Paul's Inner Conflict
INTRODUCTION: The book of Philippians is a letter written by the Apostle Paul, to the saints in Philippi. Paul wrote this letter from his prison cell in Rome, after being arrested for preaching the gospel (vv. 12, 13).
When a person decides to take a stand for Jesus, it will cost him. Martin Luther, the famous 17th century church reformer, said, "A religion that gives nothing, costs nothing, and suffers nothing, is worth nothing."
In this passage, Paul was having a conflict; the conflict was over his desire to depart and be with Christ and the need for him to remain behind and be of help to others. Now, if we had suffered like Paul, there is no doubt, which one we would choose...and keep in mind; Paul had already had a glimpse of heaven, so heaven was a wonderful prospect.
In our message this evening, I want to present three points:
I. Paul's Overriding Desire
II. Paul's Real Dilemma
III. Paul's Final Determination
I. PAUL'S OVERRIDING DESIRE
A. His desire to leave this life
1. Notice his words (vs.23), "having a desire to depart..." Don't you ever just get kind of tired of this old world and want to go home? I do.
a. I believe there is something wrong with a Christian who does not long for heaven. I understand we have a work to do--we have families, friends, careers and certain things we enjoy, but, I can assure you; one glimpse of heaven will remove any longing you ever had to remain in this life.
1) Thank God, one day soon, Jesus is coming for all of us. I am waiting--I'm longing, and I'm looking for His return. Paul wrote in 1 Thes. 1:10, "And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come."
ILLUSTRATION: According to a recent survey for "U.S. News and World Report." - Six Americans in 10 believe Jesus Christ will someday return to earth and that a Judgment Day awaits. Of the 61 percen ...
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