Turning Away From God (part 2)
For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
If we are Christians, can we turn away from Christ and lose our salvation? Will God lovingly chasten Christians for turning away or backsliding to draw us back to Himself? If we are not true believers in Christ, will God’s judgment fall upon us? In Hebrews 6:4-6, the writer tells us that it will be impossible for those who have once been enlightened by the Word of God, tasted of the heavenly gift, made partakers of the Holy Ghost, tasted the good Word of God and the powers of the world to come, if they fall or turn away, to renew them again unto repentance.
The phrase, “once enlightened,” is not talking about salvation, but individuals who were once instructed in biblical truth. The people described in Hebrews 6:4-6 were unbelievers who have been exposed to God’s redemptive truth and perhaps have made a profession of faith, but have not exercised genuine saving faith. Tasted of the heavenly gift, does not depict salvation either, but is likened to the second and third soils spoken of by Jesus in Matthew 13:3-23. These were people who receive the truth of the gospel, but were not truly saved. The falling away, references those who have tasted the truth, but, not having come all the way to faith, fall away, deny, turn away from the truth that they have been given.
The tasting of the truth is not enough to keep them from falling away, and denying the truth. They must come to full acceptance of the revelation of Jesus Christ and have complete repentance and faith or they, in effect, re-crucify Christ and treat Him contemptuously. Those who sin against Christ in such a way have no hope of restoration or forgiveness because they reject Him with full knowledge of what they are doing. The Bible is clear, “It is impossible for those who were once...to renew them again unto repentance.”
This is a very serious warning, and the warning is simply this. You need to come to Christ; for, if you fall away, it will be impossible to renew you again to the point where you've repented. Some people say it proves you can lose your salvation; but it's not talking to Christians at all. If this Scripture teaches, you can lose your salvation, it also teaches you can't get it back again; because it says, "If you fall away, it is impossible to renew you to repentance."
The Scripture in Hebrews 6:4-6 is talking about the Jews of that time coming all the way up to the edge of faith. They heard it all and received the full revelation of Jesus Christ. They turned their backs on Christ, went back to Judaism, which had been guilty of killing Jesus. They took their stand with those who crucified Christ. They basically said, "That's the same verdict that we give." Consequently, according to them, Jesus should be crucified. They were declaring that they had made a trial of Jesus Christ with all the evidence possible, and found Him no true Messiah, and turned around, going back to Judaism. They were saying, "Jesus is an impostor and deceiver, and He got exactly what was coming." That's what that means. They agreed with those who killed Jesus, that He was a fake, and they put Him to an open shame. The word shame means guilt. They declared openly that Jesus was guilty.
Thought: The writer of Hebrews is setting up a hypothetical statement: IF a Christian was to fall away . . . Could they be renewed to salvation? Christ died once for sin (Hebrews 9:28), and if His sacrifice is insufficient, then there’s no hope at all. To the true believer salvation is eternal. To the lost, there is no hope, if they deny the only True Hope, Jesus Christ. If unbelievers reject Christ, they lose their opportunity for salvation
Some information taken from www.gotquestions.org