“For I am in a strait between two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better” Php. 1:23
Here is a man who was like tossing a coin as to which he wanted the most; to go be with The Lord which he conceded would be to his personal benefit or to stay a bit longer, saying it would be for the benefits of those that are still around.
The thing here is that there was no issue of doubt that if he died he will be in no other place but where ever The Lord is. You could just see the complete confidence and assurance with which he spoke, it was like that was a complete non-issue with him. If he died, got killed off however he went he was going to be with The Lord but now he was considering the people he would be leaving behind.
He was not considering the things he would leave behind. Granted he had seen some hard times in life that the cynic would want to say who wouldn’t want to go be with The Lord if they had gone through even half of what he went through? But in the matter of service and the position he held in the visible church, there were some things that he would have had that would have been considered as perks today and he did not allow that to distort his thinking.
Aside from whatever perks or even sorrows that were down here, the issue is that there was not just a single ounce of doubt in what he was saying.
Wither our Soul?
How many of us can say that we have not questioned our destination even as Christians? How many of us can say we have not “heard the voice of the Devil” asking if we are sure we are going to “make” heaven? Somebody once said that you can’t be tempted with what you naturally despise simply because it won’t even be an issue to say no to such. If you hate peanuts, it would be impossible for someone to entice you with peanuts or tempt you with it, right? It won’t even be an issue and you won’t think twice about it, the Devil will not even bother raising it as an issue or using it to tempt you to do something.
Paul did not question where he was going or who he was going to be with once he leaves the earth; he did not do that for once. But can we sincerely say that we have not heard that niggling voice of doubt or even told ourselves that we won’t be seeing those white shores with the way things are going?
His confidence is quite vexing when you really dwell on it. And if there is anything to be said, is that if anybody wants to get the results of the success of another person, it is clear that that person would have to walk the same path the person walked.
Jesus said this.
Paul said this.
Therefore there must be a real connection between repeating and walking in the footsteps of those that have gone before us to get the results of those that have…gone before.
“…are ye able to drink of the cup shall drink?” Mat. 20:22
We know what their answer was and Jesus affirmed that they would indeed drink of that cup. The thing that was left unsaid but was a mute reality was that the only way they could be where He was would be if they actually drank of that cup. If they did not drink of that cup, they won’t be where He’ll be.
“For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica…” 2Tim. 4:10
It is that simple and it is scary. Paul knew without one single doubt where he was going. There was no question about it because he has walked the path.
“For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me…” 1 Tim.4:6-8
There is a path laid out for every child of God. Where you will be is dependent on whether you walked that path or not. Playing church is actually the simplest things to and getting carried away by it all is something that is not difficult.
“Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions” Ecc. 7:29
“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled1 Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” 2Co 11:3
Let us play church all we want and live a life that is one thing from the other all we like but there is a simple path set before each man and God help us all.