I really like the Radical Grace message. I’m so grateful for the Grace of God that is presented in the Scriptures. I bask and thrive under the message of grace. I have seen good fruit come from the message of radical grace as preached by Joseph Prince and others. For the most part, I can’t argue with the overall results. But I do have some questions, some concerns.
In the radical grace message you will hear statements like, “God does not get angry with believers anymore because all of your sin both past and future is already forgiven at the Cross.” Another goes, “Did Jesus take all your punishment, then how much is left for you as a believer?” Still another goes, “If ALL of God’s anger for your sin was taken by Jesus at the Cross, then how much is left for you as a believer?” These statements and many others are then backed up with Scriptures that prop these statements up. Stories like the Father and the Prodigal Son drive home the message of Grace.
If you could hear my voice, you would know that the questions I’m about to ask are not borne out of contention, but rather they come from a sincere process of digesting and seeking answers. I’m not coming against Joseph Prince and the radical grace message, I’m seeking to understand the full message presented in Scripture.
Here are my questions:
Some say it was “loving discipline” that was enacted upon them. The problem for me is that they both fell dead. Was this a judgment from God? What underscores this is Peter clearly prophesied by the Holy Spirit, a pronounced sentence of death upon Sapphira. Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.” This is a prophesied death sentence for Sapphira who was a believer. If she wasn’t, I think the Holy Spirit would have told Peter. Was this a lesson for believers, about what could happen to believers, and that was why great fear seized the church?
Is a death sentence equal to a judgment? Is a prophesied sentence of death from the Lord equal to God’s judgment? Can we declare that a Holy Spirit-prophesied death sentence is not a judgment rendered by God?
If all is satisfied and covered, then why would God initiate exposing their sin to Peter?
How did the Church as a whole body interpret this event? Vs. 11 says that “Great fear seized the whole church”. Is this the response that the Holy Spirit desired for the church?
Acts 12:23 tells us that “Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.” Based upon this event and the sudden deaths of Ananias & Sapphira in Acts 5, I have to ask the Lord this question: “After the Cross, does the Dove still carry a Sword?”
The Bible in speaking to Hebrew believers tells us that sanctified ones can “insult the spirit of Grace”.
“How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?”–Hebrews 10:29
These are questions that I am asking the Lord.