IF is quite a huge word actually. It pertains to a possible condition. Random House Dictionary describes it in part as a conjunction, giving this example:
if  (if) conj.
in case that; granting or supposing that;
on condition that: If I were you, I
wouldn’t worry. I’ll go if you do.
..and as a noun, citing this example:
n. a supposition; uncertain possibility.
Notable to the saints of God/students and lovers of God’s Word is that there 1455 IF’s in the New King James Bible. 884 in the OT and 571 in the NT. That would seem to imply there’s a lot of uncertain possibilities, or “in case that” situations. That is actually a good thing, because logic would tell me there’s choices to be made by people, all the time.
A few IF’s (we have little time for 1455 of them):
Gen 4:7 (the first IF that shows up is all about a choice to be made by Cain – to do right or to do wrong)
7 “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”
Deut 30:9-20 (God is offering the Israelites blessings, on the condition that they make the choices to obey Him and His Word)
9 “The LORD your God will make you abound in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your land for good. For the LORD will again rejoice over you for good as He rejoiced over your fathers,
10 “if you obey the voice of the LORD your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this Book of the Law, and if you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
11 “For this commandment which I command you today, it is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off.
12 “It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’
13 “Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’
14 “But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.
15 “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil,
16 “in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess.
17 “But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them,
18 “I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess.
19 “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;
20 “that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”
In Isaiah, a merciful God, already knowing that His people were guilty of sin, nonetheless extends a hand of mercy and offers them a dialogue of reasoning (“come let us reason together), then following up with an offer of blessing:
19 If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land;
20 But if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword”; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
IF has to do with free will, and choices. We are free to choose to press in to the Lord. It has always been that way. The unsaved, in bondage to sin, sadly have little or no choice, EXCEPT the choice to repent as the Lord deals with them, which He will, as He is not willing that any perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter).
Repentance through Jesus brings us to the glorious position of being fully forgiven. What we do with that forgiveness is then up to us. It is the entering in to a partnership of choice. Jesus spoke this to the Jewish believers:
John 8:31-32 – Forgiven believers were now offered the freedom of choice:
31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
32 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Their “believing” resulted in their forgiveness. Their choice to abide in discipleship would set them free.
10 “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
What we have here, and continue to have throughout the written history of God dealing with mankind (both testaments), is a love story where God voluntarily loves mankind, and then offers mankind the opportunity to choose to love Him back. Glorious. Love has to be volunteer. Spiritually, were that not the case, our walks with God would culminate as obedience, and never attain to the glory of love relationship.
2 Peter 1:5-7 inarguably lays out the progression from faith through obedience to love.
5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,
6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,
7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.
Sadly, it can get somewhat entangled when folks are presented with doctrines that functionally say we have no choices. It emasculates the love potential of our relationship with God. If I have no choice, then am I destined to love Him, and others are destined to hate Him? If that were the case, why would God need to judge the world? After all, serial killers would simply be functioning in the pre-destined roles. They would be undeserving of judgment. They were obedient to their calling. Silly logic, of course.
14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
15 But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
IF IF IF.
If I make the daily choice to love God and I choose to chase Him each day, there’s a lot of promises waiting for me. I choose that.