"If Only"



“If Only” is an idiom. We use it to express a strong wish that things could be different. 

Please keep in mind that definition as you read the article. 

On July 23,2023 I decided to go to the grocery store to get a few things for us. I believe it was quadruple points day at Kroger. The weather was to be getting nasty. Barb said to wait or go on Saturday. I wanted to get it done. While I was in the store it started raining like cats and dogs (idiom). I got our groceries and put them in the car and started home. Around 6:15 I was sitting at the light waiting for it to change to green. I was about to pull away when there was this loud noise and sudden jar of the car. Realizing I had been side swiped by another vehicle and that the car next to me was demolished, I began to think how close I had come to being in a very serious accident. 

Then I thought IF ONLY I had listened to Barb, I wouldn’t be standing in the 


rain looking at the damage to our vehicle and the damage to the other vehicles. Since then, I thought how the conjunction IF plays part in our everyday life and especially when it comes to decisions we make in our spiritual life. 

Jesus said in John 14:15 , “If you love me keep my com-mandments.” Then he said John 15:14 “You are my friend IF you do whatsoever command you.” When the day of judgment comes, wouldn’t it be sad to think “IF ONLY” I had loved and kept HIS commandments and to realize that I am not his friend any-more. 

In 2 Kings 5 we find the story of Naaman, a commander of the army of the King of Syria. Naaman was mighty man of valor but a leper. The Lord had given victory to Syria and the Syrian had taken captive a young girl from Israel. She served Naaman’s wife. The young girl said to her mistress, “IF ONLY” my master was with the prophet in Israel. We know how the rest of the story goes with Naaman doing what Elisha had said to do and he is healed. However, there is more to this story with the servant of Elisha. When Elisha refused the gifts of Naaman and Naaman left, Geha-zi, the servant of Elisha, went after Naaman and told him a lie about needing some of the gifts. When Gehazi came back Elisha confronted him about where he had been. Gehazi lies to Elisha and as a result Elisha tells Gehazi that he and his family would suffer with leprosy for the rest of their lives. Do you think that maybe Gehazi might have said ‘IF ONLY I had let it go and not sought the riches’? 

Let us consider some things religiously how the little word ‘if’ plays an important part in our everyday activities as well as our service to God. If it is okay to miss worship to God for worldly ac-tivities or to work overtime, why did the Holy Spirit guide us to 

not forsake the assembly of the saints in Heb. 10:25? If it is okay to be sprinkled for baptism, then why did Paul write in Rom. 6:3-6 that we are buried with him through baptism? Peter tells us in Acts 2:38 to “Repent and be baptized for the remission of our sins.” If sins are washed away before baptism, why did Paul refer to his conversion in Acts 22:16 where Ananias tells Saul to “arise and be baptized and wash away his sins”? 

We need to be growing everyday in our faith. Peter tells us in 2 Peter 1:5-11 what we need to be doing. And doing it with dili-gence. We need to be adding to our faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. In verses 10-11 Peter said, “Therefore, brethren, be even more dili-gent to make your call and election sure for IF you do these things you will never stumble: for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Je-sus Christ.” 

Wouldn’t it be sad to hear Jesus say “depart I know you not” in the day of Judgment knowing that IF ONLY I had kept His commandments and had been diligent in serving with all brotherly kindness, godliness and love? Keep in mind what John wrote in 2 John 9, “ Whoever transgresses and does NOT abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son”. 

Let it not be said by us “IF ONLY” I had done what God had said. If you are not a Christian now is the time to obey him. If you have left Christ now is the time to come back to HIS fold. 

Heb. 9:27, “It is appointed unto man, once to die after this the judgment.”