But understand this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, savage, opposed to what is good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, loving pleasure rather than loving God. They will maintain the outward appearance of religion but will have repudiated its power. So avoid people like these.
As a believer who studies end time prophecy and watches end time events closely, I have read this passage many times before. Every once in a while a scripture takes on new meaning, a word that perhaps is easily overlooked, or misunderstood, can suddenly become clear in its purpose. A lot of times this can be the result of a personal experience that causes new understanding.
There is a word hidden in this passage that is just that. In verse 3, the word slanderers is easily overlooked. So often I have read this and just lumped this in with the depravity that we see in the world. It seemed to refer to the fact that Christianity is becoming a bad word and that more and more people are speaking against it, rejecting it.
Recently, my family has been a topic of discussion on a forum that has a reputation for being downright nasty to those who have differing opinions than their own. I won’t link to it, or even mention it’s name, I don’t want to give them any traffic at all. Long story short, there is a particular person on these forums that so hates the fact that we have rescued two ex-orphans from Bulgaria that they took their hatred off of the internet and ventured away from just opinion and has made an accusation against our family. A false accusation. The kind of accusation that has the potential to ruin lives.
I know that this accusation has demonic influence, in fact, often times I wonder if there is even a human sitting at the other end of the internet, or if there is direct demonic interaction online at times.
Revelation 12:10 says, “Then I heard a loud voice in heaven saying, “The salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the ruling authority of his Christ, have now come, because the accuser of our brothers and sisters, the one who accuses them day and night before our God, has been thrown down.” Satan is our accuser, and he is certainly not going to use true accusations against believers, in fact if you think about it, satan’s tactic in the first attack on man was to falsely accuse God Himself (Genesis 3:1).
Jesus was consistently falsely accused (Matthew 12:22-24) and it was false accusations that ultimately led to Jesus’ crucifixion.
So lets look at verse three of our original passage again in the Amplified version:
[They will be] without natural [human] affection (callous and inhuman), relentless (admitting of no truce or appeasement); [they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good.
There it is! This word slanderers isn’t talking about naysayers, this is referring to people throwing false accusations. And who are they throwing false accusations against? Certainly not the God who they are sure doesn’t exist (at least not directly), but against the true believers. As the end time approaches, we can expect to be falsely accused by satan in many ways. So what can we do?
In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides]. Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil. For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere. Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place]. Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God, And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace. [Isa. 52:7.] Lift up over all the [covering] shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one]. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God. Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people).
In our case, truth was certainly on our side. As the accusation was investigated, it quickly fell apart as the truth was revealed. There will be a time, I believe, when the “facts” will begin to be fabricated (not for this particular instance, but generally). I believe this is why our own government likes to collect as much information on us as possible, this information can be twisted and used against us as a way to control us.
But even if accusations lead to difficulty or even death, our reward is on the other side, and the accuser will ultimately be rewarded according to his own deeds.