For I am in a strait between two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:…
I. THE APOSTLE'S DESCRIPTION OF DEATH.
1. Negatively. He does not call it —
(1) An arrest. In the death of the wicked the sheriff's officer of justice lays his clay-cold hand upon the man's shoulder and he is a prisoner forever: "but who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?"(2) A plunge. The wicked stand upon the precipice of a yawning and bottomless gulf and their unwilling spirits must take a desperate leap. The believer climbs upwards.
2. Positively. He calls it —
(1) A departure, like a vessel homeward bound.
(2) Departure to Christ.
(a) We shall see Him as He is.
(b) We shall commune with Him.
(c) We shall enjoy full fruition of Him.
II. THE APOSTLE'S DESIRE.
1. Some men are seared by it.
2. Others with a seared conscience meet it with an idiot resignation.
3. The apostle panted to be gone: as the captain with his rich freight longs for the harbour, as the conqueror longs for his crown.
III. THE APOSTLE'S REASONS.
1. Others besides he have longed to die.
(1) The suicide mad from life's misery leaps from one evil to a myriad.
(2) The so called philosopher, sick of mankind. Not so Paul, he was neither coward nor man hater.
(3) Those who think that by getting out of the world they will escape their disappointments and suffering.
2. Paul felt this desire because he knew that being with Christ —
(1) He would be clean rid of sin.
(2) That he would meet his brethren in the faith who had gone before;
(3) That he would be with Christ, and these words have all heaven condensed in them.
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: