For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
When Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians, he was in jail. The reason for Paul’s imprisonment was to have preached the gospel. His physical integrity was not assured and the same could achieve his freedom than to be sentenced to death. In the midst of his affliction for the great trial he suffered, Paul said what is in Philippians 1:21, For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. There is no doubt that Paul was very clear that he had given his life to Christ and knew full well that he had put it in the best hands.
Paul was not the only one who thought that way because each of the apostles and early Christians lived it in their own flesh. They all lived for Christ and did not hesitate to lay down their lives rather than to deny their faith because they knew that to die was gain because they would meet with the Beloved Jesus. For two thousand years, millions of Christians have lived according to Philippians 1:21, for them to live was Christ and to die was gain. Even that continues to happen today in many parts of the world.
What has led Christians through the centuries to be able to even give up their lives for the name of Jesus? When you really know who Jesus Christ is and what he is capable of doing, there is no fear of risking everything for him. In John 11:25-26 the Lord says, Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” Those words, like all the words of the Lord, will continue to have validity for ever and ever.
We are living in a time when a large part of those who claim to be Christians are not living according to what Philippians 1:21 says. These people do not live for Christ or think that death is gain but cling to this life and its delights as if they were destined to dwell in this world forever. They are people who jump from their seats and shout with joy when in the churches they speak of blessings, prosperity and happiness; but that the deaf are made when they are told of the price to be paid for following Christ.
It is a pity that such people are engaged in similar positions. That is the opposite of what the Word says. Remember what the Lord says in John 12:25, He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. The most difficult times that humanity has ever lived are approaching. Matthew 24: 9-10 prophesies what will happen to the Christians, Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.
Many who call themselves Christians boast that before the time of the great tribulation comes, the Lord will come in secret and deliver us from it. I’m sorry, my brother; but that is not what Matthew 24: 9-10 says. Unless you are one of the many who will stumble and betray to their brothers, you run the risk of losing your physical life because of the name of Jesus. If you love your life to the point of being able to deny your faith by saving the skin, remember John 12:25. It is better to hate our life in this world and to keep it for eternal life. May our lives be Christ and if we die for Him, we do not lose, we win. God bless you.