When taking a computer programming course in BASIC language, several years ago, we were instructed regarding the IF/THEN Statements that were to be used in creating the program with which we were engaged. That Statement creates options for the computer from which to make choices depending upon the circumstance of the item considered. IF this is the condition, THEN do this; IF that is the situation, THEN do this. I had never heard about IF/THEN statements before that time, or at the least I thought I had not.
Interestingly, that was not the truth. I have been reading The Holy Bible since the age of eight years old; the Bible is filled with IF/THEN statements which I had not noticed or discerned. These statements are given to us so that we may be able to employ reasoning, producing understanding, and subsequently application, for ‘proper choice making’ with our life’s activities. IF/THEN statements assist us in logically arriving at the stone of “Truth.”
Since the Scriptures are chock full of IF/THEN statements, why not in your personal reading of the Bible, notice these statements and formulate your own deductions?
In many of the texts THEN is literally written there or it is implied, as we understand our English language.
Following are some of the “IF/THEN Statements of the Scriptures:
II Chronicles 7: 14; “IF My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; THEN will I hear from Heaven and heal their Land.”
Matt. 17:20, Jesus said:
“IF you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, (THEN) you may say to this mountain, “Remove from here to over there; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”
“For what shall it profit a man, IF he shall gain the whole world, and (THEN) lose his own soul?”
Mark 11: 25 & 26
“When ye stand praying, forgive, IF ye have anything against anyone, so that your Father also, which is in Heaven (THEN) may forgive you your trespasses. But IF you do not forgive others, (THEN) neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
I John 1:5 – 10 & 2: 1 – 6 “This is the message we have heard from Him, (Jesus) and proclaim to you, that God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all. IF we say that we have fellowship with Him while we are walking in darkness, (THEN) we lie and do not do what is true; but IF we walk in the light as He himself is in the light, (THEN) we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. IF we say we have no sin (THEN) the truth is not in us. IF we confess our sins, (THEN) He Who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. IF we say that we have not sinned, (THEN) we make Him a liar and His Word is not in us. My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you do not sin; but IF any person does sin we (THEN) have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous, and He is the atoning sacrifice for all our sins; and not for ours only but also for the sins of all the people in the entire world. Now by this (THEN) we may be sure that we know Him, IF we obey His commandments. Whoever says, “I have come to know Him,” but does not obey His commandments is (THEN) a liar and in such a person the truth does not exist; but whoever obeys His Word, (THEN) truly in this person the love of God has reached perfection. By this (THEN) we may be sure that we are IN Him: whoever says, “I abide in Him,” ought (THEN) to walk as He walked.”
Jesus answered and said, “IF a man loves me he will keep my words: (THEN) My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our living place with him.”
What is realized by this type of reading application is that so much of what we are to expect from our relationship with God is conditional. God says, “IF you will, THEN I will; and IF you won’t, THEN I won’t.”
There are of course those Covenants that God makes that have nothing to do with our responses, such as the rainbow in the sky and God’s promise to never again destroy the entire earth with water. That is a ‘stand alone’ Covenant and what we do or do not do will not change what God does about that promise.
I hope you will be challenged to do study reading of the Scriptures taking note of the IF/THENS and the implied (THENS). I have found this process to open the texts of the Scriptures for a clearer understanding for me in my pursuit of truth.
"Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." Joshua 1:8 - I read it this morning and it came to mind as I read your article. I liked the way you took something from everyday life and gave it a spiritual slant. Thanks.