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August 23 – He seemed so genuine!

“There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that.” – 1 John 5:16

Scripture reading: Acts 5:1-11

This is a situation that’s hard to write about. To be told that there are those in the church who don’t belong; indeed, they shouldn’t even be prayed for. Plus, when God has nothing to say to a person, they have no hope! Calvin described this as nothing less than apostasy, where men completely cut themselves off from God.

These ones were not part of us. Perhaps they were attracted by certain ideals – such as the self-attainment of Docetism. But they came in for the wrong reason; it wasn’t the gift of faith they had.

For the early Christians this was difficult to understand. These people had seemed so genuine. They had been so full of vigour – especially in supporting that extra-holiness found in Docetism. Some had even been teachers. Yet they walked right away and so they showed they weren’t part of the fellowship, for in rejecting the Son, they turned their backs on life itself.

Ananias and Sapphira showed this vividly. And it wasn’t because only a portion of the land sold went to the Lord, but that they pretended to be something they weren’t. They lived the lie – and so they were of the Father of Lies. Sadly, they were never of us.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that the truth is what matters most, and not our friendships. Thank God that despite those leaving He is always with us.

Rev. Sjirk Bajema currently serves the RCNZ Oamaru, in Oamaru, New Zealand. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at 

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