He Will Do When You Are Dying

Title: He Will Do When You Are Dying

Bible Book: John 11 : 26

Author: J. Mike Minnix

Subject: Death; Eternal Life; Testimony


He Will Do When You Are Dying

Dr. J. Mike Minnix, Editor, www.pastorlife.com

John 11:26 ...

"And whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?"

As we draw near to Easter, it is good for us to stop and realize what an amazing thing our Lord did when He overcame death and passed eternal life to all who trust Him as risen Lord. This miracle, the Resurrection of Jesus, assures every Christian that death is not the end, nor is it a journey into a terrible judgment. Do you have Christ in your life? If you do, He will do when you are dying -  if not, dying is the just the beginning of your troubles.

Back in a day long past we used to sing ...

"Give me that old time religion
Give me that old time religion
Give me that old time religion
It's good enough for me.
It will do when you're dying
It will do when you're dying
It will do when you're dying
It's good to enough for me."

Actually, it's not the old time religion but the Savior, Jesus Christ, who is good enough for me - and for all who turn to Him for salvation. Knowing this, let us consider today the words I read to you John's gospel, for you know that when you are dying you will going out of this world to meet God.

No one has a more interesting view of death than children. Here are some thoughts children expressed about dying:

1. One child said, "When you die, Jesus takes care of you the way your mother does when you are alive, only He doesn’t yell at you as much."

2. Another child said, "If you are good, when you die, you good to a nice place to live; but, if you are bad, you go to a place really hot - like living in Florida."

3. Yet another child said, "Doctor’s try really hard to keep you from dying – cause they want you to stay alive and pay your bills."

4. One little boy and his friend were staring at a mannequin in a store window when someone overheard one boy say to the other, "Don’t talk to him, I think he’s dead!"

What we really need today, however, are some facts about death that can change our lives and our eternity. I want us to think about having a faith that will do when we are dying.

in the passage before us we find that Lazarus has died. His sisters, Mary and Martha, sent for Jesus when Lazarus was sick. Jesus and the disciples arrived after Lazarus had died and had been buried for three days. Martha is so heartsick and expresses her disappointment to Jesus. Standing before the grace of Lazarus, Jesus spoke to Martha about the resurrection and life of those who believe in Him. He assured her that those wh9 trust Him will NEVER actually die. Then He asked, "Do you believe this?"

Consider with me three important issues related to death.

I. Consider the Believer’s Death

Lazarus had placed his faith in Christ, along with his sisters. Yet, Christ had not yet died on the cross and thus had not yet risen from the dead. Jesus was about to reveal in a most dramatic fashion one of the great truths in the Christian faith - the fact that believers in Him never die. Of course, this did not mean that Christians don't face human death, but meant that the child of God goes directly into the presence of God at death. The passage is like falling asleep and waking afterword. So, let's think about this from the human view and the divine view.

A. The Reality of Death

Jesus did not try to deny the reality of physical death. Today there are many efforts made to deny that death exists. Yet, death cannot be denied. It was the sister of Napoleon Bonaparte who made famous the statement, "Two things are certain in life, death and taxes." She was half-right. You may somehow escape taxes, but not death (not unless the rapture occurs before you die).

Death comes to all:

  • The brain surgeon and prostitute will die.
  • The murderer and great artist will die.
  • The rich Wall Street Baron and the homeless person will die.
  • The rock band will die and the president of the country wil die.

The great question is not how smart you are, how rich you are, what you have, how important you are in the world, or how many people know you – the great question is, "Are you ready to die?" Death is a reality and like the children’s game, it sometimes seems to call out, "Coming, Ready of Not!"

Not only do we see the reality of death, but note ...

B. The Resistance to Death

Martha was trying to resist the death of her brother. In a way she was blaming Jesus for it happening. She was saying that Lazarus would not have died if Jesus had just been there in time. Jesus was going to shoe her that death has no power over the believer.

There is a great resistance to thinking about or talking about death. Why? To some extent, it is natural to avoid talking about death, and that is partly because we do not understand it. We think of death almost always in negative terms. Actually, the Lord sometimes spoke of death in positive terms. For example, on one occasion the Bible states ...

"Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints (Psalm 116:15)."

It is interesting that God sees the death of a believer as precious. I believe there are reasons for that, and I will share them in a minute.

In another place the Bible states ...

"Then I heard a voice from heaven say, 'Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.'" "Yes," says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them." (Revelation 14:13).

Interestingly, the Lord speaks of death for a Christian as something positive. Does that mean it is wrong for us to resist death? Certainly not! We are to live and thrive as long as we can – and to be a witness for our Lord in this world as long as we can, but when death comes, we must get God's view of it.

Much resistance to dealing with the subject of death comes due to the fact that people are not ready to die. When Paul came to the time of death he said, "I am ready." (2 Timothy 4:6-8) Those without Christ do not know what to do when death comes, for they are not ready.

Reuters News Agency reported a story from Munich, Germany to prove this point. An elderly woman lived at home with her husband lying dead in bed. For four months he lay there before he was found by police - they had been alerted by a worried relative. Munich police said Thursday the that 76-year-old man had apparently died of natural causes in four months earlier. His sister had finally turned to the police after his wife had repeatedly told her by telephone that he did not want to see visitors. Now that is taking the subject of avoiding death a bit too far.

Next, let's ...

II. Consider the Believer’s Dependents

Anytime a believer dies, there are those who love him or her who are left behind. Note two things about the believer’s dependents.

A. Tears for the Dying

When Jacob died, we read the following from Genesis 50:1 ...

"Joseph threw himself upon his father and wept over him and kissed him."

Sorrow is a part of death. It is natural. Martha and Mary were weaping due to the death of Lazarus. Some Christians wonder if something is wrong with them when they weep over the grave of a departed Christian loved one. No,  ten thousand times no! Even Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus. We read the shortest verse in the Bible in John 11:35 ...

"Jesus wept."

Death is indeed so sad, even for Christians?

  • Death is the end of Physical union.
  • Death is the end of Planning and Possibilities on earth.
  • Death is the end of an earthly Passaage which may have spanned many years and many memories.
  • But, it is good to remember that death is not the end!

When David’s son was sick, David wept and prayed for him. When his son died, David washed his face and ceased crying. Some were surprised at his attitude, but David said ...

"But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." 2 Samuel 12:23 (NKJV)

Friend, we who are Christians cannot bring our loved one back, but if that loved one is saved and we are saved, then we can and will one day go to be with that person!

B. Testimony from the Dying

I have been in the presence of hundreds of people who lost loved ones in death, and I can tell you without equivocation that nothing means more in those moments than knowing that the deceased person placed his or her faith in Jesus.

For Martha, the fact that the resurrection of the dead was not yet an established fact left her devastated. Jesus saw her sorrow and wept with her. Even though He knew He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead, He felt her sorrow and pain. This tells you something about the heart of our Lord. When the Christ8an dies, even though our Lord has that redeemed person in His presence, He feels your hurt and loneliness. 

1. The Testimony of a Forgiving Lord

How wonderful when one dies that he or she can leave behind the testimony of having experienced the forgiveness of God. When a Christian dies, there is a testimony of purity provided through the death of Jesus on the Cross. We are close to those who have died know that they weren't perfect. We often know things about them that others don't know - failures that are private. But the true Christian leaves behind the wonderful fact of purity - not because he she was perfect but the wonderful truth that Jesus forgives all our sin. We can think of 1 John 1:9 ...

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness.

There was a Christian who was dying and asked his pastor to read to him 1 John 1:9. After the preacher read the verse, the dying man said, "Yes, the word 'all' is there. How I thank God that Jesus cleanses me from ALL my sins."

If you want to leave something special to your family when you die, leave the testimony that you trusted Jesus and all your sins are cleansed and forgiven.

2. The Testimony of a Fruitful Life

The true Christian, the true believer, leaves behind a testimony of living for the Lord. What a marvelous thing when a believer not only gives testimony of forgiveness, but leaves a legacy of service for and to the Lord.

3. The Testimony of a Family Legacy

Furthermore, there is another testimony when the faith of the family continues in the lives of those left behind. Though each person must make personal decision for salvation through Christ, it is a joy to see the family of the deceased standing by with a testimony for Christ openly given. It leaves a legacy when your family stands by your grave with real faith in the Lord.

Now ...

III. Consider the Believer’s Destiny

A. The Person that Shall Meet Him

Paul said ...

"To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord." (2 Corinthians 5:8)

David wrote ...

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me!" (Psalm 23:4)

A Christian does not go into the valley of death alone, for the Lord meets us there. He is the Author and Finisher of our faith. He saved us and started us on our Christian journey. He will be there to meet us when the journey is over.

A little boy was traveling by train on a long journey. Someone asked the boy if he were not afraid? The little lad smiled and said, "No, I am not afraid, for my father promised to meet me when the train stops." Yes! Our Father will meet us when the train of life stops on this earth.

Another reason the Christian doesn't grieve as the world does is because of ...

B. The Peace that Shall Greet Him

I told you that I would tell you why God sees the believer’s death as a blessing. It is because God desires to lift our burden from us. He desires to grant us all the blessings of our redemption in Christ. He desires to open our eyes to the celestial city and let us breath the celestial air of heaven. He has a place of peace for us.

Jesus stood before the grave of Lazarus and cried out, "Lazarus, come forth." Lazarus was alive. You see, Lazarus had not actually died. Jesus did not raise Lazarus from the dead, He merely brought him forth so Martha and Mary, and all of us could see that those who believe in Jesus never die!


There is no reason for a person in this room to die unsaved. Jesus has died for you. People are here today who, just like you, came to a point to see their need of a Savior and came to the only One who can save – Jesus! People can sit in churches just like this one, still die and go out to meet God unprepared. A person can come from a great Christian family and die unprepared for the judgment. A man in the Old Testament died like that. His name was Jehoram. He departed this world without salvation. His father was the godly king Jehoshaphat. His preaher was Elijah. Yet, he died lost. David’s son Absalom died lost, though his father was a man after God’s own heart. You can’t go to heaven because of your parents, or because of your church. You must have the Lord.


Time is running out. Believe me, Jesus will do when your dying! In fact, He alone will do when your dying.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow penned:

"Art is long and time is fleeting,

And our hearts, though stout and brave,

Still, like muffled drums, are beating

Funeral durges to the grave."

Even though our hearts are stout and brave today, the beat of our hearts is like drums beating a march to the grave. Longfellow reminded us in his poem that "time is fleeting." It is just a matter of time. There is One who will do when you are dying - that one is the Savior - and He is the only One who can provide what you need in this life and the life beyond the grave.

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