September 9, 2022
“Then I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it. It was as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I ate it, my stomach became bitter. And I was told, 'You must prophesy...'”
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“Then I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it. It was as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I ate it, my stomach became bitter. And I was told, 'You must prophesy again against many peoples, nations, languages, and kings.'” Revelation 10:10-11
A few years ago, I was lying on an emergency room gurney with bright lights overhead and hospital staff swarming around me. My heart is beating a zillion miles an hour, and there’s a tight pain in my chest. A nurse says, “Mr. Wiggins, put this little pill under your tongue,” so I did.
Then the nurse asks, “Mr. Wiggins, can you tell me exactly what you’re feelinnnnnzzzzzzzzz….”
Her voice became metallic, and my vision diminished to a pin-sized hole. I was fading fast. Then slowly, the world started coming back like a boomerang:
“….zzzzznnnnnnaaaare you with us, Mr. Wiggins?” the nurse asked.
I was back. I nodded, “Yes.” One nurse turns to another, “He’s not having a heart attack. Must be stress.”
I felt a little embarrassed for taking up their vital ER time, but I was relieved to know my worst fears were invalidated by the news that all I needed was a vacation! Sadly, that was not the case for others in the cardiac unit that night. Many folks had developed severe symptoms that they sweetly passed off as heartburn. Later, they were rushed by ambulance to the hospital, where family members were given the bitter news of their loved one’s passing.
I have shared in the sweet experience, alongside the Apostle John, of having received the Gospel. I have received the sweet gift of salvation (which the Gospel offers through faith in Jesus) with great joy, but salvation has a bitter aftertaste in that it carries the reality that many will reject it. It is bitter because I know that on the Day of the Lord, bitter judgment awaits all who are found without Messiah’s atonement. It is bitter because the means of deliverance were so easily obtainable. God’s Grace is offered freely to all who would accept it!
Often, people will violently reject the messenger of the Gospel. That is the bitter downside of having received (and committed to sharing) God’s Word. Yet, we press on because our salvation experiences prove that people are out there, hungry to taste the Gospel’s sweetness. People like us need people like us to share the Gospel with us!