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Acts 4; Early Church Economics

January 10, 2015
Early Church Economics.

[Act 4:32 ESV] Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common.
[Act 4:33 ESV] And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.
[Act 4:34 ESV] There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold
[Act 4:35 ESV] and laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.

 Does it imply they sold ALL their belongings?

2 examples of not selling all they had.  Barnabas, Ananias & Sappharia. 

Good Example: Barnabas
Barnabas as an example:  had a field and sold it. 
They were contributing out of their wealth to help finance a church plant. 
 [Act 4:36 ESV] Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus,
[Act 4:37 ESV] sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet.


Ananias & Sappharia:
[Act 5:1 ESV] But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property,
[Act 5:2 ESV] and with his wife's knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles' feet.
[Act 5:3 ESV] 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?
[Act 5:4 ESV] 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 man but to God."
[Act 5:5 ESV] When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it.
[Act 5:6 ESV] The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him.
[Act 5:7 ESV] After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.
[Act 5:8 ESV] And Peter said to her, "Tell me whether you sold the land for so much." And she said, "Yes, for so much."
[Act 5:9 ESV] But Peter said to her, "How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out."
[Act 5:10 ESV] Immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband.
[Act 5:11 ESV] And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things.
They gave out of their abundance. 
Their own free choice.
No 3rd party forced them or stole from their ability to manage wealth. 

Demographics of early church
Jews from all over, have joined the Christian faith.
Building a non-profit organization. 

If in the early church, everyone was giving everything. The church would go bankrupt. 
Because the church would be creating poverty and a welfare system. 
They would eventually run of money because they would have run of out producers. 
Instead of picking the apples off the tree, they would cut down the tree for firewood also. 
A financial system of socialism would be great evil. 

We know Scripture does not promote socialism. 

a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.
(in Marxist theory) the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles.
com•mu•nism
noun
a political theory derived from Karl Marx, advocating class war and leading to a society in which all property is publicly owned and each person works and is paid according to their abilities and needs.

Socialism / Communism requires breaking two of God’s Ten Commandments. 
Coveting & Stealing. 

Creates poverty and slaves. 
Individual Responsibility = freedom.

Individual Responsibility
[2Th 3:10 ESV] For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.
[2Th 3:11 ESV] For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies.
[2Th 3:12 ESV] Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.

What does Jesus say about our Individual Responsibility for Morals, Managing our Assets and Giving?

[Mat 25:1 ESV] "Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom.
[Mat 25:2 ESV] Five of them were foolish, and five were wise.
[Mat 25:3 ESV] For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them,
[Mat 25:4 ESV] but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps.
[Mat 25:5 ESV] As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept.
[Mat 25:6 ESV] But at midnight there was a cry, 'Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.'
[Mat 25:7 ESV] Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps.
[Mat 25:8 ESV] And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.'

[Mat 25:9 ESV] But the wise answered, saying, 'Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.'

[Mat 25:10 ESV] And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut.
[Mat 25:11 ESV] Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, 'Lord, lord, open to us.'
[Mat 25:12 ESV] But he answered, 'Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.'
[Mat 25:13 ESV] Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.

Investing your Assets 
[Mat 25:14 ESV] "For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property.
[Mat 25:15 ESV] To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.
[Mat 25:16 ESV] He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more.
[Mat 25:17 ESV] So also he who had the two talents made two talents more.
[Mat 25:18 ESV] But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money.
[Mat 25:19 ESV] Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
[Mat 25:20 ESV] And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, 'Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.'

[Mat 25:21 ESV] His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.'
[Mat 25:22 ESV] And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, 'Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.'
[Mat 25:23 ESV] His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.'

[Mat 25:24 ESV] He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, 'Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed,
[Mat 25:25 ESV] so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.'

[Mat 25:26 ESV] But his master answered him, 'You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed?
[Mat 25:27 ESV] Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest.

[Mat 25:28 ESV] So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents.

[Mat 25:29 ESV] For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
Does that sound like socialism? 


[Mat 25:30 ESV] And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

Does God want us to give?   Yes, but as individuals and we will be judged individually. 
[Mat 25:31 ESV] "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.
[Mat 25:32 ESV] Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
[Mat 25:33 ESV] And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left.
[Mat 25:34 ESV] Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
[Mat 25:35 ESV] For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
[Mat 25:36 ESV] I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.'
[Mat 25:37 ESV] Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?
[Mat 25:38 ESV] And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?
[Mat 25:39 ESV] And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?'
[Mat 25:40 ESV] And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'

[Mat 25:41 ESV] "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
[Mat 25:42 ESV] For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
[Mat 25:43 ESV] I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.'
[Mat 25:44 ESV] Then they also will answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?'
[Mat 25:45 ESV] Then he will answer them, saying, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.'
[Mat 25:46 ESV] And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
The goats let a government garnish their wages and do with it as they pleased. 
So they did have to do anything. 

Make sure you are finically managing all God has given you.
1. Sustainable
2. Growing
3. So you can give. 





The Love of Money.


We will be judged individually not corporately.
We will be judged on how responsible we were, with what God has given us. 
Materially and Theologically.  

10 Commandments
You shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain,
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Honor your father and your mother,
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.


Government social programs, “helps the poor”
“provides free. . . . .health care, food, shelter”  
Stealing their individual responsibility and make them slaves.  
However these slaves contribute nothing back as individuals and communities
They pull down on a community, socially, financially & morally. 
The individually responsible are robbed, financially, socially, morally threatened. 
 It’s an enabling model & it is financially unstainable. 


What is “wealth”?
Who is consider wealthy and who is not according to what standard?
Is being Wealthy bad?

So he was to “equalize” wealth. 
How? By taking from the wealthy and giving it to the poor. 
2 of the Ten Commandments are broken. 
Stealing
Coveting

What’s missing?  Individual Responsibility. 
If a government steals from the rich, they will find ways to protect their money. 


Acts 4 5 Early Church Economics

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