Destined for Victory – An Explanation of Paul’s ‘To Die Is Gain’ 

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By Pastor Paul E. Sheppard 

What does Paul mean when he says “to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21)? 

The Bible says the world is not our home (Hebrews 13:14). Life on earth can come with a good share of happiness, but this world is not what we were created for. We have some better things coming. Paul says that to “depart and be with Christ…is better by far.” The Greek words for “better by far” make it clear that dying and going to heaven is unimaginably better than living here. The problem is, we think heaven will be boring, because of the cheap way it’s portrayed in movies, with white-robed folk strumming harps in the clouds. 

That’s not heaven! Heaven is infinitely better than your best day on earth. There is no human way to describe the greatness of heaven. We will experience unimaginable fullness of joy in the presence of the Lord. 

In your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. — Psalm 16:11 (NKJV) 

In heaven, you won’t be sitting on a hillside napping the time away. Everywhere you look will be amazing beauty and pleasures forevermore. You can’t walk down a boulevard of glory without getting smacked with pleasures. Bam! You get hit with another pleasure. You go to see your friend’s mansion and bam! God keeps hitting you with pleasures. 

Your Heavenly Father wants to bless you in ways that you can’t even imagine. Eternity will be so much better than anything you can experience here on earth. All comparisons are inadequate. 

Death has become such a gloomy topic today, but in Christ, it is glorious. People who have no hope in Christ fear death, because it’s so uncertain. But not for us who abide in Christ. Like Paul, we may be uncertain about what tomorrow might bring, but this simple certainty cannot be shaken: To die is gain. 


This is an excerpt from the series “Keeping THE Main Thing the Main Thing” by Pastor Paul Sheppard. You can hear Pastor Paul’s radio show, “Destined for Victory,” weekday mornings at 9 a.m. MST on 94.1 FM or online at For more information, go to 




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