"Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord-- for we walk by faith, not by sight-- we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be home with the Lord." (2 Corinthians 5:6-8)
Someone recently said to me, "Life really is short. I need to do some things now while I still have time." I responded, "Yes, there are no promised days. But the important thing is to know where you are going after this life... while you still have time."
Without Christ, people naturally fear death, not knowing what happens after they die. The Bible tells us that this fear of death and the unknown actually makes people behave as slaves in this life; "...and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives." (Hebrews 2:15).
The Apostle Paul knew where he was going after he died. He had no fear of death because he knew that the instant he left his physical body, he would be with the Lord. As a matter of fact, he said that he would "prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be home with the Lord." Paul had the unique experience of seeing heaven before he died (see 2 Corinthians 12:1-4). He knew that his ultimate home with the Lord was much better than being alive in his physical body. But he also understood that, while in his physical body, he still had vital ministry opportunities given to him by God; "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. But I am hard pressed from both directions having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake." (Philippians 1:21-24).
Christians can be sure of where they are going when they die, as well as, be free to live their lives without any fear because Christ has given us eternal life. While we sometimes may get a little home sick for our heavenly home with Christ, we need to make the most of the time and ministry (fruitful labor) He has given to each of us in this life. As Paul reminds us; "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain". Yes, life is short. Make the most of it... and then go home to eternal joy with Christ your Lord and Saviour. Maranatha!