I Can’t Lose
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21)
The Apostle Paul experienced many difficulties and persecutions in his ministry on earth.
Because of this opposition, he could have been frustrated or stressed about what might happen in the next town he went to minister. Instead, he shared with the believers in Philippi two simple views about his life.
Paul began this short verse saying: “to live is Christ.” In other words, His entire life was about the Lord. Everything he did pointed to Jesus. Whether he was persecuted, loved, or harassed, at the end of the day, he desired to say that he endured it all and accomplished everything through Christ and for Christ’s sake.
However, Paul ends Philippians 1:21 by saying: “to die is gain.” He recounted to the faithful that if by chance, he were killed for the cause of the gospel, he would be in a much better place. Without a doubt, he would be enjoying heaven.
Sometimes we miss the full meaning of Paul’s statement in Philippians 1:21. Paul’s point was that since he was serving God, he had everything - there was no way he could lose! If he lived, he would do so with a heart and dedication sold out to Jesus alone. If he died, he would be in a place with no weeping, sadness, or pain.
We should never feel sorry for Christians when they die. They have gained a life inexplicably better than the best one they could ever have here on earth. We grieve for the family who will have to wait for a while to see their loved one, but not for the one who has moved to heaven.
Practical Application – Take time today to think about heaven. Praise God for the life we have now, but be in excited expectation for the life we have to look forward to when we leave this fleshly body and enter into that beautiful place.
1 Thessalonians 4:13; 1 Corinthians 15:19