The Bitter-Sweet Book
The Bible is a bitter-sweet book…[It] humbles or hardens the human heart. “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already…” (John 3:18). If we hear it and do not do what it says, we deceive ourselves. It is not like Homer or Shakespeare. We do not go away the same after we have heard the Word of God. We have to do something about its message, for we cannot leave it alone. We may think we have done nothing about it, but it will do something to us.
It is sweet to the believer, bitter to the unbeliever.
It is a message of salvation for all who receive it, and a message of condemnation for all who reject it.
It is a bitter-sweet book to the Christian.
When we first become Christians, God’s Word is sweeter than honey and the honeycomb, but as we begin to face up to it, it makes demands of us…We shall be strangers and pilgrims on earth, viewed with suspicion even by some “religious” people. The man who takes his Bible seriously will soon learn that there is a price to pay. He must take the bitter with the sweet.
The Bible is a bitter-sweet book as it relates to these days in which we live.
To the Christian, good news is bad news, and bad news is good news. “…when they shall say, Peace and safety…”: that is good news; “…sudden destruction cometh…” (I Thess. 5:3): that is bad news. “…distress of nations, with perplexity…Men’s hearts failing them for fear…”: that is bad news. “…look up, lift up your heads…”Don’t drop your heads or shake your heads but lift up your heads, “…for your redemption draweth nigh”: that is good news (Luke 21:25, 28). What is bitter for the unprepared is sweet for those who are ready.
The Bible interpretation of these last days is bitter-sweet: “The morning cometh and also the night…” (Isa. 21:11, 12). Paul Harvey, discussing our moral decline, says, “It is the Christian’s conviction that Christ will return and take over, when mortals have made a hopeless mess of self-government. How bittersweet this hour must be for the angels.” Indeed, the angels must look on in wonder at the stupidity of the human race, in the graduate school scientifically and in kindergarten spiritually, trying to get to the moon when they don’t know how to live on earth. As bitter as these times may be when the world is a madhouse and the inmates are trying to run the asylum, the man who knows his Bible finds it sweeter than honey. He is not of the night nor of darkness, and that day will not overtake him as a thief.
“Watch and pray…” (Matt. 26:41)—and keep close to the bitter-sweet book!