In his letter to the church in Philippi, Paul wrote that for him, “to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). A life devoted to Christ means death is irrelevant and even better than life. If we spend our lives in devotion to Christ, we fulfill our purpose by glorifying our Lord and Creator. And if we die, we get to meet Him face to face, spending eternity in His glorious presence.
This is a no-lose proposition. We serve and glorify Him in life, and we serve and glorify Him in death. There is no better deal anyone could ever offer you. Nothing else you could spend your life on offers the same consistency and reward.
Whatever else you might live for will not hold up in death. If we live for Christ, we will gain Christ when we die. Think of anything else you might live for and consider what happens to such devotion when you die. If you live for success, everything you’ve gained vanishes the instant you die. Perhaps some will remember you for a short time, but even that is fleeting. And what good is such a legacy to you? You’re dead and unable to appreciate any respect or adulation. To live is Christ, not to have success.
If you live for money, who gets it when you die? No matter how great a pile of wealth you might amass, you can’t take a single cent with you to the grave. All those years, all that work, will mean nothing at that moment. Each of us is born empty-handed, and each of us will die the same way. Hoard all you want, it is all destined to fall into the hands of another the moment you breathe your last. To live is Christ, not to accumulate money.
Living life for pleasure and entertainment might seem like a good choice, but you better enjoy it while it lasts. Those whose lives are consumed by the enjoyment of things of this world have no love for God (1 John 2:15). All your pleasure will expire the moment your time on earth is done. Our years on this planet are not even the tiniest blip in the scale of eternity. The Word of God is clear on the fact those who do not choose God in this life will not experience any pleasure in eternity (Luke 13:27-28; Matthew 25:46; Matthew 7:18-23). To live is Christ, not to squander it in mindless entertainment.
To live for anything other than Jesus results in bitter disappointment and loss when we die. Only a life spent devoted to Christ will yield an eternity of joy in His presence. As Jesus asked, “What good is it to gain the world but lose your soul” (Mark 8:36)? To live for Jesus in this world is to experience the greatest joy available in this life. That joy is magnified exponentially when we die and live with Him in eternity. Live for Him now, live with Him later. There is no better deal. There is nothing or no one else worthy of your life. To live for Jesus is great gain. But to die and be with Him is even better.