Tomorrow evening I will lead God’s People in partaking of The Lord’s Supper (If He so wills).  With that in mind, I am meditating about the seriousness of this act of worship.  This post is primarily for believers.

Does God strike people dead today?  If so, when… how… why? (Because I’m steering far from those things!)

Note!  The sin unto death is not the same thing as the unpardonable sin.

There are four places presented from the New Covenant where people’s life is ended “prematurely” by God as noted below. A few comments to follow afterward…

     Acts 12:21 On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them. 22 And the people were shouting, “The voice of a god, and not of a man!” 23 Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last. 24 But the word of God increased and multiplied.

     Acts 5:3 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 men 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. (Note: Same thing happened to Anaias’ wife in vss 7-11)

     1 Cor 11:29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. 31 But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. (In reference to the Lord’s Supper)

     1 John 5:16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death.

In Acts 12 Herod’s life was taken because he didn’t give God glory.  This tells us that even unbelievers are subject to glorifying God.  How much more then should believers who know God ascribe glory to Him?!  God is serious about His glory.  Cause: Not giving God glory.

In Acts 5 lives were taken because: 1) They lied to God, 2) Their actions caused the church to get a black eye in the community.  God is serious about truthfulness along with the health and repuration of His church.  We should be very careful not to do anything that brings disrepute upon the Bride of Christ and the name of God!  Cause: Giving God’s Church a bad reputation.

In 1 Cor 11the attitude and conduct of people in the church was causing division and hard feelings among the fellowship (Click here for the context).  As a result some where weak (Warning?)… some were sick (Further warning?)… some had died (Didn’t heed warnings?).  Cause: Being the source of division in God’s church.

In 1 John it is recorded that believers are to watch out for one another.  Not every sin has the same consequences!  Christians are to warn fellow believers of testing God’s patience.  They are to intercede for God to spare them if they are in rebellion.  Yet there are times the situation is beyond hope and God decides to end their life rather than allow them to continue in their sin.  Causes: (From passages above) Not giving God glory… Giving God’s Church a bad reputation… Causing division in the church.

Hope.  1) God ending the lives of His People (Herod excluded) does not mean they lost their salvation (Thus the rainbow with lightening).  It simply means God goes ahead and brings them home rather than allow their life to destroy others faith and their own life (The 1 John passage).  2) God does not do anything without warning… as is given in Scripture.  3) We must examine and judge ourselves carefully so as not to fall into punishment.

NOTE: It is not our place to say if/when God has done this.  The reasons for a person’s death is in God’s hands.  The purpose of this post is for us to examine ourselves.