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Phil 1:21 – “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
When I read this verse I can’t help but think of _______ .
When the Apostle Paul wrote this letter to the church at Phillipi, the circumstances of his life weren’t exactly ideal. He was in prison - under house arrest in Rome – chained to a Roman soldier as his guard. Paul was a prisoner and yet this entire letter shouts with triumph. It is filled with the words “joy” and “rejoicing”.
Right Christian experience is the outworking of the life and mind of Christ in our lives whatever our circumstances might be.
________ lived the last years of his life a prisoner in a body that was filled with sickness – yet he never complained. He seemed to show joy and to rejoice in his affliction.
To those who do not believe in God – Life on earth is the best there is. For the non Christian, it is only natural to strive for the world’s values. Money – Popularity – Power – Prestige.
For the Christian it is different. – “To die is gain”
What do we gain?
1. We Gain a better body – a glorified, immortalized, resurrected body.
In this present body of clay we are subject to all the sorrows and tears that life is heir to. Age, sickness, and finally death are the inevitable end of this house made of the dust of the earth. But in death and the resurrection we gain a better body, one that can never grow old, know disease, suffer pain, and can never die. We gain a better body.
2. We Gain a better home.
However the beauty and the embellishments of any house we may possess in this world, it is nothing compared with our mansion in the beautiful city of God. Look at the promise of out Lord in John 14:1-3.
1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
The longing of the Apostle Paul for his home in heaven is expressed in Phil 1:23>
“For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:”
3. We Gain a better inheritance.
Our final reward is not here – it is in Heaven.
4. We Gain a better fellowship.
All of us live in this world of a dissolving family circle. Mother is gone – Father is gone, or a child is gone, or our beloved grandparents are gone, or a close friend is gone. But the circle is unbroken in Heaven forever and ever. There is no death there, no sorrow or crying or pain, for these former things are passed away.
Jesus is there.
5. If “for me to live is Christ,” then to die is gain.
If for me to live is money – then to die is loss.
If for me to live is self – then to die is loss.
If for me to live is ambition – then to die is loss.
If for me to live is sin – then to die sis loss.
But if for me to live is Christ – to die is gain.
Revelation 21:1 thru 22:5.
(This is a sermon I preached several years ago. Some of it was gleaned from another author but I did not record the source. If you know the source, I will gladly give the credit.)
(Update - A sermon central member has told me that it is a sermon by the late WA Criswell - Thanks)
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