'If you' — a series of conditional statements we pray are not true of you

Don't miss the boat by disobedienceby J. Randal Matheny, editor

If you’re not dependent on God’s grace and are trying to prove to him your own goodness, you’re fighting for a lost cause, Ephesians 2.8-9.

If you treat God as if he were a human being and try to pull the wool over his eyes, you’re going to get the shock of your life, Acts 5.1-11.

If you’re not at church every single Sunday when you are able to go, you are sinning, depriving other saints of edification, and have lost any further sacrifice for sin, Hebrews 10.24-27.

If you have not read the whole Bible through within a year or so after your conversion (and frequently thereafter), you are failing in your service to God, because you are incapable and ill equipped for every good work, 2 Timothy 3.16.

If you spread false teachings and do not agree with sound words (that is, those of our Lord Jesus Christ) and with the teaching that accords with godliness, you are conceited and understand nothing, but have an unhealthy interest in controversies and verbal disputes, 1 Timothy 6.3-4.

If you ignore the commandments of God and do sacred things your own way, you’re going to get burned, Leviticus 10.1-7 and 1 Chronicles 13.1-10.

If you go the church of your choice, you’ll certainly miss the church that Christ built, Matthew 16.18.

If you separate salvation from baptism, you are separating what God has joined together, Matthew 19.6b.

If you, by your own lights, attempt to define what is good, rather than listen to how the Lord defines it, things will definitely go bad for you, because you’re as good as dead, Isaiah 5.20.

If you, like the Sadducees, think some parts of the Bible are more inspired than others, “you are deceived, because you don’t know the scriptures or the power of God” Matthew 22.29.

If you’re trying to give a good example as a means of fulfilling the Great Commission, without actually proclaiming the words of salvation to the lost around you, you are failing to confess Christ before men, Matthew 10.26-33.

If you ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest, but then refuse to go when he sends you, have you not rejected the counsel of God for yourself? Matthew 9.37-38; 10.1ff.

If you profess to nurture the hope of Christ’s return and of eternal life, but live as if there were no tomorrow, you’re going to miss the boat, 2 Peter 3.11-14.

These items reflect not only the Word of God, but several echo the actual wording of the NET Bible.

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J. Randal Matheny

Servant of the Lord at GoSpeak
Randal and his wife have lived and worked in Brazil since 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren. Randal's a lefty, a chocolate lover, an author and a poet. His microblog is randal.us.

6 thoughts on “'If you' — a series of conditional statements we pray are not true of you

  1. So if I don’t read the *whole* Bible within a year or so after I am saved, I am failing God? How is that deduced from the context of 2 Tim 3:16? Yes, I think we should read the Bible but to go as far as saying the Bible says you have to read all of it within a year or so or you’re failing God is putting rules where God didn’t put rules.

    1. Hello, Jennie, thanks for your comment. The use of a year as a time period is arbitrary. We consider it an exaggerated period of time that allows even the slowest reader to complete a first read of Scripture. If we don’t know Scripture, we cannot know the will of God and we cannot therefore *do* the will of God, nor serve him in ways that will please him, because we cannot know that instinctively. The verse cited affirms the necessity of knowing Scripture in order to serve and please God. Do you doubt that? If so, it seems to be an amazing position for someone to assume, since Jesus said that error comes by ignorance of Scripture, Mt 22.29, Mk 12.24.

      1. But being a Christian is about having a relationship with Christ, not a checklist of all the things we have to do. God gives us His spirit when we are saved to help guide us and help us know what to do. I still haven’t been able to get through Leviticus or Numbers, and when I was saved at 12 years old I certainly couldn’t have gotten through the whole Bible. I’m not saying we shouldn’t read the Bible, of course, we should. I’m just asking why you qualified a verse by putting a time frame and quantity on it, threatening God’s displeasure on us if we don’t measure up to that time frame or quantity. Because I don’t get that (implied or obvious) from reading 2 Tim 3:16 (Please, forgive me if I am misunderstanding what you’re trying to say. Just trying to understand!)

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