Paul said it: “To die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). And he was speaking literally—not figuratively. Was he morbid? Our Christian Brother Zac Poonen asks: “Did he have an unhealthy fixation with death? Did Paul show a lack of respect for the life God had blessed him with?” And then Zac answers his own question: “Absolutely not! Paul lived life to the fullest. To him, life was a gift, and he had used it well to fight a good fight. He had overcome the fear of the “sting of death” and could now say, “It’s better to die and be with the Lord than to stay in the flesh.”
Why? Because Paul had already died to his attachments on earth. He possessed nothing here, and would receive his heavenly possessions there!
Do we love life on earth so much (all of our possession) that we are conflicted about leaving? Would losing these possessions make dying a great loss? One of the chapters in A.W. Tozer’s book “Pursuit of God” is titled: “The Blessedness of Possessing Nothing.” Just think about it. If you had no attachments on this earth, not only would you be ready to leave in a New York minute, you’d be eager. Having nothing here, you’d have everything to gain. Could that be what Paul meant when he said “to die is gain”?