"...He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, 'Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold,
I am alive forevermore...'"
(REVELATION 1:17-18, NKJV)Philippians1:12-30, Colossians1:15-29
I think one of the most astounding Scripture verses is “for me to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). We may be inclined to take those words for granted or think, “Well, that is Paul’s sentiment; it’s not for me.”
But it is clear from the context that Paul considers this a normal thought for the Christian. Christ’s love for us on the cross is so momentous that our lives will be totally suffused with love for Him. Our greatest desire will be to have ever-increasing intimacy in our fellowship with Him. So while we enjoy life, we also long to be in the immediate presence of the One “who is alive forevermore” rather than to remain here below forever, where we “see through a glass darkly.”
Some suppose Paul says this because to go to heaven would mean an end to his sufferings. Not so; he chooses to continue to be with the Philippians to help them. He simply longs – as we also do – to see Jesus face to face and behold Him alive! To die would be “far better” than that which we already enjoy.
PAUL PILES SUPERLATIVE UPON SUPERLATIVE TO CONVEY THAT TO DIE WOULD BE "STREETS AHEAD" BETTER THAN REMAINING IN THIS LIFE. CAN WE RESONATE WITH THIS?