Can someone expound on Hebrews 6:4-6
"For it is impossible to renew again to repentance those once enlightened, and who have tasted of the heavenly gift, and have been made partakers of [the] Holy Spirit,
5 and have tasted the good word of God, and [the] works of power of [the] age to come,
6 and have fallen away, crucifying for themselves [as they do] the Son of God, and making a show of [him].
Does this refer to those who truly understood the gospel and rejected it but were not believers?
Have you known anyone who came back in repentance to the Father after what appears to be a total rejection of all they once appeared to hold dear?
Can someone expound on Hebrews 6:4-6
@ALandis Great question I commend watching the Bible Project video linked below on the Book of Hebrews for a better understanding of the purpose of this book. Regarding the possibility of people returning to Jesus after rejecting Him, I think it is always wisest to extend God’s offer of grace and leave the rest to God. God is merciful and only He knows the human heart.
The short answer to your question about Hebrews is: the purpose of Hebrews is not to tell us whether it is possible to lose salvation, but to exhort believers to hold fast to their faith in the midst of persecution
If we read Hebrews, a few things become clear:
- the audience is Christian - they have a living relationship with God and are saved - we see this throughout the letter as the author addresses them as brothers and sisters and in Hebrews 6/10 where they are said to have been sanctified by the blood and tasted of the Holy Spirit
- in spite of the harsh warnings the author issues, the author consistently reaffirms that the readers do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who are saved. The harsh warnings are not meant to condemn, but to remind these believers to encourage one another and keep their eyes fixed on Jesus.
- the audience was Jewish, which is why so many OT allusions are used—it is therefore helpful to read the OT passages that are quoted throughout the letter to better understand the context
Hebrews 13:22 - Brothers and sisters, I urge you to bear with my word of exhortation, for in fact I have written to you quite briefly.
Hebrews 3:12-13 - See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
Hebrews 6:4-6 - It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6 and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.
Hebrews 10:26-39 - If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. 35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.
36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For,
“In just a little while,
he who is coming will come
and will not delay.”
“But my righteous one will live by faith.
And I take no pleasure
in the one who shrinks back.”
39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.
@SeanO thanks so much for taking the time to reply to my question. I know it’s a pretty heavy one! I have a number of people in my life that are SO dear to me, and this passage makes me worry for their eternal well being considering how they’ve turned away from the truth they once knew (whether mentally or spiritually only God knows). I am glad, like you said, “it is always wisest to extend God’s offer of grace and leave the rest to God. God is merciful and only He knows the human heart.” Why do I worry when He is the One in charge? That’s something God’s been really talking to me about. One of my favorite verses is the one in Genesis 18:25 when Abraham says to the Lord, “shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” I look forward to listening to the Bible project video in the morning. Thanks again.
@ALandis Sure thing I love that passage from Genesis 18 as well! It is such a beautiful reminder that even when we don’t understand everything, we can trust God’s character and love for us and others. Christ grant you peace and open the eyes / hearts of your loved ones.
Just watched the video - very nice overview. I think I’ll take his advice and read over the passages in the OT as I read through Hebrews again.
May the Lord Jesus bless you with wisdom and peace as you study