‘For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.’ (Philippians 1:21)
In my pre-Christian days, I sometimes visited a church, at the invitation of a work colleague, but was determined not to get converted. I loved the singing, and the people, but spent the time deliberately trying not to listen, in case I became a fanatical Christian.
I was however blindsided by a chorus based on our text, which penetrated my hard heart.
People have all kinds of reasons for living, other than Christ, - parties, addictions (sadly), sport, work etc.
A 2013 Gallup Poll revealed that only 13 per cent of people were happy in their work. How sad to spend a huge proportion of life, doing what makes us unhappy.
I once read - “If you only live half your life, the other half will haunt you forever”. A famous psychologist said: “The only truly happy people I know are those who have found a cause to live for, which is greater than themselves.”
Jesus came to give us “abundant life” (John 10:10). Paul discovered that, and lived for Christ, which I believe is the most fulfilling of all causes. Interestingly, if you substitute “Christ”, in our text, with anything else, e.g. sex, money, work, hobbies or whatever, the promise doesn’t hold.
It’s only when we live for Christ, that death is gain. The Christian literally has the best of both worlds.
Pastor Michael Rollo,
Larbert Pentecostal Church