@valli.sujankumar, I am sorry for the delay in replying to you. I hope this makes sense as it became a little more involved that I thought. But here goes. I have present to views on the subject.
John MacArthur takes the position that this verse describes an apostate. From his commentary on Hebrews he writes these thoughts:
“Of the five warnings given in Hebrews, the one in this passage is by far the most serious and sobering. It may be the most serious warning in all of Scripture. It deals with apostasy.”
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1983). Hebrews (p. 270). Chicago: Moody Press.
Apostasy is not new in the Bible it represents a willful rejection of the revealed truth of God. Again MacArthur:
“Apostasy is not new, nor is God’s attitude toward it. It is the most serious of all sins, because it is the most deliberate and willful form of unbelief. It is not a sin of ignorance, but of rejecting known truth.”
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1983). Hebrews (pp. 270–271). Chicago: Moody Press.
The ultimate NT example is Judas:
"His story is the supreme contradiction to the common excuse, “I would probably believe in Christ if I just had a little more evidence, a little more light.” Judas had the perfect evidence, the perfect light, the perfect example. For some three years he lived with Truth incarnate and Life incarnate, yet turned his back on the One who is truth and life.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1983). Hebrews (p. 271). Chicago: Moody Press.
I thought it interesting to consider that apostasy is not something that happen on the fringe of the body of believers but in the very heart of the church.
“An apostate can be bred only in the brilliant light of proximity to Christ. Apostates are not made in the absence, but in the presence, of Christ. They are bred almost without exception within the church, in the very midst of God’s people. It is possible for a person to read the Bible on his own, to see the gospel clearly, and then reject it—apart from direct p 273 association with Christians. But by and large, apostates come from within the church.”
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1983). Hebrews (pp. 272–273). Chicago: Moody Press.
The second way of understanding this verse will come from David deSilva’s book, Perseverance in Gratitude: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on the Epistle “to the Hebrews”.
From his introduction deSilva states:
“Rhetorical analysis offers a wealth of insights into the way in which a NT text sought to persuade its hearers to take a particular course of action.”
deSilva, D. A. (2000). Perseverance in gratitude: a socio-rhetorical commentary on the Epistle “to the Hebrews” (p. 39). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
He (deSilva) draws heavily on Greek and Romans rhetorical style in his commentary and uses the sourcebooks of “Aristotle’s Art of Rhetoric, Anaximenes’s Rhetorica ad Alexandrum (wrongly attributed to Aristotle), the Rhetorica ad Herennium (wrongly attributed to Cicero), Cicero’s On Invention, On the Orator, Partitions of Oratory, Brutus, The Orator, and Topics, and Quintilian’s Institutio Oratoria. handbook of Aristole….The handbooks tell us much about how orators and leaders would persuade their audiences to take a particular course of action, to embody a certain value, or to render a certain verdict. They tell us how these community leaders would appeal to the mind, the emotions, and the trust of the audience.”
deSilva, D. A. (2000). Perseverance in gratitude: a socio-rhetorical commentary on the Epistle “to the Hebrews” (p. 40). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Here are some points deSilva makes as he explains this verse. Try to keep in mind that even through this is a Jewish audience they have not been in a vacuum they would understand all the subtleties and nuancing that the author of Hebrews was trying to convey in the rhetoric of the day.
- In 10:26 he echoes Numbers 15:22-31 where Moses explains the difference between “unintentional sin” and “intentional sin” (high handed). Unintentional sin has a remedy (sin offering) unintentional sin has no remedy only punishment.
- In 10:27 the warning of “expectation of judgment and a fury of fire” is a recontextualizing of Isaiah 26:11. deSilva says “Using Isaiah at once lends legitimacy and imminence to the threat the author invokes and thus contributes to turning the wavering among the congregation away from apostasy.”
- In 10:28 the author of Hebrews quotes Deuteronomy 17:6 “upon the testimony of two or three witnesses” but with a twist here he included all sin not just the sin of idolatry which is one of the main points of Deuteronomy 17. deSilva says this about 10:28, “Deuteronomy 17:6 is used to provide the lesser case in a lesser-to-greater argument (if offending against Torah brought these consequences, how much worse will befall the one who offends the Son?). It thus contributes materially to the development of the argument against a particular course of action (namely, violating the covenant with Jesus through shrinking back from open association with the Christian group).”
- In 10:30 the author quotes from Deuteronomy 32 the Song of Moses this time playing on the difference between the LXX and the Masoretic texts. “This was originally a promise by God to vindicate his own people after they were trodden upon by their enemies. Here it becomes a warning directed toward God’s own people (supporting the author’s dissuasion from apostasy).”
- In 10:31 the author’s “…terse, forceful statements from the Song of Moses concerning God’s judgment are now brought to bear on the potential apostate, who must be reminded that “to fall into the hands of the living God is a fearful thing” (Heb 10:31). This conclusion continues to resonate with the Song of Moses, as God declares in Deuteronomy 32:39 that “there is none who shall deliver out of my hands”. The ultimate danger any human being could face is to encounter God, the Judge of all, as an enemy. The author adduces these texts to emphasize his point that God avenges violations of his honor, which is the topic of the whole Song of Moses. The addressees are reminded that there is one to fear, namely, the One with power to inflict the punishment that is greater than death: the friendship of this One is worth maintaining even in the face of the hostility of “those who can kill the body but cannot kill the soul” (Mt 10:28).”
As a modern day protestant I might question 10:26 as a paradox but as a 1st century believer I would understand that it is impossible to go on willfully sinning (high handed intentional rebellion against the Truth of the Gospel) and still know the grace of God.
As a Christian raised in the protestant tradition I will hang my salvation on the finished work of Christ Jesus much as the 1st century believer did.
John 10:27–29, Romans 8:35–39, John 20:30-31