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Chapter 111

Departing and Being with Christ

*** When writing to the Philippians, what desire did the apostle Paul express?
“For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better.” Phil. 1:23.

*** What were the two conditions between which the apostle was thus in difficulty?
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Phil. 1:21.

*** What does he mean by the words “to depart?”
“The time of my departure is at hand.” 2 Tim. 4:6.

*** What was sure to the cause of Christ, whether Paul lived or died?
“Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.” Phil. 1:20.

*** In what other words does he express the same sentiment?
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Phil. 1:21.
NOTE. – Gain, not to himself, but to the cause of Christ, as stated in the verse before.

*** What, then, inclined Paul to the side of life?
“Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.” Phil. 1:24.

*** What inclined him to prefer to depart, or lay down this life?
“To depart and to be with Christ, which is far better.” Phil. 1:23.

*** How long after his departure before he would be with Christ?
“For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 1 Thess. 4:16, 17. See 1 Cor. 15:51-54; 2 Tim.4:7, 8.

*** If none go to be with Christ till after the resurrection, how would it have been better for Paul, so far as he was concerned, to depart then, rather than live on?
As no cognizance is taken of the lapse of time, after a person becomes unconscious in death (Eccl. 9:5; Ps. 146:4), though 2,000 years should elapse before Paul’s resurrection, it would seem to him but the twinkling of an eye.

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