An Abuser is Called a “Reviler” in Scripture, And the Reviler is no Christian
How long, O God, is the foe to scoff? Is the enemy to revile your name forever? (Psalms 74:10)
“Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! (Luke 6:22)
But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to contradict what was spoken by Paul, reviling him. (Acts 13:45)
But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler–not even to eat with such a one. (1 Corinthians 5:11)
Verbal abuse is one of the most wicked sins named in Scripture. Did you know that? It is called “reviling” and God says that the reviler who claims to be a Christian, isn’t. In fact, we are not to have anything to do with such a person.
If you look at the uses of “revile” in Scripture (reviling, reviler) you will get a feel for its definition. To revile someone is to mock them, to condemn them, to curse them, to falsely accuse them. And of course we all know that this is precisely what the abuser does with his mouth. He reviles his victim.
Our churches have waaaaay too many revilers sitting in the pews (in fact just one is too many). Revilers are those people who use their tongue like a sword. They are, well, they are this:
“Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” (Romans 3:13-14)
Of course they strike selectively under conditions that are to their advantage. They don’t revile just anyone. Oh no. Revilers are also most often accomplished flatterers.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. (Proverbs 27:6)
This is how they dupe the unwary.
Reviling is a sin which, if not repented of, qualifies a person for hell and is not to be permitted to live among the saints. That lady whose speech is biting and demeaning. That man, an apparent pillar of the church, whose words cut and accuse. These are the ones to be confronted with their sin. The thing is to be exposed to the entire church. And if we would do this, if we would obey our Lord, you know what? Abusers would find themselves unwelcome in Eden — because Eden is what we are supposed to be modeling in our local church.