Epistle to the Hebrews (6:4-8)   Leave a comment

Epistle to the HebrewsFor it is impossible to bring back to repentance those who were once enlightened—those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come—and who then turn away from God. It is impossible to bring such people back to repentance; by rejecting the Son of God, they themselves are nailing him to the cross once again and holding him up to public shame. When the ground soaks up the falling rain and bears a good crop for the farmer, it has God’s blessing. But if a field bears thorns and thistles, it is useless. The farmer will soon condemn that field and burn it.” Hebrews 6:4-8

We are now reaching some adult teachings the author wanted to share.It is impossible to bring back a Christian to the same kind of repentance he experienced at salvation. The author is not talking about pseudo-christians, those who come to church and don’t know Christ or about people who were never saved. No, the author is talking about Christians. They were enlightened by the truth of the Gospel and they have experienced the grace and goodness coming from the heavenly throne. They have received the Holy Spirit like any Christian when they were saved. They were touched by the Word and know its power. If these people turn away from Christ and deny Him, it is impossible for them to be restored unto repentance.  We had a small introduction of this theme in Hebrews 3:12-19.

If one turns from his evil deeds and comes to the Truth, grace is bestowed unto him. But when one turns from the Truth to return to the world, he is doing it consciously. He is defying God and publicly declaring that he refuses God.

The author portrays it as someone “nailing him(Jesus) to the cross once again and holding him up to public shame”. No, grace can no longer be shown but judgment should be expected for such an awful act.

When someone has sinned that does not mean that he is no longer a child of God. The relationship is still there but the communion between the Holy God and the Christian is affected until things are made right. The author is not talking about these cases but talking about a radical decision one made to stop following Jesus. It can also happen that someone wandered away due to false doctrines and difficulties of life. To this extreme, there’s still a chance to be restored unto repentance. For example, James said:

My dear brothers and sisters, if someone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back, you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins.” James 5:20

John differentiates between these 2 cases well:

If you see a Christian brother or sister sinning in a way that does not lead to death, you should pray, and God will give that person life. But there is a sin that leads to death, and I am not saying you should pray for those who commit it. All wicked actions are sin, but not every sin leads to death.”

What the author of the Epistle is talking about is about this sin that leads to death that even praying won’t change anything. They have held Jesus to public shame and chased the Holy Spirit who was indwelling in them.  They have insulted the Spirit of Grace and this sin will never be forgiven Jesus said.

I tell you the truth, all sin and blasphemy can be forgiven,but anyone who blasphemes the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven. This is a sin with eternal consequences ”  Mark 3:28

We read in 2 Timothy 2:11:

This is a trustworthy saying:If we die with him,we will also live with him.If we endure hardship,we will reign with him.If we deny him,he will deny us.If we are unfaithful,he remains faithful,for he cannot deny who he is.”

We are often unfaithful but He remains faithful to us and don’t forsake us. No one can snatch us from Jesus’ hands but if we want to leave Him, He won’t beg us to stay. But if we deny Jesus, He’ll deny us.

Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.” Mat 10:33

There’re some people who no longer want to follow Christ and turn to other gods. Others won’t turn to other religions but simply no longer want Christ to lead them.

There’re still those who deny Christ by the way they live. They can profess to be Christians but by their fruits we see evidence that they are not really what they claim to be .

“…But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are corrupted. Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good.” Titus 1:15,16

Paul talking to the Galatians Christians:

When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division,envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.” Gal 5:21

And again talking to Ephesians Christians: “You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him.” Eph 5:5

These Christians persisting living in sin will not have part to the heavenly place. If someone has been a Christian and is continuously living an immoral life, he is proving that he no longer wants to follow Jesus. These people are deliberately living in sin and there’s no sacrifice which will ever cover their sins :

Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins.There is only the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies.” Hebrews 10:27

The bible has a lot to say about it. For example, Peter said :

They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you.And when people escape from the wickedness of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up and enslaved by sin again, they are worse off than before. It would be better if they had never known the way to righteousness than to know it and then reject the command they were given to live a holy life.” 2 Peter 2:20-21

This can also be considered apostasy. Repentance is when you turn away from your former way of living to Christ. Apostasy is when you turn away from Christ. There’re many such preachers nowadays who have turned away from Christ but still in the church. They live in sin and even justify what they do.  Others turned to other religious systems. It is impossible to bring such people back to repentance. Even if it ever happen that they want to return to Christ, grace will not be shown to them. It’s better that these people never knew Christ because they will be judged more severely. What happened to Esau will happen to them:

You know that afterward, when he wanted his father’s blessing, he was rejected. It was too late for repentance, even though he begged with bitter tears.” Hebrews 12:17
The author also compares it to a field that bears thorns and thistles and is burnt.

Hebrews 6:8 remembers me John 15 where Jesus said:

Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned.

If one no longer remains in Christ, it is severed from the Vine, is cut off and thrown away. Once it is cut off, it cannot be ingrafted again(it was already ingrafted before). It is gathered and damned for destruction. If one has been saved, he is forever saved only if he remains in Christ – the Vine.

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Posted July 22, 2012 by Cedric in Theology

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