The Word: It’s ‘much more gooder’

Published 12:20 pm Thursday, April 18, 2024

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“For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Now if I live on in the flesh, this means fruitful work for me; and I don’t know which one I should choose. I am torn between the two. I long to depart and be with Christ — which is far better — but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for your sake. Since I am persuaded of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that, because of my coming to you again, your boasting in Christ Jesus may abound. Just one thing: As citizens of heaven, live your life worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or am absent, I will hear about you that you are standing firm in one spirit, in one accord, contending together for the faith of the gospel, not being frightened in any way by your opponents. This is a sign of destruction for them, but of your salvation — and this is from God. For it has been granted to you on Christ’s behalf not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, since you are engaged in the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I have.” — Philippians 1:21-30, CSB 

I get this. I totally, totally get this. For a while now I’ve told my wife, “I can’t wait to die”. Now…don’t worry…I ain’t rushing the process. I’m not down or distraught. There’s no concerns nor red flags flying around me. I simply know this: to live is Christ and to die is gain. I get Paul’s point. He even says that he is torn between the two. I truly, truly get this. Not that I am Paul…I ain’t! I am NO where near that deep or strong in my walk and faith. Paul was a freaking rock star once he surrendered his heart and all. But, I get this mentality. 

It surprises me, however, to hear so many people who claim Jesus to be afraid of death and dying. Why do we hold on to this world? Why do we spend more time to keep saints out of heaven than we pray to save sinners from hell? We know this world is not our home (Hebrews 13). We know heaven is perfect (Revelation 21). We know Jesus is awaiting us with a place prepared for all who follow Him (John 14). To live here is to be done for Christ…but…hear me out…to die is gain! It’s much-more-gooder! I cannot wait to die. #takemehome 

Rev. J. Cameron Bailey is pastor of Kenbridge Christian Church. He can be reached at