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September 22, 2020 2:00 am
In Philippians 1:21, the apostle Paul said, "To live is Christ, and to die is gain." As we wait for heaven, we must continue in the work of the gospel. Skip shares how you can do that as he wraps up the message "Living Between Two Worlds."
This teaching is from the series From the Edge of Eternity.Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
This is his motto. This is the slogan for me to live is Christ and to die is gain. I wonder what one sentence would sum up your life there is to be something on your tombstone that marked who you were in this life. How you live. I heard about a dentist who died in honest tombstone simply said here lies John Smith filling his last cavity.
That's not too comforting. What do you live have a one sentence statement that sums up your life's purpose today on connect with Skip Heitzig Skip shares, the apostle Paul's life motto and challenges you to evaluate what you're looking for at the end of the program Skip and his wife went share how you can impact the lives of hurting kids around the world were having a hard time Mark had a hard time finding toilet paper bags.
There whatever the next thing is that's missing. Imagine your refugee they don't have anything anyway. Living in some of these places is just so hard and I'm blessed that we were able to provide food and medical. I refugee during COBIT that you Skip and when you be sure to stay with us after today's message to the full discussion right now want to tell you about a resource that helps you navigate life circumstances racial God-given potential. I've enjoyed watching the growth in the ministry of my friend Levi Lustgarten this month's connect with Skip resource. Take back your life new book by Levi Lesko personally bided tell you about it's all around this idea taking back your life is a 40 day interactive journey thinking right so you can live right is to be really powerful and special. I think some people to have this bellies in hardcover, which just makes me happy because I never had a booklist hardcover but has ribbon so you really keep track of your progress through these 40 days. It would be an incredible gift to someone who is looking to grow in their faith or for any of us you want to maybe conduit and oil change for your heart check up on on your wellness where you're at little deal with internal difficulties and help you deal better with external circumstances that are challenging as we explore how it gets to the very best version of ourselves that we are meant to be. Get the book. Take back your life with a donation of $35 to connect with Skip call 1-800-922-1888 online and connectwithskip.com this hardcover book by Levi Lesko will help you take back your life. It's a 40 day interactive journey to thinking right so you can live right 1-800-922-1888 the message-there's two modes of transportation. Number one death. So far that's all everybody has gotten there's gotten death.
Number two is when the Lord comes back in the saints who are alive are instantly translated into heaven is the rapture of the church.
That's another way to get there, was the only two modes of getting to heaven as described in first Thessalonians chapter 4 it says we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air enters the bus part so shall we always be with the Lord is the departure there's the encounter. The encounter is the best part is when you're with them. You'll always be with right what you're caught up in the air or you die and are instantly in heaven will always be with them to be with him when he returns to the earth will be with them in the millennial reign you be with them in the eternal city forever you'll be with the Lord. No wonder he says that in the same verse having a desire to depart and be with Christ.
This which is far better to words far better in Greek. It's three words note it reads literally, which is much more better if you're an English teacher that's repulsive US bad English happens to be good Greek and it's great theology.
Heaven is much more better than earth. The arrival is much more better than even the departure and being here now for Paul to say this is pretty obvious that he believed the moment he died he would at that very moment be with the Lord. There's no holding pattern is no waiting. There's no going somewhere else. There is no limbo there's no purgatory there's no soul sleep is some hold that if you die as a Christian you going is the sort of suspended state of unconsciousness, until the Lord returns, then you're awakened in your with Paul witness said that if you believe that as he thought when he departs will be with Christ, which is far better. He was anticipating to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, to review something else. Dwight Lyman Moody.
I've quoted him on many occasions a great evangelist and pastor of Moody Bible church last generation. He was on his deathbed while he was there and he did know what the future state would be. He told his family gathered around him. I'm not discouraged. I want to live as long as I'm useful when my work is done. I want to be up and off want to push off. That's my desired to depart when it's my time. After a particularly restless night. The next morning with a very careful, measured speech. He said this earth recedes heaven opens before me was signed.
It was at his bedside thought pops is dreaming, and Dwight said to his son know this is not a dream will it's beautiful. If this is death is sweet. There's no valley here God is calling me and I must go when a great way to go.
It's so great to have lived that kind of a life so that it then your this is it. I'm graduating now this is sweet so go back to Paul. He's in prison in Rome writing to the Philippians doesn't know which way the verdict will pass on his behalf or will he be killed and SEs wrestles with this. He says let me just tell you where I'm at where I'm at my own personal desire be a lot easier a lot better for me to leave this earth and be home with the Lord.
However, the 24th verse switches gears.
That's what he wants. The third word he is willing to persist. He's willing to stay and work for the Lord on earth, for he says nevertheless, to remain in the flesh or in my physical body is more needful for you and being confident of this.
I know that I shall remain and continue with you for or excuse me, I forgot the word all and continue with you all is from the south for your progress and joy of faith. So you see what he saying is much as I want to go home. I understand I have some unfinished work here I have a hunch that I'm in a stay around for you all is what I want you to notice. Here's a spiritual man caught between two worlds, earth and heaven, and as a spiritual man, though he would live just be in heaven because it's a place of comfort and joy in reward.
He's balancing out what he wants with what they need any places what they need before what he wants is a spiritual man going to see about Paul is that he just didn't preach great sermons. This is how he lived. Go to chapter 2 verse three he writes to them. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Here's a guy who will practice what he preaches. Here's Paul in prison. Putting them in their interests even before his own go back now to chapter 1 verse 22 but if I live on in the flesh, that is if I don't die if I get released if I live on in the flesh. This will mean fruit from my labor yet what I shall choose I cannot tell other words as long as I'm still kicking I'm to be serving the Lord to make sure that all labor be energetic and produce fruit. Jesus himself said, you can tell about a person's life by the fruit that they produce. And if you're a spiritual person will go produce spiritual fruit. John Stott said these words, the Christian should resemble a fruit tree not a Christmas tree for the Godey decorations of a Christmas tree are only tied on whereas fruit grows on a fruit tree know what's what. What is fruit. The result work right. A farmer will so and the Bible says whatever you so you'll reap so fruit comes from one's the labor. That's why Paul uses the term from my labor unless you actually do something as a Christian. You'll never be fruitful. Note begins by just a connection with Jesus Christ you abide in the vine, and as you abide in the vine. He energizes you to serve, to serve people to work now before we move on from this notice that toward the beginning of that sentence. Verse 22 is the word if don't miss this, but if I live on in the flesh.
You see Paul as a note to feel die or if you live right so because that huge condition is sitting in front of him this if he understands that if I live I'm to be fruitful because once I die, my opportunity to labor and produce fruit is over. Right you like a witness in heaven, not to pass tracks out in heaven you're knocking to be giving money to further God's kingdom in heaven you'll be discipling in heaven you're in heaven. The reward comes so yes I live on in the flesh. All of my labor and all of my energy and all of my fruit must be produced now on this earth before I get to heaven and articulate 1/4 word and that is waiting.
Paul's been wrestling with the predicament wanting to depart and be with Christ willing to stay here if that's what God desires. But I save this which is I think the best for the last this is Paul now waiting with a passion. Verse 20 according to my earnest expectation and hope that a nothing. I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always. So now also Christ will be magnified in my body whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain. That is Paul's life sentence that that sums up in my view all of Paul's life and death. This would be a great thing to have on his tombstone. This is his motto. This is his slogan for me to live is Christ and to die is gain. I wonder what one sentence would sum up your life. If there is to be something on your tombstone that marked who you were in this life and how you live, what would it be. I heard about a dentist who died in on his tombstone.
It simply said here lies John Smith filling his last cavity.
That's not too comforting. All he did in life is fill cavities and I was just filling in this cavity and the earth. This good old dentist is filling his last cavity for me to live is Christ and to die is gain. So let's just consider enclosing those two options. Let's say Paul got out of jail.
Okay Paul, you're free. Now you get to continue and live on in the flesh.
What's what your life and to be all about Christ. Talk about a guy with a one track mind.
I I've been honestly convicted just reading through Philippians in preparation for this morning's message because I notice how often Paul zeros in on and mentions Jesus Christ and just the first chapter were in Christ Jesus you are in Philippi butchering Christ I'm in prison but I my chains are in Christ. I want to spread the gospel of Christ.
This guy lived with a one track mind. You wrote to the Romans and he said I've determined that a nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified was all about Christ like a little boy with the Sunday school and he got his first time you ever been to church. Got a Sunday school is mom so how I was as good was your teacher's name is I don't know her name but she must've been Jesus grandmother because Jesus was the only one she could talk about the whole class like that's just like Paul, Jesus is the only one he seems to talk about in this life for me to live is Christ. I want to tie something to that. Don't don't lose this one.
Look at verse 20. I want to unpack that according to my earnest expectation and hope that a nothing. I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always. So now Christ will be magnified in my body whether by life or by death. See that those two words earnest expectation to what that means. It speaks of a person sticking his head out to see what's coming up. He's intently focusing on what's coming up that he's eager he's anticipating using as long as I live my my one focus of what's coming is that my life might magnify and glorify Jesus Christ. I want to live in such a way that my own body becomes a base of operations for Jesus Christ. I don't miss this because I have met too many Christians with this weird view of the body yeah the bodies all bad, and the spirits all good.
No worry about the body.
It's all about the spirit there's truth to that. I know where they're coming from, but the Bible says your body ought to become the base of operations in a vehicle for him to work verses like Romans 12 present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable, which is your reasonable service. Romans six present the members of your bodies as instruments of righteousness to God first Corinthians chapter 6, do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit is what all that means your hands can become like his hands, his instruments to do his work. Your mouth could be so yielded to him that your speaking his words and speaking life to other people. Your feet could be on a mission to do his work. Your whole life, marriage, hobbies, occupation could be to magnify Christ, the great composer Bach said all of music should have no other name than the glory of God whenever he wrote a score he would begin by writing two letters at the top J.
Sue choose which means Lord Jesus, help me and he write his music at the end he would write three initials at the bottom pass DG Soli Dayo Gloria to God alone.
The glory all of life was lived to magnify and glorify Jesus Christ. Now again were not done yet with that verse. Look at this phrase, Christ will be magnified a disinfection reminds what it means to magnify Christ. Mega Luna is the Greek word means to enlarge or to make great. Here's my question. How in the world. Could we possibly make great or any greater. The greatest person who ever lived, Jesus Christ, let alone to our bodies. How's that possible I tell you how there's here's an illustration and then the application out there in the universe out there in the heavens. There are stars that are so much bigger than the sun. Some of the stars are a thousand million miles in diameter but there's so far away you can see them. You can apprehend them unless you have an instrument called the telescope that magnifies them and enlarges them and brings them closer while I suggest to you, but just like the stars are in the heavens.
Jesus Christ is to most people, he so distant. He's so 2000 years old. He's a misty figure of history that nobody thinks is relevant for today you have the opportunity to magnify him to make him large.
And here's how. As people watch your life, especially as you suffer like Paul was in prison. It's an opportunity for people to go while there is a Jesus who is alive and makes a big difference in that person's life. He's now larger-than-life. I see him at work in his people to get the idea of what Paul says when if I live or die, I want to enlarge, magnify the Lord Jesus Christ is brought closer okay so that's one option.
If I live now this is if you guys and this will be close for me to live is Christ and to die is gain.
We spent four months in the last part became part. We talked all about what you gain as a believer when you die and what's up ahead were not afraid of death.
Death to sweetens the pie fact, I even think it's accurate to say he died or she died was better to say he moved. She moved.
I watched a lot of people die.
Over the years I've set a deathbeds little over a year ago with my own mother and some other people even here in this fellowship, and I've watched those last breaths and I've I've looked into their eyes and I've heard that last on many occasions, nothing more. And it's a holy moment for me because I imagine at the end of that labor breath with the next breath so to speak, in heaven, must be like a guarantee it's not.
It's more like wow that's if you know Christ. If not, might sound something like so certainly don't want that now only the person who can say for me to live is Christ is the one who can say to die is gain. You fill in the blank for me to live is whatever and I don't know what that is. I don't know honestly what would sum up your goal in life. Let's just suppose it's finances its materialism. Okay, so let's finish the sentence for me to live is money to die is to leave it all behind that again is a loss. Let's say you want status notoriety position. Okay, let's finish the sentence for me to live is notoriety to die is to be quickly forgotten. Let's say it's a perfect physique.
Just for me to live is a perfect physique to die. Well, you get really ugly after you die so you lose it all.
Only the person who can say for me to live is Christ can say to die is gain. The Indians had a great saying I do know which tribe of Native Americans.
It was, but there's a little old saying in one of those tribes goes like this when you were born you cried, but the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a way that when you die, the world tries and you rejoice is good wisdom and put it in Paul's words for me to live is Christ and therefore to die is gain. Heaven is something were all invited to go to but just as I needed a passport to get out of this country into another country. The only way to get into heaven only passport into heaven are the merits of Jesus Christ on your behalf until we get there.
My prayer heaven will be more than a destination become our motivation that Skip powerful message for you from the series from the edge of eternity. Now you Skip as they share how you can help impact the lives of hurting kids around the world today. We were reminded that as long as were here on this earth were to serve Jesus by serving other people and then yet you have the great privilege of doing that to an organization that you found it: reload low we make it a point to highlight this ministry.
We do a lot because we really believe in what's going on all over the world through this ministry would you update us well it's so humbling to realize if COBIT is impacting us the United States and were having a hard time or had a hard time finding toilet paper or eggs or whatever the next thing is that's missing. Imagine if your refugee they don't have anything anyway and living in some of these places is just so hard and I'm blessed that we were able to provide food and medical supplies for refugees during Cove Ed and then also we have this ongoing relationship and me and Mark Burma and I we were able to provide food and medical supplies for relief mission because one of the villages of innocent people were attacked and during this global pandemic when it's difficult to get supplies somewhere. We just happen to know the right people at the right place at the right time that if we just bonded them they could make it into this really difficult place to reach and so we are just thanking God for the way that he has made all things possible when they seem, and possible so you can join allotment and you can make a one-time donation reload lab, please keep in mind that is our sovereign creator also unlocking all of the world to know they're not alone, and to know that hearing make that happen to you today also keep these messages enjoy coming to you right now, 819 C. Again, I think hundred 92 or visit Connecticut.com/donate.com last thing to come back again to mark the biography of God, a clear picture Skip presentation of connection communications through