Acts 8:9 But there was a certain man called Simon, who previously practiced sorcery in the city and astonished the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great, 10 to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the great power of God.” 11 And they heeded him because he had astonished them with his sorceries for a long time. 12 But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. 13 Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done.
Friends, from the passage above, you would think and believe Simon’s conversion was genuine. You see friends, as human and as feeble as our emotions are, we want to belong! None of us want to be ostracized no matter how independent, wise, powerful or strong we are. We don’t want to be the only one out of the pack if we can avoid it.
Note that Simon had been a celebrity in Samaria, well known and celebrated by all until Philip came on the scene. Philip brought the real deal and everyone quickly saw the difference between darkness and light. They unanimously yielded to the light. The people believed the things they heard concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ and were baptized.
Unfortunately, people are not hearing about the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus today according to the Scriptures. What we hear these days, from the Catholic to the Protestant – Presbyterian, Pentecostal and all is more of self-marketing, promotion, traditions, and outright deviation from the truth of the Gospel.
It seems it’s the in thing to be a Christian now, to be born again, to be associated with truth, light, moral, right standing and all that many are willing and ready to pretend in order to belong without conviction and repentance of sin.
Simon was one and many more today declaring faith in the Kingdom of God and in the name of Jesus Christ, yet offering money to purchase positions in the Kingdom, miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit. In verse 18. And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
The gift of the Holy Spirit cannot be bought! Neither the fruit of the Spirit! How else can this be explained to you? We have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God – Romans 3:23. Every single one of us! However, there is provision for us to be saved, For God so loved the world that He gave us His beloved son – John 3:16! To everyone that believes in the Son of God – John 3:36, Salvation is guaranteed by faith alone. You cannot buy it, and if you fake it, time will tell! Faith can only come by hearing the word of God – Romans 10:17.
What word then are you hearing? Preachers! what word are you preaching? Are we seeing a transformation in ourselves? Are people been discipled? Or is it all about the money, position, numbers, activities? All these are not going to be in the book of records! Neither will it matter here when you are gone. Ask the super rich! They are soon forgotten! Every single one of us will be forgotten, only the lives we touch and how we make others feel about themselves will outlive us! Do not base your existence here on mammon! It will never satisfy you! It will make living easy, but contentment is from God!
Acts 8:20 But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! 21 You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. 22 Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. 23 For I see that you are (avaricious) poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.” 24 Then Simon answered and said, “Pray to the Lord for me, that none of the things which you have spoken may come upon me.”
Father, I pray in Jesus mighty name that the thought of my heart and those of my friends contrary to your words be forgiven us in Jesus mighty name. Amen.
Shalom! Shalom! Shalom!