In his writings, he described the physical body as a tent...it is in the sense that it is only a temporary dwelling place. One day the stakes will be withdrawn...this tent will be folded up....and our soul will move on. For the child of God...all battles will be over...no more night, no more pain and peace forever more.

Story:

The famous Baptist pastor D.L. Moody used to say, "Some day, you will read in the papers that D.L. Moody of East Northfield is dead. Don’t believe a word of it! At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now!"   Moody’s tent stakes weren’t set too deep in this world.

3. It is a legal term.

The word "depart" is used to describe the releasing of a prisoner. Paul is imprisoned literally....whether he will be ever free from the Roman dungeon to continue his life...he does not know at this time...but he does know that one day, just as a prisoner is freed from his shackles and chains...and the prison doors are open...that so to will he be free from the sin, the sorrow, the sadness and the situations that sometimes act as shackles in this life.

SONG:

"Some glad morning when this life is over, I’ll fly away. To a home on God’s celestial shores, I’ll fly away. And I’ll fly away oh Glory I’ll fly away in the morning. When I die Hallelujah by and by, I’ll fly away"

4. It is an agricultural term.

Used by farmers to describe the unyoking of an oxen. When this takes place the oxen that was once harnessed is free from its burdens.....one day Paul knows that he will lay down all his heavy burdens...and be transformed! (talk about saved people that we know that we prayed for to die because of serious physical illnesses, and that as believers, we knew that they were going to heaven and when they died, they were freed from this earthly dwelling and free to go and be with the Lord.)

Paul said that he had a desire to depart! This begs the question. Why was Paul so unafraid to face death. This is certainly not normal, Is IT???? Well let’s take a look at why Paul could say these things with confidence and even a passionate desire.

Paul could say these things:

  1. Because of the Person that he shall go to.

Paul knows that for him to die is gain....He said in II Corinthians 5:8,

"We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord."

Story:

A sick man turned to his doctor, as he was preparing to leave the examination room and said, "Doctor, I am afraid to die. Tell me what lies on the other side." Very quietly the doctor said, "I don’t know completely." The man answered, "You don’t know? You, a Christian man, does not know what is on the other side?" The doctor was holding the handle of the door; on the other side of which came a sound of scratching and whining, and as he opened the door a dog sprang into the room and leaped on him with an eager show of gladness. Turning to the patient, the doctor said, "Did you notice my dog? He’s never been in this room before. He didn’t know what was inside. He knew nothing except that his master was here, and when the door opened he sprang in without fear." "I know little of what is on the other side of death, but I do know one thing: I know my Master is there, and that is enough. And when the door opens, I will pass through it with gladness, and without fear."

Illust.

A soldier was terribly wounded in battle...The Dr. told him he needed surgery but his chances of survival were only one in a hundred. "What would you like for me to do?" The Doctor asked, "go on with it Dr." was his reply. Later after the soldier fully recovered...he was asked how he could face the situation with such calmness and confidence...he said..."I knew whichever way it went that there would be a welcome for me. If I lived I knew my Mom would be here to welcome me. And If I died that Jesus would welcome me!"

What a thought! When the believer exits this life, he goes onto meet Jesus!

SONG: What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see, when I look upon His face, the one who saved me by His grace, when He takes me by the hand and leads me to the promised land, what a day glorious day that will be.

Paul could say what he said about his death because of the Person that he was going to see, the Lord Jesus.

How about you this morning? Do you have that same assurance and confidence that Paul had? You can!

II. Paul could face death, Because of the Place he shall arrive at.

Illustration: Lowell Thomas was a premiere newscaster for decades. At the time of his death in 1981, a reporter from the UPI wrote.....He was the first man to broadcast from a ship, from an airplane, from a coal mine, and from a submarine. His reporting work took him to both poles, and almost everywhere in between....the reporter then went on to write that he was sure that when the angels saw Lowell Thomas striding towards the Pearly gates that they would say.....Here comes Lowell Thomas....he’s been everywhere else ! But there is no other place like heaven!

STORY:

The late Vance Havner’s wife was named Sarah. Shortly after her untimely death, Warren Wiersbe met him at Moody Bible Institute, and expressed his condolences with the simple words, "I’m sorry to hear you lost your wife." Dr. Havner smiled and replied, "Son, when you know where something is, you haven’t lost it." She was in heaven and would see her again.

Story:

When Philip Brooks, author of "O, Little Town of Bethlehem," was seriously ill, he requested no friends come to see him. But when an acquaintance of his named Robert Ingersoll, a famous anti-Christian propagandist, came to see him he allowed him to come in right away. Ingersoll said, "I appreciate this very much. Especially when you aren’t letting any of your close friends see you." Brooks responded, "Oh, I’m confident of seeing them in the next world, but this may be my last chance to see you."

In II Corinthians chapter 12 Paul himself talks about his experience with being caught up and getting just a glimpse of heaven which he uses the word "paradise". John when writing what the Lord revealed to him in Revelation 22:1-5 about heaven and he wrote,

"And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever."

Heaven is a real place and not just a figment of our imagination and Paul knew that he was going there and he could say with a passion that he desired to go to heaven!

Thirdly, Paul could face death,

  1. Because of the Peace he shall enjoy.

Paul suffered much affliction after his conversion. Listen to just a few of the things that he endured for his faith in II Corinthians 11:23-28,

"Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches."

He was persecuted, beaten, and now imprisoned......but with death Paul understood that there comes a peace that will endure throughout eternity. No matter what our struggles here......heaven is going to be worth it all because we shall live in peace. The believer is just a pilgrim here. This world is not our home.......heaven is our home!

One day God will call each of us to stand before him.

Let me ask you a question. Are you prepared for that day? Paul was. He said,

"for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."

The only way that you can have the peace that Paul had about facing death, and standing before the Lord is by knowing Jesus Christ as your Lord & Savior.

One day....like a ship we shall sail away......?

One day....like a soldier this bodily tent shall be folded up....

One day....like a prisoner who walks thru the open door...we shall walk through death’s door...
One day....like the oxen we can lay down our heavy burdens.

What about you this morning? What are you trusting in to get you to heaven?

The Bible says in John 1:12-13,

"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."

Jesus told a very religious man in John chapter three that he had to be "born again" to enter into heaven. Jesus was talking about a spiritual birth and not a physical birth. We are born into this world by a physical birth and we are born spiritually "stillborn" or dead and in order to enter into heaven we need to have a spiritual birth. Jesus told us that He was the way to get to heaven. John 14:6 says,

"I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

Are you ready to die? Can you say like Paul, "for me to live is Christ and to die is gain?"