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Why Death is Gain (Philippians 1:21)

Updated: Jan 30

A grave stone with flowers that says "in loving memory."

"For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." (Phil 1:21 ESV)

The absolute joy of the Christian heart is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. No one else is more precious to our souls than Him! He is the lily of the valley, the rose of Sharon, the bright, morning star—fairer than the fairest of ten thousand to our souls! Absolutely nothing in all of creation can compare with the infinite value of the Prince of peace who has reconciled us to God through his own blood.

The apostle Paul understood this as he declared, “For me to live is Christ and to die is GAIN!” What a strange thing to say by our world’s standards! Death for many is the great robber and thief. Death steals from us the work of our hands and forces us to leave the wealth we have gained to others. Death destroys the plans we have made for the future and empties our calendars of our hopes and dreams. Death divorces us from our dearest friends and family members on this earth, and leaves in its place a void that can never be filled by another human being. Death cuts more deeply than any sword because it cuts into our hearts and not our flesh!

But as mighty as this great enemy of our souls is, death can NEVER sever us from our eternal joy! The keen, knife-edge of death has no ability to slash the eternal cord that binds us to Christ! The bonds of divine love are stronger than steel and tempered in the blood of the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world! And no force in heaven or on earth, whether angels or demons, or death itself, can ever separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord!

For us believers, the carriage of death may bear us away from our earthly loved ones, but it delivers us into the presence of the One whom our soul loves, Jesus Christ. And this is why the apostle can call death GAIN! Not because there is no giving up of things we hold dear, but because we count it all as LOSS, compared to the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus our Lord! Death for us believers has no sting, but instead does us the courtesy of smashing the earthly mirror so that we do not see dimly anymore, but face to face!

Ah, what a comfort it is to know that when our time here on earth comes to an end, we will look into the glorious face of our Lord Jesus Christ! Take heart, believer. For though the ups and downs of life may leave you weary and fatigued, know that the end of our days is incomparable, unending and unfading joy in the King’s land. To him be the glory forever and ever, Amen!

Article by: Samuel Chua


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