Phil. 1:23-24 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.

If you are really honest, to most Christians Paul’s words sound a little extreme. He actually would prefer to die than to live on in this world. How could that be? If that was really true, is that a healthy position for a Christian to be in? Of course that was the true feeling of Paul’s heart and yes it is the most healthy condition a Christian could possibly be in. What was it about Paul that gave him that perspective of life after death? Why would he choose to die rather than to live a long life? Jonathan Edwards addressed some of these questions in his message on Psalm 73. here is something he said about death and heaven.

“If you could avoid death, and might have your free choice, would you choose to live always in this world without God, rather than in his time to leave the world, in order to be with him? If you might live here in earthly prosperity to all eternity, but destitute of the presence of God and communion with him–having no spiritual intercourse between him and your souls, God and you being strangers to each other for ever–would you choose this rather than to leave the world, in order to dwell in heaven as the children of God, there to enjoy the glorious privileges of children, in a holy and perfect love to God, and enjoyment of him to all eternity.”

If you will ponder this question and answer it honestly to yourself, it will bring you great insight into your spiritual condition. The desire to live a life here in prosperity and health is extremely appealing to the natural man. The natural man has no sphere of reference to understand what heaven is really like. All of that changes when one has an encounter with Christ. When we catch a small glimpse of what He is really like everything changes. suddenly we become aware of what makes heaven so heavenly. Its not the endless life or the incredible riches that are there. Its not even seeing our loved ones and Christians from other generations. Heaven is heaven because Jesus is there. Heaven is heaven because of the glorious atmosphere there which is God Himself in the person of the Holy Spirit. We will breath in and breath out God. We will be all consumed in His love because heaven is a world of love. Heaven will be heaven because our Heavenly Father is there in all His Glory. It will take eternity (which means it will never end) to explore the ever increasing unfolding of the glory of God in Christ. One taste of heaven in this life through the outpouring of the Spirit and you will say with Paul, “to depart and be with Christ is far better”.


  1. Pauls works meaningless to Christ but influential to the humane is still living to me. Paul is dead. His works is a example and still to this day is benefiting people. A bench warmer Christian doesn’t have a on going influence like Paul. Life is short compared to eternity. Why he a bench warmer when through putting yourself in a position to be perecuted will bring glory to God and Lord knows the affect it could have on people when your long gone. Lifes meaningless for our own benefit. Were to glorify the Father. I can accept I’m dirt and gonna return back to the ground.

  2. Many days I wish I were in heaven holding my Lord close, but then when He comes back at the end of all things, heaven will be here anyway. I guess we will have to wait on His timing and as yielded vessels let God be glorified in and through us.

  3. I often find myself asking the question; what is radical? Some would say I am surely radical…and then I consider 2cor. 12:10 ..”I delight in weaknesses, insults, hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong”……..so, radical? No…not even close when I hear the deep resolve of Paul’s words, a heart cry as he boasts about his sufferings…..And here I find the state of my own heart, where I chose comfort of the world instead action! Devotion and walking with God is more than contemplation…time for this sleeper to wake up, rise up and move.

  4. Truly does my natural man want out of Gods plan for my life! But my vessel has been yielded to Jesus Christ! The numerous gifts he has given me is still being tallied up! Too sense Gods presence is such a gift! It’s more valuable than the wealth of the world! The peace that Jesus Christ gives to his followers can’t be translated into any known language! Too breathe out his presence from our lungs is awesome! God bless you my family!

  5. As I pass through this life with Christ in me, am I not in Heaven? (On earth as It is in Heaven), even when I stumble, I rise up to God’s righteous calling and when I rise into his Holy presence, I am in Heaven as it is on earth. ‘All things of this Earth indeed grow strangly dim.’ I firmly believe that we are here for two things: to acknowledge God in all things/situations and to Learn how to Love. Heartache and trails do fade away when rememberance of God’s Mercy and Grace captures us, as we pass through this life, it’s how we respond to issues of our earthly life that gets us to our eternal Home-Heaven…

  6. Amen one taste Thats all it takes. What a Spirit, what a gift He has Given us. I’m with Paul to depart and be with Christ. Thessalonians 5:23, May God Himself sanctify you through and through. May your whole body be kept blameless at the coming of Our LORD Jesus Christ. When ever His will is done for me, see you Im going home to live with my Father. They can have this world. Heaven bound here I come. Thank you Jesus, I have died for Him.

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