The purpose of every Christian
Unity is the purpose of every Christian, saved to live in unity with Christ and God. In life and in death every member exists to build and maintain the union of the spirit of Christ.

Philippians 1 makes it clear that, for the Christian, it is always preferable to die rather than live any longer in the present age. In death each Christian is raised to life and perfect unity in Christ, face to face. However the only reason why Christians remain is for the sake of their union in Christ. Therefore whether you live or die it is all for and in unity with Christ, this is how Christians should understand their existence.

The desire I have is for you!

What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.
Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again
.
(Philippians 1:18-26)

It is not enough for Christians to have no fear of death, rather because of the work of Christ in restoring unity (in God) death should now be the default preferred option. Death has so lost its power that Christians should long for death (1 Corinthians 15:50-56), for in death we are reborn into life and perfect unity. It is a logical conclusion of unity in Christ through his spirit. However it is not the only conclusion we should draw from unity in Christ.

While death is preferred for the individual Christian it is not what is best for the entire union of Christ (if you are still alive). Just as Christians have been given all things by God through Christ, God has given each person to one another for the good of the entire union. This is also true of their death.

As previously discussed God has determined how long each person will live and the time and place of their death, so that it too may be used for the good of all (Isaiah 41:4). So while it should be the preference for each Christian to die, it is in submission to Christ (for the good of all) that we do not destroy the life that God has given us. While this is not unforgivable (if you are in fact in Christ) it is an expression of disunity with Christ (not living in light of God’s headship), it is the same as murder of another.

While the sufferings of the present age may feel too much to bear these are not the motivation for the desire to die. Paul longs for death because he longs to be with Christ in person, in perfect union. Therefore it is from the desire for unity that the Christian should long to die and from the same desire for unity comes the desire to live, upholding God as head of all with authority over all life and death. Therefore this truth forms the basis for the discussion of Christians should act in the present age.

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