“I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far.” (Philippians 1:23)
The Apostle Paul struggles with two desires when writing the Philippian congregation: whether to continue living for the benefit of others or to die, which he considered of far greater personal benefit. Paul’s candor – though striking – isn’t original.
The Old Testament taught us that earthly life is not the end of our existence. Our soul returns to God (Ecclesiastes 12:7). Daniel describes two separate eternal dwellings after earthly life (Daniel 12:2). Jesus reflected those truths when he spoke about Judgment Day (Matthew 25:31-46). Even in death we live (John 11:25-26).
Jesus comforts us with his promise that he has prepared our eternal home (John 14:1-3) and that death is not to be feared (Matthew 10:28). The psalmist went as far as to state that the condition of the dead who died in faith was “precious” (Psalm 116:15).