Updated: Sep 7
Slander (def) - the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person's reputation. Slander has been a huge part of a lost and dying world's way of dealing with those who present the message of Christ. It was no different in Paul's time, but instead of just talking they would beat you and put you in jail after people lied about you. In our present-day world, those who have evil intentions try to do all of their lying and slandering from a dark cave where it cannot come back on them. Or can it? Proverbs 10:18 18 Hiding hatred makes you a liar; slandering others makes you a fool. It is foolish to think that God will let slander against anyone go without punishment and the Bible is full of truth about how God deals with those who slander others. This brings us to Acts 16 where Paul and Silas were accused of teaching heresy and beaten and put in prison, but God sent an earthquake and released them and even saved the jailer and his family. The danger of the slander against Paull was that it was impeding the message of Christ and if you try to do that you are playing with a fire you can never contain because God gave His only Son so that message could even happen.
So the police of the day find out Paul is a Roman and they want to let them go secretly so the people won't know how much in error they were. But the following verses in Acts 16 help us realize how serious Paul took these slanderous actions. Acts 16:35 The next morning the city officials sent the police to tell the jailer, “Let those men go!” 36 So the jailer told Paul, “The city officials have said you and Silas are free to leave. Go in peace.” 37 But Paul replied, “They have publicly beaten us without a trial and put us in prison—and we are Roman citizens. So now they want us to leave secretly? Certainly not! Let them come themselves to release us!” 38 When the police reported this, the city officials were alarmed to learn that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens. 39 So they came to the jail and apologized to them.
God delivered Paul and Silas from prison but Paul wasn't going to let this offense go unpunished and those who in secret discredited this man of God had to make amends. Evil always hides in the shadows, but God brings it to light and exposes the evil for what it is. Paul and Silas left the prison and returned to Lydia's and all was made right by God. The verses are Acts 16:40 When Paul and Silas left the prison, they returned to the home of Lydia. There they met with the believers and encouraged them once more. Then they left town. God will have payback and protect those He has called, so don't try to stop the message of Jesus by elevating yourself to a place of judgment and slander.
The Pilgrimage Continues