The Bitter Sweet Bible
“...Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey” - (Rev.10:9).
God has given us a book comprised of 66 books, and yet He has put everything we need in one little book, and it’s a bittersweet Bible. There is nothing sweeter than the gospel message of grace, redemption, peace and salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ; but there is nothing quite so bitter as the judgment message that God’s preachers must deliver, especially the little book of Revelation.
The Word of God is “sharper than any two edged sword.” It is both a message of salvation and a message of damnation and this must not be forgotten. We are told today not to preach judgment and hellfire and brimstone, but rather only the love and grace of God and his goodness. “Prophecy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophecy deceits” - (Is.30:10). And to preach only the love of God and not the wrath of God is very deceitful. The Lord Jesus is ever our example of the two edged bittersweet Bible. “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” - (Jn.3:18). Again - “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” - (Jn.3:36). Again - “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” - (Rev.20:15). We must preach the message of salvation to those who believe and the judgment to those who reject the sweet message of hope in Christ. It’s a bittersweet Bible, amen.
Woe to the minister of God, who because of fear of man “cuts the corners” and omits the bitter part. God will hold him accountable, for he says in (Ezk.33:7-9) - “So thou, O Son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it: if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.” And first Ezekiel must, like every preacher, feed upon and digest the Word of God before he can preach to others. “So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll... Then did I eat it: and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness” - (Ezk.3:2,3). But that message sent him on a mission to which he went “in bitterness, in the heat of his Spirit” - (Ezk.3:14).
O we must eat the Bible, we must consume, and devour it and assimilate it. God’s Word both gladdens and saddens. It announces both joy and grief. It is wonderful, and it is horrible. It is sweet like eternal life, and bitter as the eternal second death in the lake of fire. God help us to be soul winners, to warn wicked sinners and present the saving gospel of Christ, lest he die and go to hell. O, sin is sweet for a time, it tastes good in the mouth like Adam’s and Eve’s fruit, but the bitterness of death and damnation will most certainly come.
God’s people must eat God’s Word. It is likened to bread (Mt.4:4), milk (I Pet.2:2), and meat (Heb.5:14), and honey (Ps.119:103). It is food for the soul and inner light to the eyes. It must be read and studied and meditated upon. It must be eaten so that it becomes part of my soul, just as the food I eat becomes a part of my body. How much Bible food are you eating each day? Are you born again?
But it is also bitter in three ways. First, it is bitter because it describes the wrath of God soon to come during the Great Tribulation, just before Christ’s second coming. It is bitter to think of these things and the horrible future that awaits every unsaved person, among whom are relatives, friends and acquaintances. Second, it is bitter because it forces me to face my sin and repent of it - “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you and thereby many be defiled” - (Heb.12:15). Third, it is bitter because it brings persecution and trouble into my life when I get saved and take a stand for Jesus Christ and the Word of God, which the world despises.
Are you saved and born again? Born again describes what happens to you when you’re truly saved; you become a new creature in Christ. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” - (2 Cor.5:17). Jesus said - “ye must be born again” - (Jn.3:7). Repent of your sins and believe in Christ in your heart by faith and you will be saved from hell and receive forgiveness of sins and become a new creature in Christ having eternal life. O do not spurn the love and grace of God in His beloved Son on the cross or the wrath of God abides upon you. Receive the sweetness of God in Christ or the bitterness of Hell will be yours forever.
Pastor Mike Storti
5000 N. LaCholla- Lot 76
Tucson, AZ 85705