Outline By: Brian A. Yeager
A. The word “bittersweet” means: “sweet with a bitter aftertaste; arousing pleasure tinged with sadness or pain” (New Oxford American Dictionary).
B. Do you remember when you obeyed the Gospel and were overjoyed concerning your salvation (i.e. Acts 8:25-39)?
1. Salvation is a cause for rejoicing (Psalms 40:16 and Philippians 3:3).
2. Even the salvation of others brings reason for joy (Luke 15:1-10).
C. The disposition [nature] of Christians is to be happy, joyful (Philippians 4:4).
1. However, aren’t there times wherein knowledge of the truth brings about sorrowful realizations (Romans 9:1-3)?
2. With knowledge of the truth, it changes how you look at most people (Psalms 119:158; cf. Matthew 7:13-14).
II. Body: The Apostle John, Through Divine Revelation, Had A Reaction That Sets Forth The Reality Of Our Study (Revelation 10:8-10)?
A. The word of God is sweet upon the obedient ear (Psalms 19:9-10, Psalms 119:111-112, Proverbs 24:13-14, and Acts 2:41).
1. But, as happened to Ezekiel, it doesn’t stay that way (Ezekiel 2:8-3:14).
2. That sweet truth causes you to change the way you see things (Psalms 119:103-104).
3. The more you learn… Ecclesiastes 1:18
B. Knowing the truth means we know who is lost (Romans 10:1-3; cf. II Thessalonians 1:7-9 and I Peter 4:17-18).
1. You realize where physically dead lost people are (Luke 16:22-23).
2. You realize where living loved ones, others, are headed when they refuse the truth (Matthew 25:41).
3. These realizations bring hard, emotional moments upon us (Lamentations 3:48-49, Luke 19:41-42, and Philippians 3:18-19).
C. Knowing the truth gives wisdom the world doesn’t have (I Corinthians 3:18-20).
1. We don’t get fooled by “smoke and mirrors” or people putting on an act (John 7:24).
2. We know who really is good and is not (I John 3:8-10).
3. This becomes bittersweet because while we aren’t so easily fooled (Proverbs 14:15), we also see how bad things really are (I John 5:19).
D. We have to be cautious in not focusing on the bitter side of things lest we be swallowed up in sorrow (II Corinthians 2:7).
1. Sorrow will break our spirit (Proverbs 15:13).
2. For balance, think of what Jesus taught the disciples when He was ready to die (John 16:17-22), understanding it is not a direct application for us (Romans 2:7). He saw them after His resurrection and they joyed of it (i.e. Luke 24:41).
3. Be capable of redirecting your mind (Philippians 4:8) and using the bitterness as motivation (II Corinthians 5:11).
III. Conclusion: When the bitterness starts to set in, refocus on what causes joy unspeakable (I Peter 1:3-9).
© 2016 This material may not be used for sale or other means to have financial gain. Use this as a tool for your own studies if such is helpful! Preachers are welcome to this work, but please do not use my work so that you can be lazy and not do your own studies. – Brian A. Yeager