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Rock Report by Pastor Paul

This is a blog that comes from my personal devotions each day. It will also include sermons as I have to delete them from the audio section of the website. This blog will also keep you up to date with what is happening at the Rock in Strathroy Ontario 

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  • Mar16Mon

    Day 23 – “IF”

    March 16, 2015

                Today we are going to talk about the word “if”. Yes this word could be seen as small and insignificance but the truth is this little word is the difference between life and death, blessing or curse. The word if means “in case that; granting or supposing that; on condition that:” This is a conditional sentence that is possible to fulfil. I know we could spend more time on grammar but I have a distaste for grammar, although I like looking words up in the dictionary. Let me put it this way, when it comes to grammar I have a simple present and a simple past of which is far from perfect and I have no idea what a participle is. Okay I looked it up and some people find this topic exciting but it is definitely not something I get excited about. Okay enough about grammar. In the bible when the word “if” is used it means if you do this, then this will happen either good or bad. I started looking through scripture thanks to bible gateway and was overwhelmed by the amount of times this word is used. For example if you look up “if my people” you will see these two verses (NIV) 2 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 I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Psalm 81:13 “If my people would only listen to me, if Israel would only follow my ways.” Other translations of Psalm 81 use “oh” God wants us to listen to him.  But if you change the phrase (tip –put quotes on the phrase) to “if you remain” you will see verses like this one. John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Or this one in Exodus 15:26 “He said, “If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.” Exodus 19:5 “Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine,”

                We are given a choice to obey or not. We are also told the results of what will happen to us either way. Deuteronomy 11:13 “if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul— 14 then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil. 15 I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied. 1 Samuel 12:15 “But if you do not obey the Lord, and if you rebel against his commands, his hand will be against you, as it was against your ancestors.”

                Some time ago I realized after reading Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 26 my life seemed to fit on the cursed side of the list. From that point on I felt something had to change and have been on that journey ever since. Turns out God is faithful we are not. I will let you read al of Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 26. Deuteronomy 28:1 (Blessings for Obedience) “If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. 2 All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God:” The you have curses for disobedience “Deuteronomy 28:5 However, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you.” You also need to read “Leviticus 26:3 “If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, 4 I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit. 5 Your threshing will continue until grape harvest and the grape harvest will continue until planting, and you will eat all the food you want and live in safety in your land.” Then in Leviticus 26:4 ‘But if you will not listen to me and carry out all these commands, 15 and if you reject my decrees and abhor my laws and fail to carry out all my commands and so violate my covenant, 16 then I will do this to you: I will bring on you sudden terror, wasting diseases and fever that will destroy your sight and sap your strength. You will plant seed in vain, because your enemies will eat it. 17 I will set my face against you so that you will be defeated by your enemies; those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee even when no one is pursuing you. Please take the time to read both Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 26.

                Many Christians are confused in their thinking that Jesus broke the curse whether they obey or not. Yes this is available to all who believe but you must believe, obey and remian. Galatians 3:13 “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.” Deuteronomy 21:22 “And if a man has committed a crime punishable by death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, 23 his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall bury him the same day, for a hanged man is cursed by God. You shall not defile your land that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance.” 1 Corinthians 15 “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” This is an amazing promise to those who call themselves Christians. Let me rephrase that as I should say those who love the Lord their God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength who call themselves Christians. The ones who do not love God this way have usurped the blessing just like in Deuteronomy 29:19 “When such a person hears the words of this oath and they invoke a blessing on themselves, thinking, “I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way,” they will bring disaster on the watered land as well as the dry. 20 The Lord will never be willing to forgive them; his wrath and zeal will burn against them. All the curses written in this book will fall on them, and the Lord will blot out their names from under heaven. 21 The Lord will single them out from all the tribes of Israel for disaster, according to all the curses of the covenant written in this Book of the Law.” You cannot be a Christian if you do not obey the words of Jesus. This is what the word “if” is all about. So even though we have this amazing offer of eternal life and this amazing offer of the Holy Spirit, everything changes when we are disobedient. Just like the taking the Promised Land, the promise can be broken by disobedience. When this happens you will receive the results of if you don’t follow, obey or remain. The church is in this same situation.

                Many Christians are not obeying the word of God nor are the churches they are going to. Yes you can tell yourselves everything will be all right but that is a lie. It will be   the same results as the kings. Disobedience always leads to defeat. But don’t take my word for it. You can and should look for yourself. Now the list is huge when you simply put “if you”. Here are some to ponder.

    Old Testament

    Genesis 4:7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

    Exodus 8:21 If you do not let my people go, I will send swarms of flies on you and your officials, on your people and into your houses. The houses of the Egyptians will be full of flies; even the ground will be covered with them.

    Exodus 23:22 If you listen carefully to what he says and do all that I say, I will be an enemy to your enemies and will oppose those who oppose you.

    Leviticus 18:28 And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you.

    Numbers 15:22 [ Offerings for Unintentional Sins ] “‘Now if you as a community unintentionally fail to keep any of these commands the Lord gave Moses—

    Deuteronomy 4:29 But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.

    Deuteronomy 7:12 If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the Lord your God will keep his covenant of love with you, as he swore to your ancestors.

    Deuteronomy 11:13 So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul—

    1 Samuel 12:25 Yet if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will perish.”

    1 Kings 3:14 And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.”

    1 Kings 6:12 “As for this temple you are building, if you follow my decrees, observe my laws and keep all my commands and obey them, I will fulfill through you the promise I gave to David your father.

    1 Kings 9:4 “As for you, if you walk before me faithfully with integrity of heart and uprightness, as David your father did, and do all I command and observe my decrees and laws,

    1 Chronicles 22:13 Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws that the Lord gave Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged.

    1 Chronicles 28:9 “And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.

    2 Chronicles 7:17 “As for you, if you walk before me faithfully as David your father did, and do all I command, and observe my decrees and laws,

    2 Chronicles 15:2 He went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.

    Proverbs 2  “My son, if you accept my words  and store up my commands within you, 2 turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding— 3 indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, 4 and if you look for it as for silver  and search for it as for hidden treasure, 5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord  and find the knowledge of God.

    Jeremiah 4:1 “If you, Israel, will return, then return to me,” declares the Lord. “If you put your detestable idols out of my sight and no longer go astray,

    Isaiah 58 13 (ALL) “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s holy day honorable,

    and if you honor it by not going your own way  and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, 14 then you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.” For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

    Jeremiah 15:19 Therefore this is what the Lord says: “If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman. Let this people turn to you, but you must not turn to them.

    New Testament

    Matthew 6:14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

    Matthew 6:15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your s Matthew 6:22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.

    Matthew 6:23 But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! ins.

    Matthew 11:14 And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come.

    Matthew 17:20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

    Matthew 21:22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

    John 8:19 Then they asked him, “Where is your father?” “You do not know me or my Father,” Jesus replied. “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”

    John 8:24 I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.”

    John 11:40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

    John 13:17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

    John 13:35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

    John 14:15 [ Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit ] “If you love me, keep my commands.

    John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

    John 15:6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.

    John 15:7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

    John 15:10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.

    John 15:14 You are my friends if you do what I command.

    Romans 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

    Romans 10:9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

    1 Corinthians 10:12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!

    2 Corinthians 11:4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.

    Galatians 3:29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

    Colossians 1:22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

    1 Timothy 4:16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

    2 Peter 1:8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    2 Peter 1:10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble,

    Revelation 2:5 Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.

    Revelation 3:3 Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.

                I am pretty sure scripture is very clear on this. We must believe and that means obey which includes remaining in Him. Unbelief leads to defeat and this is where the church is now. Please remember what happened to the Kingdom of Israel and Judah for their unwillingness to obey. Jesus said in Mark 16:15  “He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” 19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.” This explains why it is not happening in the church today. The problem is not enough people are asking what if we don’t? Scripture makes it clear to us what the answer is so that also explains why the bible has been set aside. Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

                God loves his people and is calling out to us to listen and obey. 2 Chronicles 7:13 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 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 I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 16 I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there. 17 “As for you, if you walk before me faithfully as David your father did, and do all I command, and observe my decrees and laws, 18 I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor to rule over Israel.’

                Too many Christians have ignored this little word “if” not realizing it will cost them their lives.