|No Christian worker can take up the sword of slander and escape the
consequences. "All they that take the sword shall perish with the sword" (Matt.
26:52). So spake Jesus, and history has repeatedly borne testimony to the truthfulness of
His warning. Men who have slandered others have either been ruined by slander themselves
or have been judged by God with death.
Judgment is God's prerogative, not man's. His Word is "Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm" (Ps. 103:15). Since no mere man is capable of judging, God's servants are accountable to Him and to Him alone. And woe betide the man who dares to set himself up as a judge and publicly slander his fellow- workers! God will not let it pass. "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper (Isa. 54:17).
I could tell of more than one guilty of the awful sin of slander who has been judged by death, and in some cases sudden death. "For they that take the sword shall perish with the sword." Drastic measures may be used. "Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? To his own master he standeth or falleth But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at naught thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ . . . Let us not therefore judge one another any more" (Rom. 14:4,10, 13). God help us to hearken.
Remember this, my friend: he who slanders is working with the devil. Satan is a slanderer. He is continually accusing us before God. That is his biggest job and his most destructive work. Oh, my brother, are you going to do the devil's work? Are you letting him use you as one of his slanderers? God help you! What carnality! Oh, what a tragedy! God's child but the devil's agent. God's servant working for the devil. A slanderer, an accuser in the pay of the enemy. What a disgraceful state of affairs! Once more I warn you: "All they that take the sword shall perish with the sword."
"I would rather play with forked lightning," says Dr. A. B. Simpson, "or take in my hands living wires, with their fiery currents, than speak a reckless word against any servant of Christ, or idly repeat the slanderous darts which thousands of Christians are hurling on others."
Now Satan seldom uses carnal Christians to retail slander. He knows they would not be believed. Generally he chooses one who is noted for piety and is supposed to be spiritual; one who is characterized by a sanctimonious air. That kind of tool he can use. Beware of the one who wants you to confide in him. He may but seek your wreck and ruin. Confide only in God. Take your failures to Him. Let no man be your judge. Avoid the slanderer. He is a garbage collector and what he collects he must dump. He hears of a brother's fall and he must need tell it to everyone he meets.
The Bible says, "He that covereth a transgression seeketh love: but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends" (Prov. 17:9). God says, "If a brother be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such a one" (Gal. 6:1). That the slanderer will never do. He is out not to restore but to condemn. "Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no tale-bearer, the strife ceaseth" (Prov.26:2). Of course, no story could spread of itself.
Heed now the warning voice of God as recorded in Romans 2:1, Phillips' translation "Now if you feel inclined to set yourself up as a judge of those who sin, let me assure you, whoever you are, that you are in no position to do so."
Brethren, where are we heading? What is to be the outcome of it all? Fifty years from now our work will all be done, for many of us much sooner. The future life will then be ours. What will it mean, I wonder, as we stand together at the Judgment Seat of Christ? How ashamed some of us will be. Will we not be sorry we did not leave the judging of one another to the appointed day? For many whom we condemned on earth will be lauded at the Bema, and many whom we approved on earth will be condemned then.
God help us to live, think, act and speak in the light of eternity! Then, instead of getting our eyes on man and judging him, watching for his failures, we will keep our eyes fixed on the Christ Who indwells him, and see no man save Jesus--and Jesus only.
Oswald J. Smith