FOR THE KING AND HIS KINGDOM
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
One of the surest things about life is that it will end in physical death. Almost everybody who lived in this world died or will die a physical death. In fact, there are only two people recorded in Scripture who did not—Enoch who walked with God and was no more (Genesis 5:24) and the prophet Elijah who was taken up to heaven in a whirlwind (2 Kings 2:11). The chances of us dying a physical death one day is very high.
For many people in this world, death is considered a very bad thing. Death brings much fear, anxiety, and uncertainty. What will happen next? Is there an afterlife? Heaven or hell? But for the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, death is a good thing. In fact, it can be considered a very good thing.
The apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 1:21 that death can be considered “gain” for those who believe in Jesus. The reason it can be considered such is because when we die, we depart this world and we enter into the presence of Christ. Paul explains that being with Christ is “far better” (Phil. 1:23) than remaining in this imperfect world. What heaven has to offer is far greater than what this world could ever offer us. What we see right now with our eyes is only temporary and what is unseen is eternal. Jesus is our greatest reward and treasure. Death is a very good thing for the believer because we gain the presence of Christ in the heavenly realm. For us who believe in Jesus, do we consider our physical deaths as great gain for us?
Now, however, if God decides to keep us alive in this world for the time being, how must we live the remainder of our earthly lives? Philippians 1:21 once again gives us a clue on how we are to conduct ourselves in this world as we await to be in the glorious presence of Jesus. Paul declares, “For to me to live is Christ” (Phil. 1:21). It is clear that Paul decided that he will use the rest of his life for Christ and His kingdom. As believers in Jesus, we should put on a similar attitude when it comes to living out the rest of our days in this world. We should use our time, our energy, our gifts, our talents, and our resources for Christ and the advancement of His kingdom. Have we decided to use every ounce of our lives for Christ and His kingdom?
Death should not frighten those who believe in Jesus. Death is simply the access point to our eternal lives with Christ. However, if we are to remain in this world a while longer, let us live for Jesus and His Kingdom.