrity of all who call ourselves believers in Christ.
Lust For Power and Fame
9 But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:
10 To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.
11 And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.
12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.
…….As verse 10 states, this was a man that had a great influence on the people of Samaria. When the word of God was preached, he also went through the outward motions of confession.
Even though he was an influential man, the Bible regards him as an occultist because he Bewitched the people.
Attempting to Buy Power
14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:
15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:
16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,
19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
……. Spiritually ignorant and unappreciative of the works of God, Simon thought the apostles were engaged in some kind of trickery they could teach him.
……. The Works of God and the works of Satan are separated as sharply from each other as are noontime light from Midnight Darkness. There can be no concord between the deceptions of occultism and the truth of the gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Evil Intentions Rebuked
20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.
21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.
22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.
24 Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.
…….Even though Simon had been baptized by Phillip, Peter knew that his heart wasn’t right.
When we are believers in Christ through salvation, we must at all times leave the sins and routines of our sinful life, never returning to them.
Evil appears in countless forms in this world, and the Apostle Paul exhorted Christians to abstain from Evil and all the forms in which it appears first Thessalonians 5:22. The lust for power and fame, which were the most conspicuous sins of Simon the Sorcerer, are common to many; but these, and all other sins, should have no place in a Christian’s life.