To be or not to be? That is the question. For the Christian would it be better to live or to die?
Now most of you know the flu has been going around. Last week it hit my family. The fever. The chills. The vomiting.
One minute you're burning up. The next minute you're freezing. You can't keep any food down. You try to stay hydrated. But when you make trips to the bathroom, you almost pass out. At one point I timed it just right, I fell into bed as I was blacking out.
So there you are in this miserable condition. And maybe a fleeting thought went through your head, as you're hugging the toilet. Like, "Lord, I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. I'm so weak. I'm so puny. I'm so miserable. I can't take any more of this. If this fever isn't going to break, if this flu isn't going to pass, Lord, can you just take me home."
We're such wimps aren't we? 72 hour flu and we're ready to throw in the towel.
But on one level, that kind of makes sense doesn't it? We're Christians. We're bound for Heaven. And will there be any flu in Heaven? No. There's no sickness. Will there be any fever in Heaven? No, everyone will be the right temperature all the time. Will there be any recycled suppers? Of course not. So it kind of make sense that when a Christian is going through the throes (literally) of flu and fever, that he might think "I'd rather be home in Heaven right now."
And think about those who aren't wimps. Think about those who are going through chemo-like Mark Fox, from our church. Think about burn victims and rape victims and persecuted Christians who right now are being tortured for their faith.
So that brings us back to our question. For the Christian, is it better to be or not to be, better to live or die- and go to Heaven.
And the answer according to Philippians. 1, according to the New Testament, according to God's Word is resounding-to die is gain.
We saw last time in verse 21 that Paul says "For to me to live is Christ." Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could really say that? "Life for me is all about Christ."
But this evening we come to the 2nd half of the verse "and to die is gain."