Q. Re: Saved From The Penalty. I was wondering regarding this post – what about Ananias and Sapphira? They were struck dead. Why?
A. Ananias and Sapphira were mentioned in Acts 5:1-10 as a couple who sold some property and donated a portion of the proceeds to the Disciples. However they lied and said they had donated all the proceeds. When confronted, they stuck to their story, and when they were exposed they dropped dead of fear.
Since this happened after the cross, the penalty for their sin had already been paid. Therefore you can’t make comparisons with Nadab and Abihu (Lev. 10:1-2) or Achan (Josh. 7:25) as some commentators do.
If Ananias and Sapphira had been believers a simple prayer of confession would have been all that was necessary to receive forgiveness. The Scripture makes no mention of their spiritual condition, but Peter accused Ananias of having a heart filled by Satan. Both he and his wife lied about their gift even though they were within their rights in holding back whatever amount they chose, since it was their money. When confronted they both failed to confess but stuck to their story. There was no conviction of the Holy Spirit, no confession of their sin, and no fear of the Lord. This leads me to the conclusion that they weren’t really saved and were trying to get some unrevealed status or favor they didn’t deserve in return for their contribution.