The Dead — Where Are They? 10 Depart and be with Christ

Depart and be with Christ

“ For I am distressed between both, desiring to be loosed and to be with Christ, which is best of all.” (Php 1:23 GenevaBible)

The expression in Phil. 1: 23, of the Apostle’s earnest desire to be with the Lord, has caused considerable discussion, and some have found difficulty in harmonising this passage with the general teaching of the Scripture on the subject of “The Dead —Where are They’.” On the one hand the Scriptures, Paul’s writings included, teach that the saints must wait until the Lord’s second advent before they can be with Him. (John 14:3; Col. 3:4; 1 Pet. 5:4; Rev. 11:15-18.)

“And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there may ye be also.” (Joh 14:3 GenevaBible)

“When Christ which is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” (Col 3:4 GenevaBible)

“And when that chief shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive an incorruptible crown of glory.” (1Pe 5:4 GenevaBible)

“15 And the seventh Angel blew the trumpet, and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are our Lord’s, and his Christ’s, and he shall reign for evermore. 16 Then the four and twenty Elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, 17 Saying, We give thee thanks, Lord God almighty, Which art, and Which wast, and Which art to come: for thou hast received thy great might, and hast obtained thy kingdom. 18 And the Gentiles were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the Prophets, and to the Saints, and to them that fear thy Name, to small and great, and shouldest destroy them, which destroy the earth.” (Re 11:15-18 GenevaBible)

But in Phil. 1 the Apostle seems to teach that at the moment of departing this life he would be with the Lord. Does he really contradict himself?
No; the Apostle does not contradict himself in this matter. He was a prisoner in Rome, at the time of writing to the Philippians. He did not know which day might be his last. Being a fully consecrated saint, the devoted Apostle was ready for Christ to be magnified through him in any way, whether by a life of activity, or by a martyr’s death. Either would be to the Lord’s glory (Phil. 1: 20, 21), and which of them to choose he wot not. (v. 22.) He was in a strait betwixt these two — life and death.

“20 As I fervently look for, and hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all confidence, as always, so now Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or by death.”

“21  For Christ is to me both in life, and in death advantage. 22 And whether to live in the flesh were profitable for me, and what to choose I know not.” (Php 1:20-22 GenevaBible)

The apparent contradiction is here: that whereas the Apostle plainly says he is in a strait between life and death, not knowing which of them to choose, the Authorised Version, unfortunately, makes it appear that after all, he preferred death, that being generally understood by “depart.” This version belittles the Apostle by representing that he did not know his own mind. The word analuo, translated “depart,” occurs in only one other place in the New Testament, and it is there translated “return” —

“And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when He will return from the wedding.” (Luke 12:36.)

It means “loosing again,” and in Phil. 1:23 it refers to our Lord’s return from the heavens, when Paul and all the other faithful would be joined to Him.

“ For I am distressed between both, desiring to be loosed and to be with Christ, which is best of all.” (Php 1:23 GenevaBible)

This, which the Apostle much preferred, was not one of the two things between which he could not choose, but was a third thing, different from the others, and “far better.” He would prefer the returning of Christ, and being with him; then there would be no more laborious work, no more imprisonment, stripes, stonings and shipwrecks, but there would be a crown of righteousness and glory “at that day.” — 2 Tim. 4:8 ; Col. 3:4.

“For henceforth is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous judge shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love, that his appearing.” (2Ti 4:8 GenevaBible)

“When Christ which is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” (Col 3:4 GenevaBible)

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Preceding

The Dead — Where Are They? 1 Universal Inquiry

The Dead — Where Are They? 2 Scientific Answer

The Dead — Where Are They? 3 The Spiritualist’s Answer 

The Dead — Where Are They? 4 The Bible’s Answe

The Dead — Where Are They? 6 Death for man and beast

The Dead — Where Are They? 7 Man became a living soul

The Dead — Where Are They? 8 Man in God’s likeness

The Dead — Where Are They? 9 The Resurrection of the Dead

Next

The Dead — Where Are They? 11 Absent from the Body, Present with the Lord

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Additional reading

  1. Thought for today (January 17): Walking not after the flesh, but after the spirit
  2. Memorizing wonderfully 73: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 Sleepers with hope

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Related articles

  1. Philippians 1:2
  2. Grace And Peace
  3. Philippians 1:23
  4. Friday, 21 May 2021 – Pentecost Sunday
  5. Passive or Active? – I have a choice…

16 thoughts on “The Dead — Where Are They? 10 Depart and be with Christ

  1. Pingback: De doden – Waar zijn ze? 10 Vertrek en wees met Christus | Bijbelvorser = Bible Researcher

  2. Pingback: The Dead — Where Are They? 11 Absent from the Body, Present with the Lord | Bijbelvorser = Bible Researcher

  3. Pingback: The Dead — Where Are They? 12 The Thief on the Cross | Bijbelvorser = Bible Researcher

  4. Pingback: The Dead — Where Are They? 13 The Souls Under the Altar | Bijbelvorser = Bible Researcher

  5. Pingback: The Dead — Where Are They? 14 The Spirits in Prison | Bijbelvorser = Bible Researcher

  6. Pingback: The Dead — Where Are They? 15 Moses and Elijah at the Transfiguration | Bijbelvorser = Bible Researcher

  7. Pingback: The Dead — Where Are They? 16 Elijah taken up to Heaven | Bijbelvorser = Bible Researcher

  8. Pingback: The Dead — Where Are They? 17 Enoch Translated | Bijbelvorser = Bible Researcher

  9. Pingback: The Dead — Where Are They? 18 King Saul and the Witch of Endor | Bijbelvorser = Bible Researcher

  10. Pingback: The Dead — Where Are They? 19 Body, Soul and Spirit | Bijbelvorser = Bible Researcher

  11. Pingback: The Dead — Where Are They? 20 Dives and Lazarus | Bijbelvorser = Bible Researcher

  12. Pingback: The Dead — Where Are They? 21 The Prodigal son | Bijbelvorser = Bible Researcher

  13. Pingback: The Dead — Where Are They? 22 The unjust steward | Bijbelvorser = Bible Researcher

  14. Pingback: The Dead — Where Are They? 23 The Rich Man and The Beggar | Bijbelvorser = Bible Researcher

  15. Pingback: The Dead — Where Are They? 24 Stories, first death and heavens | Bijbelvorser = Bible Researcher

  16. Pingback: The Dead — Where Are They? 25 The Second Death | Bijbelvorser = Bible Researcher

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