Thursday, June 21, 2012
“And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Spirit” (Acts 8:18,19 KJV).
Mankind has always tried to purchase the things of God with money… unsuccessfully….
Simon is a sorcerer (wizard) who has “bewitched” Samaria with satanic deception and counterfeit miracles (verses 9-11). But, once he sees the apostles laying hands on believing Jews, and their subsequent receiving of the Holy Spirit (which belongs in Israel’s program, not ours), Simon sees an opportunity for economic gain. He offers the apostles money in exchange for their God-given abilities. The Apostle Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, gives God’s response to such matters: “Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money” (verse 20).
Religion, down through the millennia, has been notorious for extortion. Consider all the poor souls who believed they could pay for God’s forgiveness in advance by purchasing indulgences from the Church of Rome! Ponder the cash penances paid after confession to priests. Consider the tithe demanded for salvation in today’s “Bible-believing” churches (which do not “believe” 2 Corinthians 9:7 and Titus 3:5).
Even if you had all the monetary wealth of all the ages, heaven’s gates would still be closed to you! The price for your forgiveness was paid, not with cash, but with the precious blood of God’s only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:28). For salvation, you can offer God every cent you will ever earn, and He will refuse it. God wants perfect righteousness, and none of us have that.
Remember, you will be unable to write a check or swipe your credit card at heaven’s gate. God does not want your money. He only wants His Son, and those who have trusted in Christ’s sufficient payment for their sins. Salvation is a gift that only Jesus Christ could buy (Ephesians 2:8,9). “Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.”