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This time cover another well known verse from Philippians. It's 1:21 - "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain." What a concept! It is hard to think of any other religion or philosophy of life where dying is gaining. Another way to think of this verse is, "For the Christian, life is pretty much a win-win!"
During my life as a pastor I have presided over and attended numerous memorial services, funerals, and “celebrations of life." While all of them have their individual nuances, there is one universal trend that I have seen: the more “solid” a believer is as a Christian, the more joyous is the memorial service. In fact, at the high end of the scale of believers, at their memorial service, there is almost a sense of jealousy amongst the “grieving." Like, “They got to go and I’m still stuck here!" For the believer, to die is to really “gain."
We unpack this verse in the context of Paul, chained to a Roman soldier, as he reflects on all he has learned in his life of serving Christ, and what nuggets of wisdom he desired to pass on to us. Great stuff!
Dain Spore is pastor of Kauai Christian Fellowship in Hawaii.