When a loved one dies, the relatives and friends suffer a loss. A loved one is taken out of their lives, never to be seen again by them here on this earth, and never to communicate with them here below.
But take hold of that wonderful and comforting truth that, if he is a child of God, death is for him a glorious gain. Yes, he will leave much behind, and be cut off completely from relatives and friends here below. Listen, however, to what Paul wrote in Philippians 1:21 : "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."
Instead of saying it as Paul did, and still saying it correctly, let us put it this way: "Because, by God's grace, I am a true Christian, for me to die is gain." For what Paul states, namely, that for him to live is Christ, means that he serves Christ and confesses Him by word and deed. That is what a true Christian does. Those who do that may be sure that death is gain for them.
It is gain because death brings the soul out of this sphere of sin and the curse and into a sinless realm called heaven. There a very wonderful and rich life of intimate fellowship with God will be ours. There we will be with Christ, and be able to serve God more fully than we could on this earth, with our old sinful nature.
At that we should look with a view to our coming death. Leading what truly is a Christian life here below is our calling. It is a sign that God has for us an indescribably rich gain. As Paul wrote in verse 20, Christ should be magnified by our bodies in this life. Then, even though the world will hate us for living such a life, and in the days of the Antichrist shall kill many of us, we are not going to lose but to gain.
We may be separated from earthly treasures and from the fellowship of other believers; but we will reach a life that will never be taken from us. As David wrote in Psalm 23:6 : "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever."
Read: Psalm 23 .
Through the Bible in One Year
Jeremiah 6:16-30 ; Jeremiah 7 ; Jeremiah 8:1-7
Quote for Reflection:
… when he says that the coming of Christ would be intolerable, what is said is to be confined to the ungodly; for we know that nothing is more delightful and sweeter to us than when Christ is nigh us: though now we are pilgrims and at a distance from him, yet his invisible presence is our chief joy and happiness. – Calvin’s Commentary (Malachi 3)