I think we would of labeled Paul a suicidal loony these days and thrown him in a padded room. We just aren’t supposed to be thinking like this.
Here is where we are to live our lives radically different then the world. Paul does not mean that we should go out and live risky lives for the thrill of it, but we are to live our lives without a fear of the end of our lives. Paul doesn’t encourage us to be suicidal (remember to live is Christ!).
What he does encourage us to do is to show the world a radical, upside down worldview. It’s this type of worldview that keeps Paul from running out of the jail during the earthquake when he was in Philippi.
Let’s think about this for a second. Pretend you where preaching Christ in another country and then where beaten and thrown in prison. All of the sudden there is an earthquake and you have the chance to escape! “Praise God, he has brought a natural jailbreak for me to be free, I don’t have to risk being put to death here” (that’s what I would say). But Paul, knowing that his life is for Christ, and if he where to die it is gain, sees the earthquake as a chance to show the jailer exactly that. He saves the jailers life at the risk of his own. And the jailer and his whole family come to know Christ and this God-centered worldview.
Do you think like that?