October 3, 2016 Paul’s Death Mathmatics

 

 

The apostle Paul is known for being long-winded, both in his preaching (Acts 20:7-12) and in his writing (with what we would consider long, run-on sentences, for example Romans 1;17-20).  But Paul summarizes for us his view of death (and the theme of my book) in four words, four words that are often overlooked in preaching and study.  In one of the most famous of Paul’s declarations, he says in Philippians 1:21:  “For me to live is Christ, to die is gain”  We often hear sermons about the first four words, “to live is Christ,” and rightfully so, because it is about how we live our Christian lives here and now.  But the last four words, “to die is gain,” are often then overlooked, but they contain a powerful truth for the Christian facing death or who has a loved one facing death.  For Paul, DEATH = GAIN.  Not loss, although there is loss, and not grief, though there is grief.  No, according to these four short words of Paul, for the Christian the most important truth we know about death is that death = gain.  And so the purpose of my book follows closely this truth, that the more we know about just how much we or our loved one gains through death the more we can focus on that and hopefully the less we focus on what we lose temporarily.  For what we gain through death is far greater than what we lose in this world.  Yes, it’s hard to imagine a joy or love greater than that of our earthly families, but in heaven we gain so much there is no need for family to bring us joy.   We have the infinite love of God shining on us constantly, plus the intimacy of our heavenly family.  So as we or a loved one faces death, let’s keep this truth of Paul’s front and center:  Death = Gain!

 

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