For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. – Philippians 1:21
In Paul’s life, his aim was Christ, his source was Christ, his mission was Christ, his Master was Christ, so much so that he could say that to live is Christ. And that’s a beautiful life. Living on earth is not a bad thing for a Christian, the ability to glorify Jesus here.
On the other hand, to die is gain. Yes, living for Christ on earth is a tremendous blessing. But it’s even better to be dead. Why? It’s not death to die, for a Christian. Through Christ, we have been given eternal life. So, when we leave this world, we go to be with the Lord!
We are exiles here. This is not our home. While we’re here, we live joyful lives in Christ, even in the midst of adversity. But this is temporary. The exile will eventually be over and we will be home.
For many, dying is scary. This is why there are five stages of grief. But for the Christian, being dead is not something to fear; it’s something to look forward to. We love that Christ is with us here; how much better will it be to be with Him there? Oh, that the suffering of this world would be over! Oh, that we could delight in His presence all of our days! Do not fear death, Christian. It has been conquered by Christ. Where is your sting, death?
For those who do not trust in Jesus, their fear of death is not nearly enough. If they die in unbelief, they will face the Holy Maker without the help of Christ. Their sins remain on them, and He must punish those sins for all eternity. If this is you, turn from your sins and trust in Jesus for salvation. Then, you can look forward to death with us.
Sheep, back to you. Live happily in exile, because Jesus is with you always. But set your sights for home.