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Heaven Can Wait? Remarkable!

Before the Bema at Philippi

I recently read this post from Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile who ministers in the Cayman Islands. It’s a reflection on Paul’s words from Philippians 2:18-26, especially Paul’s statement that he was torn between two alternatives: departing to be with Christ (which is far better) and staying to continue ministering to the Philippian church. I posted the following comment there:

Thank you for this, brother. I recently shared similar thoughts from the same passage with the elders of the church I pastor. It is remarkable that the decision to “stay” or “go” was even a dilemma for Paul. Most of us would yearn for heaven without giving this world a second thought. The fact that Paul was torn between what was personally “far better” and what was ministerially “more necessary” for the church at large (and at Philippi, in particular) is a great testimony regarding the commitment and love he had for Christ’s church. He was willing to stay and minister to them rather than depart and be with Christ? Would that we had such a selfless passion for Christ’s church!

Do you have that sort of heart for Christ’s work in this world? Neither do I. But I want to. I can certainly say that “to die is gain.” To say that “to live is Christ” to such an extent that living with Christians is to be preferred at present to being with Christ—or even a close second? I can’t. Lord, help me to love your people and your work in this world more, that I might more eagerly and joyfully spend myself for Your Name’s sake during the short time I’m here.

Note: The picture above is of me and several pastor friends standing before the Bema at Philippi during a trip to Greece in October, 2006. More pictures of my trip to Philippi can be seen here.

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One Response

  1. Chris,
    That is very very challenging and a very remarkable post. Much food for thought.

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