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Thursday, September 22, 2022

Philippians 1:23

For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better.

For further study - Philippians 1:8-23

I have a study that I teach on the book of Philippians, "Personal Power for Practical People from Philippians," a study that helped me to develop Biblical principles in my own personal life. As you read through this book it becomes very apparent that the author of the book, Paul, had a great love for this people living in Philippi.

Notice verse 8 of our extended reading how Paul longed for these people. Paul wanted them to be sincere and without offense until the day that Jesus Christ comes back to earth, verse 9.

When Paul wrote this book, he was a prisoner in jail in Rome, actually in Caesar's house, Philippians 4:22Verses 15-17 reveals to us that Christ was being preached in "contention and conflict". Christ was also being preached out of "envy and strife". Paul's attitude was, praise the Lord, Christ is, in fact, being preached, verse 18.

Am I not correct, this message written by Paul is for "practical people", with the promise of power to face all of our problems. However, at the same time, Paul was facing a conflict. The conflict that Paul faced was His desire to go and be with the Lord, which would be to his gain, verse 21. At the same time, Paul knew that if he stayed on earth he would continue to minister to the people.

Paul's words are evidence of his love for the people. He was willing to give up going to be with Christ in order to minister to the people in Philippi.

Remember, in this passage, Paul's housing was provided for by the Roman government. Paul was a prisoner in Caesar's household, most likely chained to a Roman guard on a daily basis. But just think, that would have given Paul a "captive" audience to hear the gospel every day, therefore, for Paul to live was Christ, verse 20.

Paul wrote the people of Philippi about ten years after he wrote the Thessalonians about the "Rapture of the Church", I Thessalonians 4:13-18. Paul was not only conscious that in preaching he could face death soon, but he was expecting the Rapture to happen at anytime.

You can notice the "we" statements when referring to the time of the Rapture, I Thessalonians 4:14, 15 and 17Paul thought the Rapture would happen in His day. These truths had to be in his mind, as well, when he wrote the people at Philippi.

Stop and think for a moment. If Paul believed the Rapture would happen in his day, how much more should we look for the Rapture in our day, 2000 years after Paul.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me to be as Paul and live as if the Rapture will happen in my day.